If you thought Google was all about a simple search engine that will just fetch the result for your searches, you have overlooked its abilities in all manner. You couldn’t be wronger. There is more to this search engine that what you may have already known. Hence, the objective of writing this article is to unlock some of the Google secrets you weren’t aware of. So what makes this classy search engine a box of mystery? The upright answer would be the simplicity of its operation. Lacking a labyrinth knobs and in-your-face flick switches that control the usability of the search engine will leave most average users guessing if it’s just a simple question and answer tool? That assumption is sufficient for most users to not wanting to dig into the barrage of features that is kept unexplored and veiled underneath the four colored Internet giant. Contesting for answers in a plethora of blogs is almost unnecessary as we will tell you exactly what you need know. So, as we know search is only one aspect of Google, the rest is gold that you will be mining after reading this article. The tricks you will learn from here will help you use some Google’s iconic features in an efficient manner. Here are some of the other Google products that have secret features hidden all over – Gmail, Google Drive, Maps and Google News.
Am sure nobody is unfamiliar with the age old webmail from Google, the most reliable webmail service that has been successfully accumulating new users since its launch in April 2004. It was initially launched as a beta version that was then upgraded to invitees only. It wasn’t until 2007 when it was officially available to all users with no limitations.
This service from Google has up to 100 million users (from the previous estimates). According to the figures of 2015, it is known that the number has exceeded expectations and was closing in on the 1 billion mark. But, ironically most of the Gmail account holders do not know the advanced facts and functions about using the Google product.
Sending A Restricted File Type
You may have known that Google forbids you from sending a (.exe) file as it carries the risk of a virus or malware threat. But there is always a workaround. You can use a file-sharing website to upload the (.exe file) and the link to that location can be sent to the recipients.
Use Of Filtered Search
Still looking for a message that you received a long time ago? Stop scrolling the endless list of messages! If you have not permanently deleted, if you remember any keyword from the message, you can start the query in the search box, and you will certainly find the message. The search parameters are the names of the recipient, the text from the message, or any details you can relate to that message.
Haven’t You Started Starring Yet?
When you receive important messages, you may find it convenient that the message is marked in a distinct manner to identify them much easily. So having a different color than marking them yellow is more practical. Go to the settings and under the general section you can click the star button and select the colors to cycle the next time you set a message as starred.
Cut Down The Extras In A Email Reply
The email thread can be extremely annoying and can take away the best part of messaging itself. It is possible that you lose the context of the message when there is a longer thread. You can avoid the hassle by just highlighting the important text from the message and then hitting reply, rather than replying directly. It will quote those highlighted text and in your future reply messages.
If you still have not started using the shortcuts in Gmail, you seriously have not caught up with the changing times. It leads to problem free operation of the webmail service. Why wait when you can make the most of it now? Go to settings and activate the keyboard shortcuts if you haven’t already.
Sign Out Remotely
Rather than calling it convenience, you can consider it as a security feature. If you have necessary reasons to believe your account is left opened at your friend’s place or a public access point, you can quickly access your account and sign-out from all logged in devices. You will have to reenter the login details to access your account. The feature will also list all the activity logs.
Formatting The Text
It is easier to format the text in the Gchat, all you have to do is surround your text with an asterisk and type the attributes. If you insist on making the text bold, you can type bold between asterisks (*bold*), to add a strikethrough you need to represent the text as (-strikethrough-), and italics are represented as (_italics_)
Identifying Direct Emails Meant For You
It can get quite distracting when you are part of a group, and you receive messages that beep throughout the day. To make a distinction of the messages that were exclusively meant for you and the others, you can opt to activate the ‘Personal Message Indicator’ in the General settings. If you see one arrow, you will know it was a group message while the double arrow is an indication of a message that is meant for you.
Remote Activation Of Gmail
If you are flabbergasted if such a technology even exists, you still clearly fall out of the league. The Remote service allows accessing your mailbox and performing activities without needing an active internet connection. But, you must download the app to your Chrome browser to be able to use this feature.
