Google has some pretty incredible apps available on the Google Play Store, and I’m sure most of us use them daily, but have you ever considered downloading and using some of the apps that are off the beaten path? Some are very useful and others are just plain fun to use, so I’ve decided to compile this list of the best top 10 Google apps that you may not have heard of before. Let’s dive in!
1) Google My Maps
Organize and share your favorite locations with Google Maps. Simply create a map of your area or venue, drag in markers for places of interest, then share your map as an image or embedded page with friends and family on social media. You can also follow other people’s maps. If you find a great map someone else has made, just click to follow it—and now you’ll get updates whenever they make changes to their maps! No matter what kind of places or landmarks are important to you, My Maps will make them easy to organize and share with everyone who matters most.
Tasks are one of those underrated features in Gmail. Think of them as to-do lists that sit directly inside your inbox and make it easy to track what needs doing now. This is especially helpful if you like to keep things neat and tidy, making sure that each message sits neatly under a single subject heading; for instance: Housework, Contact John or Make dinner. Tasks are particularly useful if your inbox has become overcrowded with emails and you’re finding it hard to keep on top of everything. You can start a new task by clicking on an email or label and then selecting Tasks in the dropdown menu.
Keep is a useful application that’s been incorporated into every major desktop and mobile operating system, but it’s not something most people pay much attention to. For starters, Keep isn’t just an app—it’s actually three separate apps bundled together in one single interface. The first two apps are Reminders and Shopping List. The last app is a customizable flash-card program called Study. While all three are worth investigating, we’re going to talk about Reminders today because of its effectiveness in helping keep track of your daily tasks and work-related commitments throughout the day. If you want to write a professional review on Keep, be sure to include these key points: Why Reminders is superior to traditional task lists (with examples)
4) Voice Search
Google, Apple, and Microsoft are all building voice recognition software into their respective phones. This means that searching through your contacts is just a voice command away. Searching for a restaurant, business, or place of interest in your area is simple if it’s searchable on Google Maps, with OK, Google being one of your options for activating voice search. If you don’t like saying OK, Google every time, create a custom wake-up phrase like Hey Siri to trigger voice searches on your phone. Voice search also works as an awesome way to set reminders and alarms!
5) Google Voice
This app is a big deal. It’s essentially an answering machine for your phone, giving you access to voicemail and caller ID info directly from your computer or mobile device. If you have multiple phone numbers for family, friends, business, and whatnot, then I highly recommend making Google Voice your primary number. The app lets me check my messages from my laptop at work or on my phone while riding public transportation home—all I need is an internet connection.
Whether you’re an amateur or a professional photographer, Snapseed is one of your best bets for editing. If you want to get artistic with your photos, Snapseed offers nearly limitless ways to tweak and touch up images—everything from brightness, contrast, clarity, and color balance can be adjusted on a sliding scale. You can also create some really fun effects using filters like Drama and Grunge. For example, here’s a before-and-after shot I took of New York City after adjusting it in Snapseed (the original photo is on the left).
7) One Note
OneNote is a notetaking app that works across all your devices. All of your notes and ideas are saved in one place and automatically synced to every device you use. No more forgetting where you’ve put things; OneNote remembers everything for you. As soon as you make a change, it’s updated everywhere, instantly. It also makes sharing ideas simple; sync up with anyone who has a OneNote account, and they can edit what they want to see on their own device without fear of overwriting each other’s changes. It’s almost like having a personal assistant to keep track of everything going on in your life — except much more pleasant than that sounds!
8) Google Docs/Sheets/Slides
Any basic word processor, spreadsheet, or presentation program can be replicated by Google Docs. The only downside is that it requires a Google account to access and edit, but it’s easy to create an account (that way you can easily share your documents with anyone). It also automatically saves everything in real-time so if something crashes (or your computer dies), all of your work will be saved. This is great for school papers and homework, as well as day-to-day projects. In addition to saving on paper and printing costs, using Docs can really save time on busy days.
9) Gmail Offline
This app is useful for people who travel a lot or have spotty Internet access. While it’s true that email has become less important than it used to be, it’s still one of our most used tools. But if you find yourself on the go with spotty or no Internet access, emails won’t get delivered and will stay in your outbox until they can. It doesn’t matter if your boss or client sends an urgent email; Gmail Offline will make sure all emails are sent once you get back online, making communication more efficient even while offline.
10) Google Translate
Despite its name, Translate isn’t just for translation. It also works as a language detector so that you can get instant translations of foreign words and phrases. It can detect nearly 100 languages, from English to Thai to Igbo. You can also listen to spoken translations or have it read them out loud (though a headset is required for speech). And if you simply need some practice with another language, Translate can help there too; it provides flashcards and additional exercises tailored to your skill level. All of these features make Translate one of our favorite tools on Android.