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google servicesIt’s an irony that Google hides behind its simple page, a gargantuan network of subsidiary web services. The one textbox page of Google Search is like a little door that leads inside to a labyrinth. The way we navigate through Google could make it our Aladdin’s Cave or our personal la-la land.

A couple of years ago a poll The "Other" Google Services That You Use [Poll] The "Other" Google Services That You Use [Poll] Read More asked our readers about the “other” Google Services that they used. Minus Google Search, the results brought forward the usual suspects. That’s the idea behind compiling this list on the uncommon Google services that we might not be going to or may not have the need for. Also, sometimes these services are so well integrated in the usual search results that they don’t get that attention.


We have covered some of these places singly before, or through lists like 10 Google Services That Get No Love 10 Google Services That Get No Love 10 Google Services That Get No Love Read More . The commonplace is sometimes boring, so let’s hop off the beaten path for once. After visiting these ten web places, we can always come back to the usual.

Search Stories

google services

A fun site that mixes storytelling with the topic of search we do on Google. Take the help of the Search Stories Video Creator, enter seven search queries across Google’s search tools, choose a background song and upload automatically on YouTube if you wish. It could be great for offbeat messages. For more inspiration check out the videos on the site.

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Movie Showtimes

google apps

Usually we type in the movie name with the city or zip code to get the list. Google Search lists three films with a link to more. The movie search is also a standalone page in itself that asks for a second glance. For instance, you can check out ratings and reviews, plus the locations on Google Maps. You can sort the results by movies, theatre, day, and genre. Sure beats flipping the newspaper.

[NO LONGER WORKS] 3D Warehouse

google apps

If you don’t have a thing for lines and curves (of the design kind), you can give Google SketchUp’s library a miss. But it is an excellent 3D model website and a must visit if you are the creative sort. For instance, check out the “˜spaceship’ results as in the screenshot. 3D Warehouse models are also reusable in your own SketchUp projects.

Panoramio

google apps

We see it in geotagged photos on Google Maps or Google Earth. You can sign in with your Google account and upload your geo-located photos (up to 2GB). Photos uploaded here are viewable in activated layers in the two Google apps.

Like other photo-sharing websites, users can restrict access-sharing or provide it under a Creative Commons license. You can directly search by location from the site itself. The photos are displayed alongside a Google Map.

Mark did a post last year on this very subject.   Check it out here How To Geotag Your Flickr Photos on Google Maps & Earth How To Geotag Your Flickr Photos on Google Maps & Earth Read More .

Aardvark

google resources

Aardvark is the social question and answer service that was acquired by Google early this year. Aardvark attempts to connect your queries to the right people with firsthand knowledge. Aardvark looks at the questions to see what they’re about and then pairs the question to people with the knowledge to give you an answer.

Aardvark taps into the network using mediums like IM or email as well as syncs with Facebook. Aardvark claims that “˜most questions are answered within 5 minutes, and the vast majority is answered within 10 minutes’ (depending on the nature of the question).

Google Sidewiki

google resources

Sidewiki is like a sideswiping toolbar in your browser that allows you to add comments and insight on any webpage. It is very similar to adding web notes or annotating webpages you find worthy (or unworthy). Sidewiki adds extra bits to the content you already see and it may further lead you to more resources contributed by others. You can also share your comments via Twitter and Facebook.

Google Code Search

google resources

Google Code Search is a very useful tool for software developers as it gives them a shortcut to speed up product development. It is also a great learning tool for newbie programmers. Google Code Search refers to publicly available code which is usually a part of Open Source software development. For instance, a basic use could be to find good coding examples for a particular language.

Google News Archive

We are quite familiar with Google News. While it aggregates current news from around the world, the Google News Archive Search page is an easy way to search and explore historical archives. The timeline is a useful tool as it tells you when some particular news was “˜hot’. If you are into research, clicking on the peaking blue areas on the timeline could lead you to a motherlode of information.

