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26 things you can do with Google (besides search)

23 mayo, 2021

They say that if something is not in Google, it is that does not exist. The Mountain View company, born in 1998, has gone from being a simple directory of the web pages that existed at that time to a whole conglomerate of applications, online services and companies from which it is difficult to escape.

Its cornerstone, yes, is still the search engine. But even though we see it every time we open a new tab in Chrome, and use it countless times throughout the day, we don’t always know get the most out of it to that little text field waiting for our keywords. Because for that, of course, you have to first know what things you can ask Google.

Some of these tricks or special features you will already know them, others maybe not. In any case, it is a list in which we intend to collect all those possibilities that lead to Google beyond to offer you a simple list of results, and to make accessing the information you need even easier.

Just a little warning: many of these functions only work if you use them in English, and in google.com (not in google.es). Despite this, they are often a more practical option than using another website or a mobile app, for example. And finally, remember to write all the commands that we indicate without the quotes, of course.

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Some “hidden” apps

Calculator
  • Chronometer. Do you need to calculate the time it takes to do something and you don’t have a watch with a second hand at hand? Type “stopwatch” in Google, and you will see a clock placed above the results, and ready to count the time for you.

  • Countdown. The same applies if you want to keep a countdown. Type “countdown” or “timer” and Google will show above its results a ready-made clock to start a countdown.

  • Metronome. You never know when you are going to need a metronome. That’s why Google has one built in, which you can activate just by typing “metronome” in the search field.

  • Calculator (normal and scientific). Ok, you already have a calculator on your computer and on your mobile, but sometimes the fastest way is to simply go to Google. Just by typing “calc” you can activate it, although it also works if you enter the specific operation in the search field (for example, “234/3”).

  • Currency conversions. If you buy a lot online, surely you see yourself often changing between euros and the odd currency. To make it easier, you can ask Google directly, with the amount. For example, “250 dollars in euros”. You can also use the bank abbreviation for the currency (“250 USD in EUR”).

  • Unit of Measure Conversions. In the case of measurement conversions, they are even faster, since their values ​​are fixed (not like those of currencies). You can search for them as in the previous point (for example, “45 inches in centimeters”) and you will get the change in the usual way, in a table above the results. But if you use Chrome, try typing (in English, yes) the measurement directly in the address bar of the browser, and you will see that one of the autocomplete results is already the change to another unit of measurement.

For your hobbies

Soccer
  • Soccer results. Can’t you live without knowing how your team fared in the Champions League or who they will face in the next league game? Write “results” followed by the name of the team in question and you will have all the information right there.

  • Cinema listings. If you prefer the cinema, there is a quick way to know what movies are being shown in your city. Type “movies” followed by it, and you will see a list of movies above the results. By clicking on one of them, you will also be able to see the cinema where it is projected, and the hours of the different sessions.

  • Bibliography of an author. For those who are more to read, Google keeps another little secret: write “books by” followed by the name of a writer, and you can see their bibliography in a special format. Be careful, it does not work with all authors.

For travelers

Flight
  • Whaether forecast. The first thing to look at before going on a trip is the time it is going to do, to know what you have to put in the suitcase. And in Google you can do it just by typing “time” followed by the name of the city in question.

  • Information about flights. Whether you want to check a flight that you will take in a few hours, or are waiting to pick someone up at the airport, Google also has information that can be useful. Enter the flight code in the search field and you will see a small tab on it: route, departure and arrival time, whether or not it is delayed, airport terminal, etc.

  • See the highlights of a city. With the Internet and some mobile apps it is very easy to find information about any place you plan to visit as a tourist. But the basics are already given to you by Google, writing “attractions in” followed by the name of the city.

Searching among your things …

Photos
  • Locate your airline tickets. Assuming you save the receipts for your airline tickets purchased on the Internet in Gmail, you can search for them from Google itself. Simply type “my flights” in the search field and you will see a summary of your upcoming air travel (obviously only visible to you).

  • Locate your reservations. In the same way, if you have your hotel reservations, Airbnb and the like in Gmail, they are also available through a simple Google search, putting “my hotels” (even if it is an apartment …).

  • Review your purchases. Another thing that you can check in Google is your most recent purchases on the Internet, as long as you have the receipt saved in Gmail. Write “my purchases” and you will see a list of them highlighted above the results.

  • Find your mobile. Do you know the Android device manager? It is the function integrated into the Google mobile operating system that allows you to locate lost devices. But you can also Google it (ironic, right?), By putting “search my mobile” in the search field. Of course, it will ask you again for your password.

  • View your photos in the cloud. One last personal thing that you can see on Google are your photos, that is, those that you have synced in the cloud. To do this, just type “my photos” in the search engine – in this case, it seems that “my photos” does not work.

Knowledge does not take place

Distance
  • See what time it is anywhere. Do you work with people on the other side of the planet? Do you have a relative on the other side of the pond and you want to know what time it is before calling? You can ask Google with a simple “What time is it in” followed by the name of the city, and voila.

  • See what any day falls on. If you are planning a vacation or trip, you may be interested in knowing on what day of the week a holiday will fall. Well, you can ask Google, just by typing the name of the holiday that interests you the most for the year. Of course, in English (for example, “Christmas 2016” or “Good Friday 2017”).

  • Calculate distances. How many kilometers are there between two cities? Easy: you just have to ask Google with the phrase “From A to B”, where A is one city and B is another. You will be able to see a mini-window of Google Maps with the route drawn, the number of kilometers and how long it would take to make the trip by car. If there are also flights between the two sites, Google will include them in the results.

  • Know the age of any famous person. We know that celebrities love to lie about their age, but Google makes it difficult for them. Simply type “age of” followed by whatever name you want, and instantly your age (and date of birth) will be highlighted above the list of results.

  • Know what your IP is. Although there are other ways to find out your IP address, a quick Google search with “my IP” will return the public IP you are currently browsing with.

Other curiosities

Fun facts
  • Throw a coin. Heads or tails? If you don’t have a coin to hand to decide something so crucial, Google can help you out. Write “flip a coin” in the search engine, and you will have a virtual currency at your disposal to use it on heads or tails. Lucky!

  • Roll a dice. Much like the old coin, Google also has a dice … because you never know how much you might need one. All you have to do is type “roll dice” and you have a virtual six-sided die ready to go.

  • Fun Facts. Fun facts could be translated as “curiosities”, and they are little pearls of knowledge that Google shows you in a special format every time you enter “fun facts” in the search field. For example, did you know that Venice has 118 islands, connected by 400 bridges and 170 ships?

  • Google in 1998. This last trick allows you to take a quick trip back in time. Type “Google in 1998” and you can see the search engine as it was that year, recently founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

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