10 Google Products You Probably Didn't Know About But Absolutely Should

Robert_Stark
edited August 2023 in Lifestyle

You're totally up to speed with using Gmail to stay connected, relying on Google Maps to navigate, and turning to Google Search to find that perfect Italian restaurant. Still, you mightn't know that Google has way more handy tricks up its sleeve. Read on to uncover the lesser-known Google tools to level up your digital game.

1) Google Scholar: is it true or not? 

Ever been stuck in an argument about whether bamboo can truly replace steel in concrete beams? Or is an expanding waistline due to fast food, or are calories just calories? You're not alone. 

Enter Google Scholar, and separate fact from fiction. This popular tool gives you access to a world of scholarly articles, research papers, and experiments. Whether digging into engineering mysteries or health and wellness controversies, Google Scholar delivers the evidence-based knowledge you need to decide.

2) Google Domains: who's better at understanding websites than Google? 

Tired of working with other domain registration sites that can't supply you with the setup you're after? Google Domains is a one-stop shop allowing you to choose from around 300 domain endings, 100 email aliases, and 100 subdomains (with forwarding for both). Big projects just got easier! 

As well as the usual features of automatic domain verification and viewing web traffic reports, Google Domains offers built-in protection features of 2-factor authentication, free WHOIS privacy, and cloud DNS, which is secure and reliable.

Pricing is transparent so you know what you are up for before you start, and they guarantee 24/7 support with a person at the end of the email, phone, or chat service you choose to use for assistance.

3) Google Jamboard: the ultimate digital whiteboard 

Google Jamboard is a user-friendly digital whiteboard. With just a click or two, choose from a range of options for shapes and text boxes. Paste images with simplicity and style.  

Collaborate, demonstrate, or brainstorm with up to 50 others using either a:

  • Web browser 
  • Mobile app  
  • Jamboard display

It saves as you go, so accidentally wiping something out is not a problem; just press the Undo button to get it back.

It's free unless you love it so much that you buy Google’s 55-inch, 4k display! And it's already in your Chrome Browser

  • Open a new tab in Chrome. 
  • Click those 9 dots in the top right-hand corner and select Jamboard.  
  • Use the Plus sign at the bottom to get started. 
  • The icons around the board let you create your very own communication board. 

So easy, yet with endless possibilities.  

4) Google Fiber: the speediest internet is in sight

Sick and tired of your internet crawling at a snail's pace or endlessly buffering while you watch a movie?  

Google Fiber could be the answer. It's reportedly the fastest internet provider in the US, with 1000 or 2000 Mbps speeds. How do they do it? With fiber optic cable and Google Fiber Webpass millimeter wave technology. 

The 1 Gig plan promises symmetrical download and upload speeds up to 1Gbps. While the 2 Gig plan promises an average upload speed of 1 Gbps, and a download speed is 2 Gbps. In select markets, there are 5 and 8 Gbps plans available.

It's currently available in 28 US cities, with a growing service. Learn if you can switch today.

Once you're signed up, you get superb speedy service and score a Nest Wifi Pro router and 1 TB of free cloud storage. Say goodbye to buffering and move to Fiber.

5) Google Fi: wireless phone plans for families

Google isn't just about the internet, apps, and maps; it's also about phone plans to keep your family securely connected. Switch to a wireless phone plan with Google Fi to get unlimited data and international roaming.

Google Fi safety features include:

  • Spam blocking: It won't let calls slide through from numbers they identify as spam. 
  • Android phone end-to-end encryption: What is said stays between you and your caller. 
  • Location tracking: Share phone locations with each other to give you peace of mind when kids are out.  
  • Child safety: Activate contact controls on Android phones so your child can only be reached by numbers you trust. 
  • Parental Controls: With Google Family Link, limit screen time and take charge of the viewed content – like having a digital nanny! 
  • Virtual private network (VPN): Shield yourself against hackers on unsecure public networks, stop websites tracking your IP address to find your location and surf the internet on an encrypted, private connection.

