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Useful Google URLs and Services

by Mrinal Saha
Google Android

There are many Google services. Some of them we use daily (like Gmail and YouTube etc. ) while there are others that we don’t even know if it exists.

So here is a complete list of some of those less known, yet useful Google services.

#1 Google alerts

Get automatic alerts on a certain topic. Say you want to track everything related to a company, then simply add the company’s name as a keyword and set an alert. You will get an overview of everything related to that company in your inbox.

Useful you want to monitor a brand or research on a topic. Though, I have to mention that the results are not very accurate. At least not what you expect from Google.

#2 Google history

Google stores every search query you made or every website you have visited while you were logged into your account. And unlike the browser history, this is platform independent, and it remembers all your history from the day you created your account.

YouTube has the same history thing, which you can find here.

Update: If you own an Android and use Google voice search, then there is history for that as well. Google store every voice search you made with Google now.

These services are useful if you don’t remember the name of the website you visited once or the video you watched a few months back. But if you don’t like to keep your history in the cloud then there is the option to permanently delete it as well.

#3 Google Ads Preference

Google creates a virtual profile of every user based on their browsing activity. This helps them to serve you better (reads targeted) ads. This virtual profile consists of your estimated age, demography, and your interest, etc.

However, if you don’t want Google to show you Ads based on interest then you easily turn it OFF. Though you’ll still see ads it won’t be based on your previous browsing history and location.

Me personally, I like to keep the interest-based ads turn OFF, this way I see less relevant apps, and less temptation to buy that product.

#4 Google trends

Find out what is trending in the world or what people are searching the most. For a particular topic, it’ll show you the number of people searching for it on Google. It also reveals their locations, age and time graph.

This tool is useful if you are into research work. For instance, you can use it to check the market demand for your new startup idea.

To see the most popular search queries in real time, use trends visualizer. You can also filter it with countries. Useful and looks good.

#5 Advanced image search

Search images with advanced filter options like exact keyword, image resolution, location, etc. You can also use it to find royalty free images on Google, by setting usage rights to — free to use even commercially.

Pro Tip: To do a quick reverse image search on Google Chrome, simply right-click on any image and press ‘s’ key on your keyboard. Save a lot of time.

#6 Android Device Manager

Lost your Android? Well if the device is connected to the internet then you can find its GPS location with the help of Android device manager. You can also ring it or lock it directly from your phone.

Pro Tip: To quickly find your Android, type in ‘where is my phone’ on Google.

#7 Android Location History

Like Google web history, this stores your location by tracking your smartphone.

If your Android connected to the internet anywhere, then it’ll get marked it on the maps. So, if you don’t remember where you were in 2 months ago, use this.

This history is private i.e. only you can see it. And if you want you can delete a portion or the entire location history. It’s up to you. So that’s a relief.

Now, there is an option to pause the location history on the web page itself. However, if you would like to turn it OFF completely (recommended), then go to Google setting app on your Android > Location > Location History OFF.

#8 Inactive Account Manager

Google shuts down an account if it’s not used for more than nine months. This helps them to limit unnecessary accounts since many people simply create a new account if they don’t remember the password of the old one. And this is good.

But what if you are not able to access your account for nine months. Or God forbids, you died in an accident. What will happen to your Google account now?

Well, this where Inactive account manager comes in, this service lets you add a trusted contact (other Google user) who will have access to your account after a set period of inactivity. So basically, it’s like digital insurance of your Google account.

What happens to your Social media account when you die

#9 Google Play Setting

Most of us a new phone (Android) every two years. And what happens to the older one? Well, it’s kept in some shelves eating dust for rest its life.

But, when we install Apps from the desktop version of Play Store, you’ll still see the name of the old device, even though you don’t use them.

So, by going to PlayStore settings, you can remove the device forever or even give a new nickname to your existing device.

#10 Google Password Manager

Do you know Google also has a dedicated password manager? We use this service all the time, but this works so smoothly that we don’t even know if it exists.

For instance, if I choose to save Netflix password on my desktop, then these login credential will be uploaded to cloud (obviously in encrypted format). Now, whenever I try to login to my Netflix account on any device (it works for Android apps), Google will auto-fill the username and password. All you need to use the same Google account.

Now, most of the time we don’t have any direct use of this service. But say, you are using a friends computer, and you forget login credentials for some websites, then you can quickly go this link and see the stored password.

#11 Google Photos

Google Photos has been there for a while now. But the ordinary people are still not aware of this feature, even though this service is made especially for them.

So basically, Google Photo is a free cloud storage service where anyone can upload unlimited photos and videos. Yes, there is no limit. Which means you can upload every single photo you have taken in your lifetime and access it from anywhere.

Simply go to this link, click on the upload button and drag and drop all your photos and videos. There is a slight reduction in quality, but it’s not noticeable. And yes, your photos are private, i.e. only you can see it.

#12 Google Takeout

Like every other service, Google also gives you an option to download all your data i.e.– emails, Hangout, blogs on blogger, calendar, contacts or almost everything you have uploaded to the Google server.

I use this service to download all my YouTube videos or Google photos so that I have another separate physical backup.

#13 No Country Redirect

By default, Google redirects you to a local version of the Google page. Like Google.co.in for India or google.co.uk for the UK, and so on and so forth. For most of the part, the local version of the search engine is useful.

But say, I want to browse Google with no country restriction. To do that simply go to google.com/ncr and type in your query. And that’s it from now on you’ll use the standard Google version with no local results.

And anytime you want to go back, go to the google.com homepage and there at the bottom of the screen; you’ll see the option to switch to the local version of Google.

#14 Google input tool

Everyone knows about Google translate, it a popular online language translation service by Google. But this Google input is slightly different.

Unlike Google translate, it only changes the format of language while the meaning is still the same. I know, this is hard to explain in text, so you’ll have to check it yourself.

Frankly speaking, I can not think of any use of this service is everyday life. But this is a powerful tool that can come in handy something. So you should know it.

#15 Google books

Google books are the collection of millions of books that are under public domain or whose author has given permission to upload the complete book. But even, if the book is under copyright, chances are you can still read a part of it or preview it.

So, let say you want to buy a book, but before that, you want to preview it, then try Google books. If the book was written a few years ago, then you can find the complete version there. Useful, if you are bibliophile like me.


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