Google maps were one of the critical services by the Google that boost its fame globally. The service was launched in the year 2005, a decade ago. It still continues to enjoy as the most popular mapping service in the world. Thanks to Google for rolling out newer features that push the app a step closer to its users. However, the maps also have some hidden features or rather tricks that will benefit you in many ways.
Remove Side Column
If you are among many users who do not favor staring at distractions on the screen while viewing the maps, you may clearly minimize that extra distracting column. On the right side of the URL icon, you will see a small arrow when you click that icon the column will be minimized leaving the map intact.
Adjust Your Route
Although the point of using map is to follow it, you can also adjust the map to your destination based on the convenience and peak time traffic. If you feel that your default path is taking you longer to reach the destination due to rush hour, you can tap and drag the route to modify the route. It will allow you choose an alternate path. Maybe you will save time.
When you have a barrage of information of standby to assist you and to keep you well informed, you can layer your maps and details such as – traffic, terrain, inclination, etc. You will be able to reach all these layers by hovering over a box located on the top right side corner. You can navigate through the options using arrow button. But be warned the feature is location specific, and not all countries support that feature.
Drag And Zoom
Unfortunately, most of the Google users are unaware of the existence of Google labs, thanks to Google for keeping that feature snuck inside a hard to reach area. But, just in case you have been lucky enough to find one or hire a geek to locate it for you, you will find yourself excited about all the features you can toy with. You will soon realize Google isn’t all about plain search box where you feed your search. The drag and zoom feature will allow the user to draw a box on the map, and you will have to click the magnifying box beneath the search button to allow you to zoom. The smaller the size of the box, the further inside you will be able to zoom.
This one is exclusively for those who are bored! If you are using Google Maps, there is hidden or rather an unexplored feature that allows you to measure the regular distance between two points. All you need to do is click the ruler that runs on the bottom corner (right side) and measure the distance between two points. The units can be either in feet or meter depending on your choice. Wait! That isn’t the fun part. The fun begins when you are allowed to make comparison with let’s say… an American football field, or Olympic swimming pools and even cooler, light years. It may seem like a straightforward answer to how geeks have fun, but if you can fit in, you will find yourself having fun with these options too. If all that feature sounds over hyped, you can still measure the distance between two points (the normal way).
With 240 million users on the tow, it is one of the best online data banks that let users stash any data formats so they can access it on the move. The service was rolled out in the year 2012. The cloud has soon become the hot favourites for business and personal uses. They are simple, and one of the best means to streamline the data management. Again, this service has some hidden features that make its usage much fabulous and interesting if you knew how. Here are some tricks you didn’t know you could do with Google Drive.
It would be surprising if only Google decided not to include keyboard shortcuts for their Google Drive services. From the cog icon, you will be able to dial into keyboard functions. By clicking the element, you will be able to adjust the keyboard value multiple functions.
Access Revision History
If you are using a document editor (online or offline), it is extremely unlikely to find one without the file revision history feature. It is a safety feature that will help reset the document in case you find any previous corrections more desirable. In case you are one among multiple members working on the same document simultaneously, you will see that each member’s corrections are indicated as colour coded.
Attach Drive Files To Your Email
Google has notched up the convenience, by including the feature to help the user add a file or document directly from the Google Drive while trying to mail the recipient. It works by pushing the paperclip icon to attach the file or document. You will be prompted to include the file from the drive or a folder on the device. However, this option will be inaccessible if you are using an older version of the Gmail.
Here Are Quick Facts You Never Knew About Google Drive
- Drive allows the user to sync the drive documents and files to their Apple Mac. It is identical to the drop box that is used by the Google except it is exclusive for Mac users.
- When I say fully synced, it is synchronized in all possible ways. Your documents will be shareable even on the social media sites directly. You will be able to share the files directly on the Facebook or Twitter by just including the link to the location of the file or document.
- Using a third party utility like Cafepress, you can create custom mugs and t-shirts or a perfect holiday gift. The Spreadshirt Designer will help you perform the similar features using the Google Chrome Web store. Even faxing the documents from the Drive is easier. You just need to use HelloFax or Wappwolf Automator
- There is a separate list of keyboard shortcuts for Mac users listed in the MacWorld article for easier navigation into the Google Drive.
