Whether you’re sending an email in Gmail, finding directions to that fancy restaurant using Google Maps, or pretending to be a part of the latest micro blogging craze with Google Buzz, the G-word is everywhere. Well, it turns out that there is also a whole library of Google web applications and services stacked up behind the everyday services you may have come to take for granted.
Most of the mega company’s services are either full-blown web applications readily available to the public, or secretly tucked away behind a door in the Google Labs. However, even those wearing their Public Beta scrubs are readily available to play with. I’ve gone and hand-picked through some Google services you may not have heard of before, but can definitely benefit from.
Traveling is already an extravagant endeavor. It’s a better idea to pocket the money you’d spend on travel books that will inevitably become outdated by the time you return from vacation, and simply invest some time in Google’s City Tours. For example, if you’re on your way to visit Berlin, Germany, type in a starting location (like the address of where you’re staying) and City Tours will map out a route for a walking tour around the area you’re stationed. http://citytours.googlelabs.com/
For the web coder with frequent bouts of brain freeze, Google’s Code Search is truly a lifesaver. If you’re writing CSS or attempting to bypass Flash with a very concise HTML 5 tag, you can cross reference any line of code by copying and pasting it into the search engine. http://www. google.com/codesearch
If you’re always on the go and out of the loop, a visit to Google’s Fast Flip should do the trick. It does exactly as it advertises: view screenshots of the most important news outlets on the web all at once. Or for a more refined selection of news based on topic, type in a search term and Fast Flip will retrieve a number of the most relevant sources from a predefined list of sources. http://fastflip.googlelabs.com/
You may share more similarities with your friends than you think. No, I don’t mean interests and hobbies; we’re talking about eye shapes, nose bumps, freckles and moles. Google’s People Hopper proves that everyone shares a little something by “morphing” your profile image with a friend’s and displaying the transformation breakdown, picture-by-picture, in a neat spectrum graph.
People Hopper http://people-hopper.googlelabs.com/
Realtime Search lets you see up-to-the-second social updates, news articles and blog posts about hot topics around the world . Google real-time search updates as stuff is happening around the Web – for example, live tweets, Yahoo Answers, news articles and Web pages now stream in on the actual result pages for your query. It works on mobile too. http://www.google.com/realtime