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google servicesWe all know Google is more than just a search engine: It’s an suite web-based applications and services for everything from email to calendaring, document editing, and file storage A Look At Google Drive, Google's Long-Awaited Cloud Storage Service A Look At Google Drive, Google's Long-Awaited Cloud Storage Service After more than 6 years of rumors and a long-ago cancellation because "files are so 1990", Google Drive is finally here. Coming with 5 GB of free storage space, a Dropbox-like desktop sync client, and... Read More . It’s even an online media store Google TV Gains Access To Google Play Music, Movies, And TV Shows [Updates] Google TV Gains Access To Google Play Music, Movies, And TV Shows [Updates] Google's efforts to take over every form of media and entertainment have taken another big step forward with the announcement that Google Play movies, TV shows, and music will be available on Google TV. This... Read More . However, that isn’t all Google can do. There are quite a few useful but lesser-known Google services you should know about.

From analyzing your Google account activity to holding video conferences, tracking your friends’ locations, and finding things to do near you, there’s something everybody can make use of here.

Account Activity

Account Activity is a feature you can enable for your Google account. After signing up, Google will generate a password-protected report each month and email it to you. The report contains insights about how much you used Google – how many emails you sent and received, what you searched for, and so on.

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Gmail Meter

Gmail Meter is a similar tool that’s focused on your Gmail account alone. How many emails do you receive, who emails you, and on what day of the week do you get the most emails? Gmail Meter can help you answer these – and other – questions about how you use your Gmail account. We’ve written instructions for enabling Gmail Meter Use Gmail Meter To Gain Interesting Insights About Your E-mail Habits Use Gmail Meter To Gain Interesting Insights About Your E-mail Habits It makes sense to analyze our emailing habits and try to learn something from them, and indeed, a number of Gmail analysis tools have recently popped up. We’ve seen Google’s Activity Report tool that offers... Read More in the past.

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My Maps

My Maps is one of the many awesome features built into Google Maps Get There Faster - 10 Google Maps & Navigation Tips Get There Faster - 10 Google Maps & Navigation Tips Google Maps is still the most powerful mapping service ever, despite what Apple might say. Whether you’re using Google Maps in a browser on your desktop or an app on your mobile phone, Google Maps... Read More . Using this feature, you can create your own maps – complete with custom routes and places – and save them. These maps can be shared with others – you can even collaborate on a map with other people How To Create Shared Collaborative Google Maps How To Create Shared Collaborative Google Maps Read More .

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Schemer

Google’s Schemer is a website and mobile app that helps you find things to do near you. You can see things your Google+ contacts want to do and have done, so it’s customized to you (at least, it is if you use Google+.)

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Hangouts

Google’s Hangouts are an amazing way to video conference 5 Reasons Google Hangouts Are Cooler Than Skype For Video Chats 5 Reasons Google Hangouts Are Cooler Than Skype For Video Chats Hangouts is Google's take on chat rooms. Like many times before, Google has turned a good idea into something incredibly useful, while preserving simplicity and ease of use and thus making it fantastic. In this... Read More . If you’ve avoided using Hangouts because you don’t want to sign up for Google+, there’s some good news – you can now hang out right in Gmail. Best of all, you can video conference with up to 10 people and it’s all free – to video conference with up to 10 people in Skype, the nearest competitor, you’d need a premium account. Here at MakeUseOf, we use Hangouts for our meetings Tips On Planning & Holding Effective Meetings With Google Hangouts Tips On Planning & Holding Effective Meetings With Google Hangouts With today's Internet technology, holding online meetings can be both efficient and cost-effective especially if you pre-plan them and make use of time-saving tools. For the last couple of months I've participated in online meetings... Read More .

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Takeout

Compared to other web services like Facebook, Google takes a refreshing approach to your data: your data is yours and Google makes it easy to download it, whether you want to quit Google or you just want a local backup copy. Google Takeout allows you to easily download the data from a variety of different Google web services.

