There are various Google apps that we use extensively in our day to day life but did you know that Google has more than 100 apps published on the Play Store and Apple App Store. Yes, that’s right! Apart from the insanely popular Google apps like Gmail, Maps, Search, Chrome etc., there are various cool apps from Google and its subsidiaries. And considering it’s Google we are talking about, there are some really cool apps that you have no idea about. So, here are 18 best Google apps that you don’t know about.
Best Google Apps You Should Know (2020)
The Files app from Google is fairly new. It was first launched as Files Go, a lightweight file manager for Android Go which is a trimmed down version of Android meant to run on smartphones with less than 1 GB of RAM. However, after the immense popularity of Files Go, Google finally released the app as a standalone file manager for Android.
Having used Files app for the last few months, I can surely say that it’s one of the best file managers on Android. Not only it allows you to quickly access local storage, but it also allows you to clear junk files to free up storage, share files offline with Files users, and backup your data on the cloud. If you are not using Files by Google, you are missing out on one of the best Google apps I have ever used.
Another good and less known Google App is Expeditions. It is a virtual reality teaching tool that lets you lead or join immersive virtual trips all over the world and lets you get up close with historical landmarks, dive underwater with sharks, even visit outer space. But that’s not all since Google now allows users to create their own expeditions to share with the world, you now get a diverse content here. I just watched an expedition on traditional Chinese instruments and I loved it. I also fell in love with an expedition which shows “Da Vinci’s inventions”. Everything you see is projected in AR in great detailed. Of all the unknown Google apps, this one is my favorite. I highly recommend that you check this out. You won’t be disappointed.
PhotoScan is a cool little app from Google which allows users to save their physical photos in digital form. The app basically uses your smartphone’s camera to let you scan and save your favorite printed photos. We all know how good Google is with its camera software and the same is true with this app. The app doesn’t just take a photo of your printed photos, rather, it creates enhanced digital scans. The app brings features such as glare-free scans, automatic cropping based on edge detection, rectangular scans with perspective correction, and smart rotation to give you a perfect scan of your photos. The best part is that all scanned pictures are saved on Google Photos where they are organized and categorized and are searchable. This is definitely one of the coolest apps made by Google which not many people know about.
4. Cameos on Google
Cameos on Google is one of the coolest ideas that Google has come up with, in a while. The app allows you to be the authority on you. You can record yourself answering questions that are most asked on Google about you. When anyone searches for that question, they will get your video as the answer. You don’t have to answer all the questions, and you can select questions and choose to answer at your leisure. It’s the best way to control the narrative of your brand.
5. Toontastic 3D
Toontastic 3D is an app that is primarily aimed at kids but can be fun for users of any age. The app allows users to create animated characters and tell stories through them using easy to use drag and drop tools. Just move your characters around onscreen and tell your story. The app can also record your voice and animations and store it on your device as a 3D video. Overall, I found this app to be quite engaging and entertaining and I can see why kids fall in love with this. This is a great app and you should definitely check it out.
6. Google Family Link for parents
Google Family Link app is a boon for parents who want to protect their child where the biggest dangers come online. The app comes with a full-fledged device manager that allows you to do things like viewing app activity, managing apps, and recommend apps promoted by teachers. You can also set a time limit on device usage along with bedtime protocol, thus allowing you to ensure that your child is getting enough rest. Other features include the ability to track devices, lock devices, and more. If you are a parent this is a must-have app for you.
Selfissimo! is an interesting selfie app from Google which is developed by the research wing of the company. The app uses experimental research technology from Google to capture photos automatically each time you pose. The app is pretty easy to use, just start a photo shoot and start posing. Every time you hold a pose for a few seconds the app will automatically capture the image. It does feel like magic when it works perfectly however since it is using an experimental software, the performance depends on the device that you are using. Still, it’s quite an interesting Google app that you should definitely check out.
8. Bolo: Learn to read with Google
Bolo is an unreleased app which is aimed at primary grade students. The app aims to improve children’s English & Hindi reading and speaking skills by encouraging them to read aloud and giving them instant feedback. Bolo is powered by a helpful reading tutor named “Diya” which is the same speech recognition engine that powers Google Assistant. The app features stories in both Hindi and English so it’s mainly meant for Indian consumers. The best part about Bolo is that it cannot only improve the English reading skills of children by correcting their mistakes but can also explain the meaning of English stories in Hindi to enhance their understanding. I can see the app’s potential and certainly hope that Google makes a full release soon.
