Welcome to the Googleverse Part I
Hello everyone! When it comes to the Internet, it’s pretty much Google’s world (and we’re all just livin’ in it). Most of us are probably pretty familiar with Google’s search engine, as well as apps like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google Documents, and Google+. We may even use Google Analytics, Google Shopping, or Google Scholar, and we’ve probably seen Google’s driverless cars and Google Glass in the headlines. But there is so much more.
Google has a lot of products that we don’t often think or hear of (or that I, for one, just didn’t know were standalone services). For example, Google Suggest, the service which guesses what you’re searching for as you type, is responsible for such gems as these Google poems.
There are so many Google products, in fact, that this post will be split in half. Below are the products that I’ve sorted into categories of Financial, Productivity, and Social; next week I’ll post the Communications, Techie, Connecting to Your Community, and Stuff That is Just Cool categories.
Side note: products that have been discontinued are not included in the list, though some discontinued products are included in this (relatively complete) Wikipedia list of Google products.
Welcome to the Googleverse. Let’s go.
Google Finance tracks business headlines, stocks (in real time), national market trends, and more. You can use the service to track your own portfolios.
Google Wallet stores your credit and debit card information, coupons, gift cards, and other shopping-related data. You can use the service to pay online or in physical stores, or to send money via email.
Google Grants is the nonprofit version of AdWords, Google’s online advertising tool. Through in-kind donations from AdWords of $10,000 per month, nonprofit organizations can use Google Grants to promote their mission and collect donations.
Google Fusion Tables is a web-based data visualization tool that integrates with Google Drive. Users can upload their own data, collaborate with others, publish their creations, embed on websites, download, and update data at any time.
Google Drawings integrates with Google Drive to create diagrams and other doodles that can be edited collaboratively with others in real time using Gchat. Drawings can be shared in the same way as Google Docs, and downloaded in a number of formats (PDF, JPEG, etc).
Google Forms integrates with Google Drive to create surveys, quizzes, or other forms that can feed directly into a spreadsheet.
Google Keep is a note-taking app similar to many others. Organize notes, lists, or images in a clean and fuss-free interface, as well as color-coding them. Keep also integrates with Google Drive, so it syncs across devices.
Google Desktop searches your PC for files, emails, Web pages, and more, the same way you use Google to search the Internet.
Google News aggregates news from across the web into a single feed based on your preferences. News is grouped by local, national, global, and topic, and you can set up email alerts for stories featuring certain keywords. Local weather is even displayed in a sidebar on the right-hand side.
Google Alerts is the “alert” feature mentioned above in conjunction with Google News. It’s also available as a standalone feature which you can customize according to how often alerts should be delivered, type of result (news, blogs, discussions, etc), and whether you want all results or “only the best results.”
Google Reverse Image Search allows you to search for other images similar to one you have or found. Drag and drop into the search box, upload an image, copy and paste a URL, or download a browser extension that allows you to right click and reverse-search an image. This can be useful if you’re using stock images, for example, to find out how frequently that same image has already been used. It can also be useful in situations when you don’t remember what the plant or building in your vacation photo is.
Google Bookmarks is a free bookmark storage service, separate from your browser’s bookmarking function. It’s cloud-based, and you can add labels, tags, and notes to the sites you bookmark.
Google Public Data Explorer displays a good deal of publicly available data from institutions like the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and Eurostat. Data is interactive and can be displayed as line graphs, bar graphs, maps, or cross sectional graphs.
Google Refine is an open source desktop app for cleaning up “messy” data and making it usable.
Trendalyzer is a piece of data visualization software that comes pre-loaded with statistical and historical information about the development of countries around the world and animates statistics. It uses an interactive bubble chart to display five variables: numeric values for X and Y axes, bubble size and color, and a time variable.
Google Currents is a iPhone and Android app for following publications and blogs in a magazine format.
Google Scribe is a text completion service, much like Google Suggestion, except that it works anywhere on the web. It’s downloadable for use in Chrome.
Google SketchUp is an easy-to-use 3D modeling program for architectural, civil, mechanical, film, and video game design. There are free and paid versions.
Google Takeout allows users to export their own Google-hosted data in .zip files so that it can be downloaded. As of now, the services included in Takeout are Blogger, Google+ (Circles, Pages, and posts), Google Buzz (no longer exists), Google Contacts, Google Drive, Google Latitude, Google Profile, Google Reader sites, Google Voice settings, Picasa albums, and YouTube videos.
Google Latitude is a mobile app which allows the user to share certain details about their current location with certain people, via Google Maps. Users can choose, for example, to share their exact location, or only the city, and can also manually enter locations.
Google Schemer is a Google+ -integrated service built to help you find things to do on the weekends and connect to others with similar interests. “Schemes” can include anything from “Take mixology course at Bourbon and Branch” to “Relive Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in Chicago” to “Surf sand dunes at White Sands.” Once you’ve done something, you can check it off and let your friends know.
Picasa is Google’s photo organization and sharing site. It’s integrated with Google + and you can tag Google+ contacts in your photos, as well as doing some minor photo editing.
Google Music is a cloud-based music player available through the Google Play Store on Android devices. It integrates with Google+ and contains a music store (with many free and cheaper-than-iTunes songs) as well as hosting for up to 20,000 songs that the user already has. Music can be played while online or stored for offline playback.
Google Profile is used to provide public information about you to other Google users and anyone who searches for your name. It’s optional, but allows you to promote yourself and link to websites you’d like to show.
That’s all we have for now – stay tuned for Part II next week! In the meantime, tell us about any products I missed in the comments section!