Not Just Search: 10+ Google Services You Have to Know About

Chris Hoffman 25-01-2013

We all know Google is more than just a search engine The Best Google Search Cheat Sheet: Tips, Operators, and Commands to Know These special Google search tips, operators, and commands will help you narrow down your search results and always get the exact results you're looking for. Read More : 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 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. 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 How to Read a Little and Learn a Lot From Your Email Inbox There are many excellent newsletters to choose from. But which are the ones that will make a difference to your inbox? Try your learning habit on these 20 picks we have compiled for you. 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 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 Google Maps allows you to create custom maps and share them. Here's how to use Google Maps to collaborate with others. Read More .

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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+ A Guide to Google Tools: Tips and Tricks You Can't Live Without Find tips, tricks, and hacks that'll help you make better use of Google tools you already use. The guide covers five main Google Services. Read More .)

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Google’s Hangouts are an amazing way to video conference 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 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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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 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.


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.


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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 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 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 .

google services URL Shortener

If you need a URL shortener 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 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 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!

Related topics: Google, Google Hangouts, Google Trends.

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  1. Andy Pretzsch
    February 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I started using igoolge again. The dashboard helps me to remember what I should do on a dayly basis. Opening websites while starting chrome made me nervous about what ammount of things I should / want(ed) to do.
    One thing that I really miss is an Windows / Androit task manager. So I have to use ANY.DO. It's really simple but I hope Goolge will offer an app like that. With tasks, reminders,... AND 'subfolders' not to lose the overview.

  2. Randy Menard
    February 13, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Since having dropped Facebook, g+ is now my main focus. Expecially since the communities are specific to the interest and not a bunch of flaming.

    The more I delve into Google and ALL of the services (Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Maps, G+, Reader, News, etc.) the more I am liking a single place to do and find all my online activities.

  3. kura
    January 28, 2013 at 9:05 am

    I am using many google service at the moment, google reader, mail, drive. Sometimes I also use, google maps, translate, url shortener.. oh yeah, youtube is another google product isn't it? O_o

    My newly used google service is google calendar. My phone doesn't have any google calendar app (it's an old symbian phone) and the SMS reminder feature is just perfect!

  4. Paul JR Bastings
    January 27, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Google has much more tools / apps, then only these 10.
    I like the most the Chrome Browser.

    Map with Streetview is for me traveling without leaving my own home.
    The Google Translator has make it for me possible to become friends from all over the world.

    and so i can go on and on.
    The Google tools has open a new world for me.
    I can self not life without Google & this is true !

  5. Francisco de Gusmão
    January 27, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Very good, it only makes me even more impressed with Google and its brilliant ideas, thought I knew some of them aready. Thanks

  6. Dave Parrack
    January 26, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Google has more layers of awesomeness than most people realize. Many of these are new to me, and I thought I was on top of it all.

    • dragonmouth
      January 27, 2013 at 9:05 pm

      "Google has more layers of awesomeness than most people realize."
      Google has insinuated more tentacles into our lives than most people realize.

    • Chris Hoffman
      February 3, 2013 at 1:03 am

      This just shows how many little projects Google has. Bear in mind that they've been shutting down and merging lesser-known projects for over a year now, and there are still things even us tech bloggers don't know about.

  7. Keith Swartz
    January 26, 2013 at 3:38 am

    One word: WOW! Thanks for putting this together.

  8. Kimberly Noh
    January 26, 2013 at 2:15 am

    As a Small business owner. I am trying to take my world to Google and move away from Microsoft. My business plan is to provide a paperless virtual Bookkeeping Practice. I am almost there. I have a virtual server (thank you Insynq) I have an online filing cabinet (thank you Smartvault). I use remote scan. I have google apps for Business (Have no idea how to use it.) OOOPs got of topic sorry. Anyway I think using the above mentioned items will allow me to take further action into my movement. I will keep you posted. You keep me trained what a great team.

  9. Bumferry Hogart
    January 25, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Since moving away from Hotmail (when it changed to outlook) I have found myself using Google more and more. I'm now at the point where Chrome,blogger, gmail, goolgle sites and G+ are becoming the primary points of interaction online for me.
    I will be trying as many of these options above as I can. I can instantly think of using maps for work (working in the tourist industry) will be really helpful for my visitors. Thank for this.
    Will report back when I had a chance to fiddle and try them out!

    • Akshay Zade
      January 28, 2013 at 8:08 am

      No offense, but why would you move away from Hotmail just because they moved to outlook? Outlook seems to be a way better and has same functionality. Moreover, you can ditch outlook altogether and switch back to Hotmail if you really want that!

      • Chris Hoffman
        February 3, 2013 at 1:02 am

        I actually agree. I'm a big Google user and I use Gmail, Chrome, Docs, Drive, Calendar, and a million other Google services.

        However,'s interface is pretty nice. I'm not switching away from Gmail, but looks nicer than Hotmail.