The archive can of course, be accessed from the regular Google News page too with a couple of clicks.

Google Fast Flip

Update: No longer available.

Google Fast Flip is a news reader with a difference. The Google Labs project gives you online news reading with an offline touch. You can flip through the thumbnails of your favorite Google News sources. The flip through is meant to also speed up scanning or reading when we have to go through a lot of news. More than the browser version, I feel that the mobile site of Google Fast Flip (for iPhone and Android) is better suited for what this Google service is trying to do.

Google Sites

google services

With the lion’s share going to Blogger (a Google service), WordPress and other content management platforms, Google Sites is almost like the ugly duckling no one talks about. But as Ryan’s recent post shows it’s a very simple way of making your own free multipurpose webpage Make Your Own Free Multipurpose Web Page With Google Sites Make Your Own Free Multipurpose Web Page With Google Sites Read More or a family site. As the free website building tool is free and quick to build, you can also use it to plan out any content layout.

We have come to expect the unexpected from Google. What is that obscure Google service you think we should use, but don’t?

  1. Samsung mobiles
    October 4, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    are these still online... ?

  2. dana theteacher
    September 28, 2010 at 2:44 am

    3d Warehouse is pretty sweet! I'd never heard of it!

  3. itürkçe ingilizce çeviri
    September 12, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    There are some services that I've not heard untill now. Thank you for this great post.

  4. Black Friday Deals
    September 6, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Whoah! i haven't heard almost all of what has been listed in here. thanks for this post. Now im more convinced that Google is really awesome.

  5. The Transitionist
    August 31, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I have used Google Voice... it used to be Grand Central before purchased by Google. It is a great service. You get a phone number that is then routed to which ever phone you happen to be near. Voice mails are sent to you via email attachments and can be transcribed for you as well.

    Another new function is phone calling from your computer within Google. I tried this last night for the first time and found it to be VERY helpful.

  6. The Transitionist
    August 31, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    I have used Google Voice... it used to be Grand Central before purchased by Google. It is a great service. You get a phone number that is then routed to which ever phone you happen to be near. Voice mails are sent to you via email attachments and can be transcribed for you as well.

    Another new function is phone calling from your computer within Google. I tried this last night for the first time and found it to be VERY helpful.

  7. Will Radie
    August 26, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Aardvark is great with it's IM abilities.

    For those that want to see (and test) it all... Get the GOOGLE SHORTCUTS FireFox Addon! If you go into options and choose to add all the services, then simply clicking the button will show you EVERYTHING Google has to offer (with a brief description when you hover). Then just remove stuff you will never use.

    The rest are just a click away.

  8. Will Radie
    August 26, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Aardvark is great with it's IM abilities.

    For those that want to see (and test) it all... Get the GOOGLE SHORTCUTS FireFox Addon! If you go into options and choose to add all the services, then simply clicking the button will show you EVERYTHING Google has to offer (with a brief description when you hover). Then just remove stuff you will never use.

    The rest are just a click away.

  9. CDN
    August 20, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I think google site is a good option to use.

  10. russelltripp
    August 14, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Some more Google services that don't get enough (or any) attention, but are worth checking into (some of these are Labs projects, so they may or may not last) - Google Moderator (http://www.google.com/moderator) , Google Squared (http://www.google.com/squared), Google Fusion Tables (tables.googlelabs.com) - and yeah, Aardvark is great, I use it all the time, really wish it would get more traction.

  11. russelltripp
    August 14, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Some more Google services that don't get enough (or any) attention, but are worth checking into (some of these are Labs projects, so they may or may not last) - Google Moderator (www.google.com/moderator) , Google Squared (www.google.com/squared), Google Fusion Tables (tables.googlelabs.com) - and yeah, Aardvark is great, I use it all the time, really wish it would get more traction.

  12. GTM360
    August 8, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    As I'd pointed out in a recent post (http://sketharaman.com/blog/20... this is an excellent illustration of how outstanding success in one product category - Search in the case of Google - can overshadow many other valuable products in a company's portfolio.