9. Socratic by Google
Socratic by Google is a fun educational app that will help students and parents alike. The app is powered by Google AI and understands school work at a high school and university level. You can ask Socratic a question and it will scour the internet to provide you with the best resources that will help you grasp the concept. It supports most high-school subjects. Apart from finding written resources Socratic also finds relevant videos with step-by-step tutorials. This is a great study companion app for students.
10. Google Classroom
Google Classroom is a free service for schools, non-profits, and anyone with a personal Google account. It makes it easy for teachers and students to connect. So, whether you are teaching a class or just a few students, this can help you plan the course, take classes, send assignments, send announcements, start class discussions, and more. The best part is that Google Classroom doesn’t contain ads and doesn’t use your students’ data to promote ads. If you are an educator, you should check it out.
11. My Maps
The Google My Maps app is a stellar app and it’s a surprise that we have never heard about it. The app lets you use regions in a map to add your own pointers and details, so basically it lets you create your very own custom map. For instance, you can mark your favorite locations in the city and then use it later to show your friend around. You can save a map, create new maps and even share maps with your friends. Sounds pretty useful, right?
12. Google Authenticator
Google Authenticator is an app aimed to make your two-step verification on Google accounts even more secure and hassle-free. To start using the app, you will first have to set up 2-step verification on your Google account. After it’s set up, you will be able to use codes from the app instead of getting codes via text or email. The app generates new 2-step verification codes timely, so that nobody opens the app and gets your code.
13. Grasshopper: Learn to Code for Free
14. Spotlight Stories
As Google puts it aptly, “Google Spotlight Stories is your mobile movie theater“. The amazing app brings you some of the most immersive stories you can watch on your smartphone. There are stories or movies using 3D/2D animation, 360° spherical cinema-quality video, full-sphere surround sound and sensor fusion techniques to make you feel you are part of the all the action. Trust me, you have to watch it to believe it. While there aren’t many stories in the app, you must watch the ones already there. The graphics are certainly beautiful and you will surely appreciate it. Go try it out and thank us later!
15. Arts & Culture
Arts & Culture is another great Google app that hasn’t received the traction it deserves. For all you art and history lovers out there, the app lets you explore arts, historic wonders, cultural artifacts and more from over 850 archives, museums and other history organizations. There’s ability to take 360 degree panoramic tours, read about various artworks, discover art gems, and view some amazing art in great detail. If you have an interest in art, history and culture, this Google app should definitely keep you engrossed.
16. Google Shoopping
Google Shopping is the company’s same-day shopping app that lets you shop from local stores like Costco, Walgreens and Target. The app lets you buy the usual household items from these stores to be delivered on the same day or the very next day. Sadly, the service is only available in a few regions including San Francisco, California, Manhattan, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC and Nevada. While the app is available for free, you can get a free membership for $10/month, which brings free delivery on eligible products. If you have a free account, delivery charges start at $4.99.
17. Accessibility Scanner
As the names suggest, Accessibility Scanner is a tool aimed at developers, so that they can edit various interface elements for people with eyesight disabilities. To start using it, you will first have to enable the app in Settings->Accessibility. Once enabled, you will see a floating button that lets you capture a page for suggestions. You can press the button in any page and the app will take the screenshot and scan the page for any suggestions around UI elements it can make. The suggestions include touch targets, item name or label, text contrast etc. You can then share the info with an app’s developer requesting them to make the changes.
Measure is an augmented reality app from Google which allows you to carry out quick everyday measurements around the house or office, similar to a tape measure. The app uses your smartphone’s camera with AR and allows you to measure an object’s height, width, and length. The object being measured should be kept on a flat surface though otherwise, the readings will be false. While the measurement is not as accurate as the ones you will get with a physical tape measure, it is quite good and comes in really handy in situations when you don’t have a tape measure on hand or just need an approximated value.
Set to Try These Best Google apps?
Chances are you’ve heard of some of the apps in the list but you most probably haven’t heard about most of them. Honestly, even we had no idea about some of the best Google apps on the list, and after trying them, we were pleasantly surprised by how good these apps were. Well, it was a little expected, considering these are Google Apps we are talking about. There are some more unknown Google apps out there but most of them are aimed at businesses or enterprises. From the consumer point of view, these are no doubt the best lesser-known Google apps. So, try them out and let us know your favorite app in the comments section below.