20 Best Google Apps Worth Checking Out
Apps can make your life way easier. Do you need to exercise?
Are you lost?
Do you just want to relax and cut some screen time?
Whatever it is, Google has a solution for you.
In fact, Google has more than 70 apps out there for you to try!
For this post, I selected 20 Google apps that are definitely worth checking out. Let’s begin.
1. Google Arts and Culture
We all need a bit of art in our lives. Google Arts and Culture let you explore museums and national parks, take virtual tours and zoom up close into the Mona Lisa and other famous works of art.
A similar app is Google Expeditions which uses virtual reality to take you on virtual trips.
I personally used this in the early stages of quarantine and it was a lot of fun. Art is beautiful and it shouldn’t be restrained to one place in a popular city of Europe. It should be on your desktop, your mobile, everywhere! And Google makes sure of that.
They even have gaming experiments like coloring books and jigsaws of famous artworks to solve by yourself or with your friends and family.
2. Google Assistant
Siri and Alexa have a lot of press but Google also has an assistant. Great news for those who don’t own an iPhone or an Amazon device.
There’s a wide variety of things you can do with the app and all hands-free:
- Call and text
- Play music and videos
- Set alarms
- Get directions
- Find fast answers to your questions
- Manage the devices in your home
I mean, it even helps you wash your hands by singing a 40-second song!
3. Google My Business
Among the different types of search intent, you have navigational intent. That is when someone directly searches for your business. This is great for you: that person is a potential buyer. But wait, you need to make sure everything goes the way you want to.
That’s when Google My Business comes in handy. The app lets you claim your free business profile on Google so when people look for you they’ll see all your contact, open hours, photos, etc.
With Google My Business, respond to reviews, get notifications when a customer connects with your business, learn how they find you, and even share offers.
4. Digital Wellbeing
Do you feel like you spend too much time on your phone? Well, unless you already download one of these apps, you probably do. Sometimes it’s hard to stay in control. Lucky for us, Google has an app to help us draw a line with our mobile usage.
Among its features, you’ll find:
- Daily summary of total device usage.
- Focus mode that pauses distracting apps.
- Daily app timer to set a limit on how much you use apps.
As you can already tell, it’s very simple but it can make a difference.
5. Google Travel
You aren’t traveling right now? Me neither. But God, I miss it. As we wait for this pandemic to end, we might as well plan our next trip. Whenever that would be…
Google Travel shows you everything you need when planning a holiday. What to do in your destination, hotels and their amenities, and even flights. If you save any of the top sights, you’ll find them later in your Google Maps!
I also appreciate that it shows you the current travel restrictions of each country, like a 10-day quarantine on your arrival to New York. And if you are worried about how much this will cost you, Google has a price graph to know when there’re cheaper flights.
6. Google Scholar
If you’re in high school or college, Google Scholar is super useful. It’s not exactly an app but a search engine specifically for scholarly literature and it has over 389 million documents.
By clicking below the link result, a cool feature is that you’ll see how to cite the text according to different standards like APA, MLA, and Harvard. This saves a lot of time.
7. Google Meet
Now, I know with everything that’s happening you probably already used Google Meet. But, in case you got stuck in Zoom and maybe even Jitsi, let me kindly introduce you to Meet.
Google Meet is a video and voice conferring app that doesn’t require to be download and it’s as easy as it gets. Every week I have at least one Google Meet conference and I just type “google meet” in the search bar, click on the first page and then select “Start call” and that’s all.
Google gives you a link that you can send to all the people you want in the call. In less than 5 minutes, you organized a conference and were able to start it.
Recently, Google made some updates. For example, now shy people can minimize their own video to not see themselves on screen.
8. Google Forms
Should you ever need to build a survey, don’t think twice: Google Forms is your app.
Like everything that Google does, is not only really easy to use (great UX) but also is super complete.
The Form creates a Google Sheet in which the answers are transcribed automatically, besides appearing in the Google Form itself.
The app also automatically makes graphics with the results so you don’t have to waste your time trying to decide if this should be a pie or a column. I’m looking at you, Excel-I-believe-in-free-will.
It isn’t as powerful as Typeform, but it’s good for basic use.
9. Google Podcast
I know, the number of apps Google has to offer and its variety is unbelievable. It turns out if you are a fan of podcasts, they also got you covered.
The app is simple, easy to use, and has a really pretty interface. Auto-download episodes to listen offline, keep track of your listening history and subscriptions, skip over silences, and more.
10. Google Calendar
I’m personally old fashion when it comes down to calendars but Google Calendar might as well change that.