Google Fi uses 4G LTE or 5G if your phone is suitable, plus hotspot tethering, so you can always access your data.

6) Google Mars: your virtual passport to the red planet

Ready for an adventure? Google Mars is a groundbreaking interactive tool that lets you explore the red planet in stunning 3D, from Martian landscapes to geological marvels.

Whether you're a casual stargazer or a seasoned researcher, this site created in collaboration with NASA researchers at Arizona State University, is an excellent way to learn about our neighboring planet.

Here are some of the things you can do with the wealth of information on Google Mars:

  • Explore the surface of Mars in 3D. 
  • Zoom in and out to get a closer look at specific features. 
  • Learn about scientific discoveries, historical missions, and ongoing research. 
  • Share your discoveries with others.

Start your adventure today!

7) Google Bard: a new AI chatbot 

Bard is Google's newest chatbot, and while still in the experimental stage, it's learning fast. Bard can help with coding, writing, images, and above all, it aims to be helpful and creative by providing valuable answers and ideas.

Bard is based on Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA) Large Language Model (LLM) and gets its information from the web:

  • Google Search 
  • Google Scholar 
  • Wikipedia 
  • Other sites

Apart from Google Scholar, websites aren't necessarily accurate, so (like other chatbots) Bard can present fiction as fact. The bottom line is that if you need a safe and reliable response, double-check from other sources.

Bard is user-friendly, and there's no need to create an account with Bard, you can sign in with your personal Google account. It feels like a friend wanting to help, so why not give it a whirl?

8) Google Podcasts Manager: Accurately track your performance for free

Google Podcasts Manager is a tool for anyone making podcasts. It tracks your performance and gives you insights for even better podcasts in the future. Here are some of the data it tracks:

  • When listeners tune in and out: This helps you determine what listeners like and what needs work. 
  • How your listeners listen: Do they listen on their phone, computer, or smart speakers? Optimize your podcast for different platforms. 
  • Where your listeners find you: Do they seek your podcast on a search engine, Google Podcasts, or another platform? This helps decide on future promotions.

It's free and available to anyone with a Google account.

  1. Create a podcast. 
  2. Submit your RSS feed to Google.  
  3. Once submitted, access Google Podcasts Manager through the Google Podcasts website or the Google Podcasts app.  

9) Google Digital Garage: Free self-paced online courses to improve your skills or wellbeing

Need better skills for the job? Have the skills but can't sell yourself? Stressed out and want to improve your coping abilities? Google Digital Garage helps you gain today's most in-demand skills, whether expanding your business, starting a career, or just wanting to try something new.

Together Google Digital Garage, universities, and other training organizations worldwide have collaborated to create almost 200 free courses for beginners up to experienced learners.

Ranging in duration from 1 to 40 hours, topics cover:

  • Communication 
  • Tech 
  • Marketing 
  • Design 
  • Remote work

With flexible study options – stop and start to suit your schedule or watch live training at set times – there's a course for everyone. Receive certification on completion you can add to your CV. Find a course to expand your knowledge today!

10) Google Web Designer: a DIY tool to build a website

Google Web Designer helps businesses and entrepreneurs create beautiful videos, images, and HTML5 ads without coding knowledge. Use animation and interactive elements to create your design, then scale your content for different devices with responsive and dynamic workflows. Got the time to put them together? If so, this free, user-friendly Google tool is for you. 

  • Google Web Designer gives you stacks of templates to fill with your words, images, and animations, then edit HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to make them yours.  
  • Use Google Fonts – another cool free feature of Google – and Content Creation Tools as you build with Google Web Designer. 
  • Create some Google ads to promote your products or services.

The step-by-step instructions are all there. All you need are the ideas and time to put them into practice.

Google is much more than a search engine—it's a toolbox teeming with powerful tools that can enhance your life in unexpected ways. And the best part? It's mostly free. So why not dip into Google's lesser-known features? Get started today, and open up a world of knowledge, convenience, and innovation. 

Robert is a Taiwan-based writer and digital marketer at iamrobert design. He has a passion for helping people simplify their lives through tech.

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