  13. Allomarcel
    August 8, 2010 at 2:56 am

    Wow, I really like the Fast Flip. Thanks a lot.

  14. Cchausis
    August 8, 2010 at 1:19 am

    Add to this list: Custom Google Search! Great for teachers!!
    http://tinyurl.com/csetutorial

  15. Cchausis
    August 7, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Add to this list: Custom Google Search! Great for teachers!!
    http://tinyurl.com/csetutorial

  16. gmbh news
    August 7, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    wow, I never heard about some of those google services, thanks for sharing.

  17. George
    August 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Panoramio is a good tool.

  18. Anonymous
    August 7, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    I use Movie Showtimes all the time. Great service.

  19. Sravan008
    August 7, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    its a simply awesome guide ..I don't have a words to compliment U ...keep on posting these kind of useful things ..thank u very much

  20. Ryder
    August 7, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    My favorite Google app (which is not listed above) is offline. The have a toll free voice recognition directory assistance service that will give the address and/or connect you to the business you want to reach for free. It is a little buggy, but no complaints considering the cost. The number is 800 466-4111.

  21. Asdfaf
    August 7, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Google offers free 411 services by phone or txt messages

  22. kukadiya
    August 7, 2010 at 10:26 am

    a lot of people know about google is search. But thanks for sharing this list.
    Ak @ http://www.mobilebroadbandguru...

  23. Fhfgh
    August 7, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Where is Google Voice?

    • Saikat Basu
      August 7, 2010 at 9:54 am

      Though I know about it, I can't write on it because its US only. But do you use it often?

  24. Anonymous
    August 7, 2010 at 2:49 am

    Google suffers from a fate where they have a lot of resources to create new projects but can't effectively integrate them. This is the problem the formal Semantic Web is addressing, yet ironically Google isn't really participating in the well defined, public Semantic Web efforts; they opportunistically use standards like microformats, but are afraid to tie everything together across peer to peer sites in a great linked web.

    • Saikat Basu
      August 7, 2010 at 9:52 am

      It really does not take much effort to launch a product. The real stuff comes in when one has to promote and sustain it. Most of these projects could have been born out of the "20 percent" own time for its employees. Employees can work on developing their own ideas. Some go into Google Labs, some remain in beta, and some become great successes like Gmail, Orkut etc.

  25. Clyde
    August 7, 2010 at 12:10 am

    I couldn't live without GoogleGroups

  26. DaleM
    August 6, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Excellent post. Thank you.

  27. Anonymous
    August 6, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Seeing the insight of the author, maybe he should write an article titled " 10 google sites you would never use" or "10 google services that bombed" ( did i saw someone "wave").

    • Saikat Basu
      August 7, 2010 at 9:49 am

      Well, I just might. But the sites profiled in the articles are ones that are still very much on and not yet in a coma. Some of them are so well integrated in the usual Google searches that sometimes we don't pay them attention.

  28. Pervara Kapadia
    August 6, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Wow Saikat really good collection, thanks. Google Wave is one of the sad stories of a technology that is waving goodbye unfortunately. I have recently embedded this onto my blog lets see how i goes.

    Regards
    Pervara

  29. Pervara Kapadia
    August 6, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Wow Saikat really good collection, thanks. Google Wave is one of the sad stories of a technology that is waving goodbye unfortunately. I have recently embedded this onto my blog lets see how i goes.

    Regards
    Pervara

  30. Tina
    August 5, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    I often use Google's movie showtime service. It's great!

  31. Amaan 1996
    August 5, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Aardvark's actually pretty famous on the iPhone.

    • M2ca2010
      August 6, 2010 at 8:19 pm

      how ironic.. iphone infamy for a google site.. go figure rofl...