For services that aren’t part of Google Takeout, check out Google’s official Data Liberation Front website for instructions on downloading your data. Your Gmail emails are the hardest thing to download – we’ve covered creating a backup copy of your Gmail How to Download & Back Up Your Gmail & Other Google Data How to Download & Back Up Your Gmail & Other Google Data We’re storing more and more data in the cloud these days. Email, contacts, documents, photos, calendar entries - you name it, it’s on Google’s servers. But what happens when the services we rely on go... Read More in the past.

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Zeitgeist & Hot Trends

Google Zeitgeist is an annual report Google puts together. For the most recent report, Google analyzed 1.2 trillion searches in 136 languages to look at what the world searched for in 2012.

Hot Trends is sort of like Zeitgeist, but more current. It will tell you what people are searching for today – you don’t have to wait a year.

Latitude

Google Latitude is a location-tracking tool. Enable it on your smartphone and Google will keep track of where you are – you can link up with your friends and always see where they are nearby on a map. You can also use this feature to keep a log of where you’ve been. Latitude has other uses, too 5 Uses For Google Latitude You Might Not Have Considered 5 Uses For Google Latitude You Might Not Have Considered Google Latitude is a location-tracking app from the king of search engines that keeps track of your whereabouts, with the option of sharing with certain people. Whilst there are obvious considerations to make before sharing... Read More .

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Google Public DNS

Google Public DNS is a DNS service you can use instead of your Internet service provider’s DNS servers. If your ISP’s servers are flaky, try changing your DNS servers How To Change Your DNS Servers & Improve Internet Security How To Change Your DNS Servers & Improve Internet Security Imagine this - you wake up one beautiful morning, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and then sit down at your computer to get started with your work for the day. Before you actually get... Read More to Google Public DNS. Google Public DNS also promises increased speed – although this will vary depending on your location and how fast your ISP’s DNS servers are. It has some bonus security features that may not yet be enabled on your ISP’s DNS servers, too. Google Public DNS is similar to OpenDNS Block Inappropriate Websites With OpenDNS's FamilyShield Service Block Inappropriate Websites With OpenDNS's FamilyShield Service I think it’s safe to say that for as long as the Internet has been around, there have always been inappropriate websites - and I’m not just talking about adult entertainment! Think of all the... Read More .

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Goo.gl URL Shortener

If you need a URL shortener Try Out 10 Different URL Shorteners That Give You Addon Benefits Try Out 10 Different URL Shorteners That Give You Addon Benefits Just how differently can you shorten a uniform resource locator? Well, the shortening system is pretty much a run-of-the-mill job, but the trick seems to be in the extras that come with the shortening service.... Read More , you can use Google’s URL Shortener. It’s used as part of the MakeUseOf Newsletter Introducing the NEW MakeUseOf Newsletter: Get Full Articles & Exclusive Tips in Your Inbox! Introducing the NEW MakeUseOf Newsletter: Get Full Articles & Exclusive Tips in Your Inbox! Today we’re relaunching our newsletter, and it’s going to be better than ever! Five days a week, we’ll be sending a full article directly to your inbox -- plus exclusive tips you won’t find on... Read More to create nice short links that won’t be split over multiple lines for the plain-text version of our email newsletter.

Bonus: Ingress

Google’s Ingress is an alternate-reality massively multiplayer online game Step Into An Alternate Reality Universe With Google’s Massively Multi-player Online Game Called Ingress [Updates] Step Into An Alternate Reality Universe With Google’s Massively Multi-player Online Game Called Ingress [Updates] Google has just gone and launched Ingress as a free mobile app. Ingress is in closed beta right now, though you can request an invite at the website which is enticing enough. If you have... Read More with a twist – you have to physically move around the world to collect objects and complete objectives. It’s in a closed beta at the moment, but the idea is super cool.

Are there any other lesser-known Google services you love? Leave a comment and share the hidden gems you’ve found!

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