You can add a Google Meet video conference in the calendar so it reminds you about it while linking directly to it. It’s beautiful.
The calendar can be shared with coworkers or any other people. However do pay attention where you write: you don’t want to put personal information in the wrong place by mistake for everyone to see. Been there.
11. Google Lens
You NEED this app. Google Lens is a one-in-all app. You just take a picture and it solves many of your problems:
- Want to get more information or related pictures of something you saw?
- Need to copy or translate a text?
- Can’t solve your homework?
Just take a picture of it and let Google Lens do its magic.
12. Google Family Link for parents
You love your mobile but you know not everything online is healthy. As a grown-up, you can set your own limits with Digital Wellbeing. Kids might need some guidance and that’s what Family Link for parents is about.
Decide the right amount of screen time for your child, approve or lock apps and see daily reports. As long as your child carries their Android device and it’s powered on, you’ll also be able to find where they are.
13. Google Fit
In collaboration with the WHO and the American Health Organization, Google brings you Heart Points, an activity goal proven to impact health. The app uses your Android phone’s sensors or Google smartwatch to record things like speed, pace, and route.
It also gives you detailed sleep data and lets you share your favorite activities on social media.
14. Google Pay
Google Pay is both for businesses and customers. The pandemic accelerated the shift from cash to digital options and one way to pay contactless is using Google Pay on your phone.
As a business, this app lets you access hundreds of millions of cards saved to Google Accounts. Plus, you can send location-based notifications and let your customers use gift cards and loyalty cards.
As a customer, you can send and request money from your friends, split bills, and more. By bringing all your accounts together, you’ll be able to get insight into spending patterns and just have a clearer view of what you have and what you spent.
15. Google Translate
We all know Google Translate has problems and relying 100% on it will only lead you to atrocities. If you need a perfect translation and can’t risk sounding like an idiot, hire a professional.
However, Google Translate has improved over the last few years and it’s really useful if you need quick help understanding something in another language. Or making sure your french spelling is correct when you text your friend from Québec.
And now you can even translate files, how cool is that?
16. Google Classroom
If you are a student or a teacher, chances are you already used it. But in case you don’t, let me introduce you to Classroom.
Like all the apps I mentioned today, Classroom is a free service. It’s basically like a forum. Teachers and students can communicate easily and in a very organized way. All class materials are automatically filed into folders in Google Drive which saves a lot of time.
Also, teachers can create classes instantly and share the code with their class to join. There’s a new feature, originality reports, to help you check the authenticity of your student’s work.
17. Google Analytics
Checking the metrics and real-time data of your business is essential. We talk about this all the time. If you don’t reflect on where you’re at, you are setting yourself up for failure.
There’re tons of analytics tools out there but you’ll be a fool if you don’t at least checkout Google Analytics.
With the app, you can compare date ranges and apply segments, build your own reports and save them to your dashboard for easy access.
However, there are better alternatives, at least paid ones.
I used to though that Waze was Google Maps’ competition. But it turns out, Google owns Waze since 2013. The difference with Google Maps is that Waze is community-based: it depends on community reports. Besides, Waze is mainly for cars.
Some of the reasons people love it are:
- You get real-time alerts for traffic, police, and accidents.
- There’s a variety of voices to choose from to guide you while you drive.
- It tells you your estimated time of arrival and alternative routes to get there faster.
19. Google Home
Google Home is wonderful. To set up and control your Chromecast or any connected home product, you need this app and trust me, you’ll use it all the time.
Some quick actions to do with Google Home are:
- Show media and stream it from one device to another. Play, pause and skip backward a Youtube video or a Netflix show.
- Create routines.
- Switch your smart lights on and off.
- Open the control for your thermostat.
20. Google Play Books
For someone who likes reading, this is the best app ever. You can buy many eBook or audiobook you want, view a sample of the book, and download it so you can read anywhere, anytime without having an Internet connection.
Other features are:
- 3D effect for page-turning
- Organize books on shelves: to read, favorites, reading now, etc.
- Highlight, add notes and bookmarks that can then be sync to your Google Drive.
- Tap to hear a word, search it in the dictionary or translate it.
- Read any of your PDF files
- Change the size, font, alignment, and spacing of the text.
And you get the point. It’s really amazing. I highly recommend installing the mobile version to get the most out of Google Play Books.
So there you have it, 20 of the best Google Apps worth checking out. They are useful, easy to use, and visually appealing.
The number of great apps owned by Google is incredible and no doubt they’ll keep creating more. I’m thrill to see what’s next.
What about you? What are your favorite apps?
Let me know in the comments.