Google introduced a brand new standalone app called YouTube Kids today, initially available in the U.S. only, which is its first product “built from the ground up with little ones in mind,” according to the Internet giant.
From Maps and Gmail to Translate and YouTube, Google already offers a myriad of digital services that are useful and generally well-liked. But what about all those other ones that garner little in the way of headlines or fanfare? Google actually has a ton of apps that generally fall under the mainstream radar. So here’s a look at some of those, and what they do.
Sound Search for Google Play
Available for Android only, Sound Search is a Shazam-style music-recognition widget that identifies whatever music is playing in the background wherever you may be. Needless to say, it links directly into Google Play, where you can procure the tagged tunes directly.
Google launched Primer in October 2014 with a view towards helping fledgling startups market online — this includes 5-minute lessons covering things like executing content marketing, gaining media coverage, and understanding search engines.
Available for iOS and Android, Primer offers quizzes and case studies to help teach “big picture strategies that take the frustration out of marketing.”
The Google Authenticator app generates 2-step verification codes on your phone, whether Android or iOS.
This is designed to prevent miscreants from hijacking your device and services, with the app serving up a six-to-eight digit password that users have to input in addition to their username and password. This covers Google services and third-party offerings, including file-hosting services and password managers.
Google Gesture Search
Launched back in 2010, Google Gesture Search is an Android-only app that lets you search for apps, settings, contacts, bookmarks, and more on your device simply by drawing numbers or letters with your finger on the screen.
Photo Sphere Camera
Photo Sphere Camera is available as a standalone app on iOS, though it essentially pulls together features already bundled directly within the Android operating system.
With Photo Sphere, you can create 360-degree, high-res panoramas and publish them directly to Google Maps, or browse other users’ uploads.
Once you’ve answered a few questions about yourself, Google will then send a survey once a week on average, and you can receive up to $1 per questionnaire.
Google Classroom is only available to organizations with an active Google Apps for Education account. It helps teachers create a centralized “paperless” silo to share assignments with their classes.
Available for Android and iOS, the app also serves as a social network of sorts, where students and teachers can discuss elements of assignments and share resources.
The Field Trip app comes courtesy of the Niantic Project, a sort of internal startup that operates within Google.
Available on Android and iOS, Field Trip is all about unearthing cool things and places around you in the real world. It runs in the background, and whenever you approach a noteworthy place, a card pops up on your phone with more details about the location.
Available for Android only, Intersection Explorer hasn’t actually been updated in a while, so it’s not clear whether Google still officially “supports” the app.
Aimed at those with visual impairments, Intersection Explorer basically verbalizes the layout of streets and intersections in towns and cities, as you drag your finger around the map in front of you.
Ingress is another creation from the vaults of Google’s Niantic Project, and it too is available on Android and iOS,
It’s a GPS-enabled augmented reality (AR) multiplayer role-playing game that invites players to create “portals” at public places, including monument and key landmarks. It basically transforms the physical world into a science-fiction game of mystery.
Big Web Quiz for Chromecast
Google’s Big Web Quiz for Chromecast pretty much does what it says on the box, with the Android and iOS app letting families and friends host quiz nights in their living rooms.
Questions are generated from Google’s Knowledge Graph, and they are beamed directly to the big screen (assuming you have Google’s $30 Chromecast HDMI dongle installed).
These are just a selection of slightly lesser-known apps from Google’s gargantuan library, not including ones you may well have forgotten are owned by Google, such as Snapseed, Zagat, and Waze. There are dozens more that may have slipped beneath your radar, either because they’re old or defunct, or because you have better things to do with your time than track Google’s many digital services.