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10 Hidden Google Gems

hidden-gemsBest known for its search engine, Google has developed a range of interesting and useful free tools. Here’s our pick of them!

Google made its name as a search engine but over the years it has also built up a selection of free online tools. The benefits they offer range from a better way to find things online, to full-blown programs that rival expensive commercial software. In this article, we will introduce you to 10 of the best.

Our top 10 tools are all tried and tested versions, but you may find some other Google tools that have the label ‘Labs’ attached to them. This means the tool is still being worked on in Google Labs, which is essentially a trial area for Google to demonstrate new tools it is developing. The idea is that anyone can try them out and leave feedback. Should a tool work well and get enough positive responses, it may eventually make it out of Labs as fully fledged Google tool.

Google also has Beta tools. These are tools that have completed the development phase but are still in testing; Gmail, for example, had a lengthy Beta stage. Anyone can use Beta tool and it should work as described, but they aren’t final release versions so there may be some minor bugs to iron out.

Before we delve into our top 10 Google tools, it’s best to point out that although most are based online and run within a browser, there are some that need to be downloaded and installed just like a standard application. Most tools also require you to be logged into a Google account; if you don’t already have an account, create a free one!

The 10 Hidden Gems

  1. Translate
  2. Reader
  3. Sketchup
  4. Maps and Earth
  5. Trends
  6. Alerts
  7. Books
  8. Sites
  9. Docs
  10. Custom Search
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