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Hidden Google Tips You Probably Don’t Know

Hidden Google Tips You Probably Don’t Know

There are very few companies or products that actually enter the language as both a noun and a verb. Everyone knows what Google is, and chances are that we’ve all used it as a verb as well; after all, it’s really common to say, ”I need to Google something,” instead of, “I need to look for something on the Internet.” As much as Yahoo, AOL and Bing would love to have their names used in the same way, it simply hasn’t happened, and unless something catastrophic happens to Google, it never will.

As an anonymous Internet user once famously said, “I accidentally used AOL.com to search for something today. I feel like everyone who worked there probably high-fived each other and felt hopeful about the future.” It’s undeniable that Google is the dominant force when it comes to Internet search engines. They are the biggest, which leads to their search results being amazingly in-depth, which arguably also makes them the best.

As we know, Google can be used to search for absolutely anything in the online world, but it can do a few more things that might surprise you. So, without further adieu, let’s look at some of the coolest things you might not know that Google can do for you.

1. Google Yourself Thin

    The so-called secret of many major weight loss companies is simple calorie control, and while this is a valid means of losing weight, the information is now readily available to anyone who wants to look. If you Google a particular food, whether it’s a raw vegetable or even something like fried chicken, Google helpfully provides a comprehensive list of nutritional information alongside the list, with information from the US Department of Agriculture. It even determines your location, and gives the information in grams or ounces, depending on the unit of measurement in your country.

    2. Navigating With Google

      Google Maps are generally the go-to when it comes to looking up directions, whether before we leave home or on a Smartphone when we’re already on our way. Unlike some of their competitors (Bing Maps), Google displays minor landmarks and points of navigation such as train stations, which makes getting around easier. Many companies have unfortunately moved towards using Bing Maps on their website to display their location, although a quick copy + paste into Google Maps will give you more detailed information.

      3. Google Auto Translate on Chrome

      Google Auto Translate on Chrome

        Online word-for-word translation isn’t an exact science, since it’s not able to really detect context or pick up on many slang and informal words. Google Translate is perhaps the most comprehensive, and yet if you’ve ever translated something from a foreign language to your native language, you’ll know it’s not perfect.

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        The translation feature does allow you to understand practically everything in the converted text, although it’s always been slightly annoying to have to copy and paste the original text into the translation box. Google Chrome will automatically detect if a website is in a language other than yours, and will ask if you want the text translated directly on the page. It makes navigating foreign websites a breeze!

        4. Google Doodle

        Google Doodle

          Quite often when using Google to search, you’ll notice that the logo has been given a redesign. This is known as a Google Doodle, and is done to commemorate a historical occasion, whether minor or major. So it’s basically like a small fun history lesson, and previous subjects have included recognition of what would have been French singer Edith Piaf’s 95th Birthday, and of course, the homage to Pac Man on its 30th anniversary.

          5. Google “I’m Feeling Lucky”

          I’m Feeling Lucky

            Google is rather confident that your search results will be exactly what you were looking for. They’re so confident in fact, that their search function allows you to jump straight to the first and most likely closest match (by selecting “I’m Feeling Lucky”), which means you don’t even need to see the list of search results. This only works when Google Instant is deactivated, and costs the Internet giant millions of dollars each year, since the user doesn’t see the full search results and subsequent advertising that can be displayed on this page.

            6. Google and Public Transport

            Google and Public Transport

              Yes, Google Maps are great and comprehensive, and yet they can help you to plan a journey beyond just showing you where to go. When you’re looking for directions from Point A to Point B, Google Maps can also access public transport information and tell you exactly how to travel from one place to another, giving you the public transport information which includes the timetable, duration of trip, and even which train or bus to catch. This is particularly helpful when you’re in another country.

              7. Google News Alert

              Google News Alert

                Since print media is dying a slow death (courtesy of the Internet), the vast majority of newspapers and magazine makes their content available online, and mostly for free. Google News curates the available information for you, and if you’ve requested an email alert about a particular subject, you’ll learn the moment any new content is written about the subject in question, whether it’s the conflict in Syria or an obscure celebrity. Google even asks you if you want to create an email alert for news towards the bottom of your search results.

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                8. Google Phone Synch

                Google Phone Synch

                  Google allows storage of your Smartphone’s phone number and email database, which then means you can recover the information if the phone is lost or stolen, or when you upgrade to a new phone. This avoids the need to find a way to get in touch with your contacts to get their digits once again; you can simply send the information directly to your new device.

                  9. Define a Word with Google

                   Define a Word with Google

                    If you need to look up the meaning of a word, there’s no need to actually open a new browser window and look up an online dictionary. Simply type “define,” followed by the word in question, and Google finds a comprehensive definition for you.

                    10. Collaborate with Google Docs

                    Collaborate with Google Docs

                      Rather than emailing a document back and forth when a number of people need to work on it, Google Docs allows it to be stored centrally, and anyone with authorization can access it and make changes. While this is hardly revolutionary in this day and age, when Google Docs are used alongside Google Chat, it allows a real time discussion about the document as everyone works on it.

