Google Search continues to amaze me with its versatility. Today, I was in a bit of a hurry at lunchtime and needed to bake a pizza. The process needed 12 minutes but in that time I wanted to do some of my other chores. What to do? What to do?
So I entered the timer keyword into Google Search and sure enough there it was — a simple timer applet complete with a sound alert function. I just entered 00 12 00 and in 12 minutes a high-pitch noise alerted me that my pizza was ready. Very cool!
But Google Search has many other useful built-in functions. They are all ready to help you out in very specific situations like the one I described above. Let’s take a look at the coolest ones.
The feature I use most is the calculator. Enter 128 * 64 and a simple calculator appears. It is much easier than to launch the Windows Calculator whenever I need to crunch some numbers.
Google respects advanced users of math as well. To draw the tangent function for 4x, simply enter tan 4x and a graph is immediately at your disposal.
To find out what is the local time in Zurich, Switzerland, type and enter time zurich. This is extremely useful when planning trips.
Another useful Google Search feature for travelers is to find out what the local weather is like.
Just enter weather beijing and a detailed week-long graph of the local weather appears.
It is a well-organized, clear, and informative chart. You can switch between °F and °C, and it also gives you information about precipitation, humidity, and wind. Perfect!
While abroad, it might come handy to convert currencies, type and enter 5200 dollars to euros to check up on the euro equivalent of the dollar amount.
Most of the world uses the metric system, so units conversion often comes in handy as well — try 180cm to inches as an example.
Google Search helps you identify and view locations. Both in the physical world — just type sf map or the longitude and latitude for San Francisco — 37°47′N 122°25′W, and Google serves you with a map.
You are also able to check your IP address by typing my ip address.
Google Search makes it very easy to track any Royal Mail, UPS, FedEx, or USPS packages. Just enter the correct tracking number and Google servers you with a link to your package’s route.
For the readers among you, having word definitions at the tip of your fingers might be a very useful tool, try it — define centurion.
The search comes up with many advanced features, too. You can listen to the correct pronunciation of the word, see the origin of the word, its use over time in history, and you can even translate it to any language you like.
Similarly, if you are looking for synonyms to a word, just type ~hegemony and Google Search serves you with words of similar meaning to your query.
This feature has the same advanced features as the dictionary definition tool.
For the investors and speculators among you,
In the case of Google’s stock, it is enough to enter the stock handle only — GOOG.
The chart allows you to change the time-range from a day up to a 5-year period. Or you can select to see the chart for the whole lifetime of the stock.
If you are interested in public data sets, Google Search can help you, for example unemployment rate norway gives you a comprehensive chart of the unemployment situation in Norway.
The extra information compares Norway to its neighboring countries. On the right side of the search screen you will find a basic overview of Norway’s country data — location, population, GDP, and you can explore even more related data points using the extensive Google Public Data directory.
Of course, Google Search has many more functions like sport scores, sunrise and sunset information, or earthquake data. You can find a complete list at Google Search Features.
Do you use any Google Search features? Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments section below.
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