  32. timmyjohnboy
    August 5, 2010 at 7:02 am

    There were a few services that Google bought up in order to incorporate into Google Wave. i wonder what's going to come of them. Um, one of them (Write.ly) seems to have benefited Google Docs with some of the real-time stuff. Maybe Google's going to get Google Answers going again and use Aardvark to do it ;)

  33. Saikat Basu
    August 5, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Hi Tim,
    If you do publish a 'story' there, do let us know. Would love to look at it.

  34. G389556
    August 4, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    LOVE THAT FLIPPER

  35. Steve Campbell
    August 4, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Awesome article, Saikat. You've definitely reminded me of at least a couple services I'd forgotten about that I'll be using probably from now on. Definitely going to be checking out Google Fast Flip, too.

    • Saikat Basu
      August 5, 2010 at 4:18 am

      Thanks, Steve. Let us know how is it on your mobile.

  36. Marcus P
    August 4, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    love the Fast Clip!

  37. Mark O'Neill
    August 4, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Search Stories is great. You can use it for whatever purpose you want and Google also gets promoted. A win-win situation for everyone.

    I love 3D Warehouse and Aardvark. Been using both for quite some time. 3D Warehouse gives you 3D models that you can download into Sketchup (which Ryan will be writing about shortly).

    Aardvark (in my opinion) is hugely underrated because I feel Google is deliberately letting the whole project go to waste. It's as if they bought them to stop their momentum because before they were bought by Google, they were doing REALLY well. Now you hardly hear about them. Which is a huge crying shame in my opinion, because the service rocks.

  38. Mark O'Neill
    August 4, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Search Stories is great. You can use it for whatever purpose you want and Google also gets promoted. A win-win situation for everyone.

    I love 3D Warehouse and Aardvark. Been using both for quite some time. 3D Warehouse gives you 3D models that you can download into Sketchup (which Ryan will be writing about shortly).

    Aardvark (in my opinion) is hugely underrated because I feel Google is deliberately letting the whole project go to waste. It's as if they bought them to stop their momentum because before they were bought by Google, they were doing REALLY well. Now you hardly hear about them. Which is a huge crying shame in my opinion, because the service rocks.

    • Saikat Basu
      August 5, 2010 at 4:17 am

      Yes, I agree with you that Aardvark is an example of a great site that's 'dying a slow death' when you look at the huge potential of real time Q&A services today. IMHO, a lot of Q&A services have got distracted because of the success of Twitter even though both have different uses.

    • timmyjohnboy
      August 5, 2010 at 5:02 am

      There were a few services that Google bought up in order to incorporate into Google Wave. i wonder what's going to come of them. Um, one of them (Write.ly) seems to have benefited Google Docs with some of the real-time stuff. Maybe Google's going to get Google Answers going again and use Aardvark to do it ;)

      • Saikat Basu
        August 5, 2010 at 6:04 am

        But I guess if they had to do it, they would have done it already. I always think that it's better to shut down a service or 'Archive' it, instead of letting it stay on in a state of coma.

  39. Aibek
    August 4, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Oh and, nice post Saikat!

    • Saikat Basu
      August 5, 2010 at 3:57 am

      Thanks, Aibek. Google is still a maze and the single most reason for that I believe is the share of time all Google developers get to work on their own projects. That's where all these innovative services come from. I think it's called 20 percent time. It's a great idea to incorporate that into our own lives.

  40. timmyjohnboy
    August 4, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    One of the services I haven't tried is Search Stories. It looks just about cool enough to giver a try. It seems like an ingenious way for Google to advertise using it's users. Still cool though.

    • Aibek
      August 4, 2010 at 9:02 pm

      I haven't even heard about the service before this post. Just as the title says '... sevices that don't get the limelight' :-)

    • Saikat Basu
      August 5, 2010 at 3:52 am

      Hi Tim,
      If you do publish a 'story' there, do let us know. Would love to look at it.

    • Beatibit
      August 5, 2010 at 7:04 pm

      I also like the Search Stories idea, if only for a web site lead generator. However, the "Images" selection from the drop down menu never actually shows the images once the story plays. Too bad. Still, it's an interesting idea.

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