- If you thought Google Drive was capable of processing documents in English alone, you are wrong! The Drive is capable of processing more than 65 languages. If that doesn’t appeal you, nothing else will.
- The drive allows the users to collect the data via a personalized form. Also called as “Google Forms.”
- Table of Contents is simple and straight forward
- The Drive also has a Slides section where you can edit your presentation.
- If you don’t think the recipient has a Google Drive you can still make the document accessible via the QuickOffice that can be easily downloaded for Android and iOS.
- The Drive offers easy accessibility feature that lets the users search the document for a specific keyword or name of the creator
- Have no patience to scroll through the list? Fret not! All you need is the name of the recipient or the sender. When you are unable to remember the name of the file you are looking for, but you promptly remember the name of the sender, you can enter the name and hit search. Presto! Your document is pulled up front.
- The best part of the Google services are the latter mentioned method of retrieving the document or file also works with Gmail.
- Google Chrome users will find more convenience moving documents to the drive by use of an extension. Feature downloadable on Chrome Web Store.
- Here is the sweetest part of using the Google Drive, you can work with your team simultaneously with effectively coordinated communication. The Drive features a chat service that lets the team members working on a document to communicate. This avoids the hassle of downloading and using another chat service.
- While working on a document, it is hard to open a new tab and to check for a source code. So, to keep matters simple you have to click on Tools and select Research menu. It will show the research pane on the right within a document. The purpose of the pane is to keep the matters simple and convenient. It’ll help you cite and retrieve the content. If that weren’t handy enough, you would be able to drag and drop images right into the document. This feature is pure gold to many researchers and students working on research papers where you need to provide the right citation. Also, if you intend to send the document to the professor after the completion of the assignment, then it becomes mandatory to verify the quality of the document.
Launched in the year 2002, it is one of Google service that aggregates global news. It sources top trending news that have been on the internet for up to 30 days. The news is streamed from as many as 4500 sources. The majority of the coverage is in The English language. But, as of 2015 it supports up to 35 languages from around the world, and its service is undiminishing and throws a challenge to other news aggregators. Google News is used to perform normal searches that will fetch you the results from local and international media. It acts as a news portal. But, if you are unhappy with the articles are you are subscribed to, then you can customize your preferences to get the best from their services.
Look for a cog on the top right-hand corner that is used to adjust the slider for selecting a diverse number of topics. It will determine how they are meant to appear. Also, you can select how specific pieces of news are meant to appear on the feed. It is a fully customizable feature that will give you a completely personalized experience.
Adjusting The Appearance and Press Releases
In the search function, Google News shows blog posts and press releases to give an in-depth view of the news and events. If your objective is pool only premium channel sources to stream their feeds, you can modify the settings to show you exactly what you need. You can get remove blog posts and press releases if you prefer that they not show up in the feed. You can go to customize section of the settings and adjust the frequency they cycle the feeds.
Adding Specific Threads
If you are expecting to receive the feeds that are relevant o specific needs of your search, then you can customize your section. You must look for the option “Crate A Custom Section” under the Personalize Google News option. You can enter the search items that will be pulled up for you. If your objective is to find more than one such items you can enter more search category by entering more items separated by a comma.
Google is a fantastic innovation of the century. The quality of their products can’t be contested by many, even by other big players. The fact that makes Google products edgy and performance oriented is that they invest in understanding their users well. It has pushed the development of their key services by the addition of newer features that will increase the number of subscribers for that service. So you have seen some of the iconic services that Google offers its users. These services started off as beta versions that were smaller and bearing limited features. Now, they are one of the top tier performance tools that are unavoidable if one owns a smartphone or a portable computer. These Google products have perfectly blended into the comfort zones of every user. But, when scores of new users are added to their list of clients, many are unfamiliar with the complete potential of these services. Rather, they just understand that what they see on the surface and miss the best usage of Google services.