                      11. Adjust Reading Level with Google

                      Adjust Reading Level with Google

                        This tool is particularly handy with web-based research, particularly for children doing their homework. While the top results of a search might contain the relevant information, they might also present the information within an overly complex academic way. For children (and adults) who want to get to grips with a topic at beginners or intermediate level, Google allows you to filter searches based upon reading level.

                        12. See Weird Things with Google Streetview

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                        Google Streetview

                          Google Streetview is sensational, allowing you to take a virtual tour of many of the worlds streets. You can explore a holiday destination, or even see the house you grew up in. When the Google cars were cruising the streets, taking multiple shots for the 360-degree photos to be constructed, they managed to catch people in a variety of unflattering poses, which have of course now gone online for the world to see.

                          13. Find Something Local

                          Find Something Local

                            If you need to find a certain service or business within your local area, you don’t need to look particularly hard. Just enter the topic of your search, followed by your postcode, and Google will provide you with a list of the most popular. It’s handy when you’ve just moved to a new area, or if you’re on vacation and don’t know where to look.

                            14. Currency Conversion

                            Currency Conversion

                              Google offers an up-to-the-minute currency conversion tool, without the need to look up a specialist site. Just type in the amount and currency type, followed by the currency you wish to convert to, and the Auto Complete function will even automatically provide a list of the most popular end currencies. The search result also shows you how the currencies have been performing in relation to each other over the previous years.

                              15. Find Something “Better Than” Something Else

                              Better Than

                                When you’re in the market for a new tool or toy (or both), you of course want to do as much research as possible, and this research is quick and easy, simply by entering the words “better than.” Type the name of the product you’re considering, followed by “better than.” As with the currency conversion tool, Google’s Auto Complete will then provide you with a list of the most popular competitors, and the search results are the most popular comparison sites.

                                16. Google Trends for Quick and Easy Data

                                Google Trends

                                  Google Trends is an interesting snapshot of what the world has been searching for online, although this doesn’t include adult websites. At a glance, Google Trends shows you the most trending (searched for) subjects, but is also a useful research tool, as it allows a user to gain more in-depth knowledge about a wide range of topics—all presented in easily digestible graphs.

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                                  17. Do a Barrel Roll

                                  Barrel Roll

                                    This one does exactly as the name suggests. Simply type, “do a barrel roll” into Google, click search, and the browser window performs a 360-degree roll before returning to normal. This function is just a fun and quirky thing that the world’s most loved search engine can do, and is handy for making friends think that their computer is broken.

                                    18. Research More Accurately with Google

                                    Research More Accurately

                                      The Internet tends to be a bit cluttered, but that’s part of the appeal. If you need to do a serious research project for college or work, there’s an easy way to sort through the nonsense and return only the most relevant legitimate information. Simply enter “site:edu,” followed by intitle (and then type the subject of your search. This limits the results to sites with a .edu domain name, namely colleges, universities and educational institutes.

                                      19. Google Gravity

                                      Google Gravity

                                        Much like the Barrel Roll, this is brilliant for fooling friends into thinking there’s something seriously wrong with their computer. Just enter Google Gravity into the search field, and select “I’m Feeling Lucky” (see #5). Watch in amusement/horror as the Google logo and search box then come crashing to the bottom of the screen, but not to worry—it still works as a search engine when lying in pieces on the floor.

                                        20. The Future and Google

                                        The Future

                                          One of Google’s major stakes in the future is wearable technology that allows the user greater interaction with, and immersion into the vast range of Google services on offer. Google Glass is a wearable eyepiece that basically looks like a regular pair of glasses, although there’s a huge difference. Google Glass projects information onto the inner lens, meaning users will be able to browse the web, access Google Maps while walking down the street, and even see what their friends are seeing, if they’ve synched the devices and the other user has granted access. As Google Glass become more and more sophisticated, the potential usage is mind boggling—you might be able to use Google Translate to have a real-world interaction in a foreign country, complete with subtitles!

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                                          Published on September 20, 2018

                                          11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                                          11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                                          In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                                          Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                                          In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                                          Minimizing Tabs

                                          Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                                          Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                                          Incognito Mode

                                          Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                                          1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                                          2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                                          3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                                          This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                                          Save Webpages as PDF Files

                                          Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                                          Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                                          Open Recently-closed Tabs

                                          Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                                          One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                                          The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                                          Solve Mathematical Problems

                                          Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                                          For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                                          Play Media Files

                                          Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                                          In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                                          Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                                          With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                                          Stay Focus(e)d

                                          Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                                          Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                                          With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                                          This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                                          Grammarly for Editing

                                          Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                                          You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                                          Loom

                                          There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                                          There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                                          With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                                          Chrome Calendar Extension

                                          No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                                          Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                                          Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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