Exploring Google’s Hidden Features

Google is a great search engine, but it’s also more than that. Google has tons of hidden features, some of which are quite fun and most of which are extremely useful— if you know about them. These points are excerpted from Mr.Michael Miller‘s article published here.

Google Is a Calculator
When you can’t be troubled to reach over and pick up the handheld calculator sitting on your desk, you can use Google as a high-tech web-based calculator. All you have to do is enter your equation or formula into the standard Google search box, and then click the Google Search button. The result of the calculation is displayed on the search results page; it’s that simple.

Google Knows Mathematical Constants In addition to performing calculations, Google also knows a variety of mathematical and scientific constants, such as pi, Avogadro’s Number, and Planck’s Constant. It also knows the radius of the Earth, the mass of the sun, the speed of light, the gravitational constant, and a lot more.

Google Converts Units of Measure Another surprise is that Google’s calculator also handles conversions. It knows miles and meters, furlongs and light years, seconds and fortnights, and even angstroms and Smoots—and can convert from one unit of measurement to another.

Google Is a Dictionary Want to look up the definition of a particular word, but don’t want to bother pulling out the old hardcover dictionary? Not sure of a specific spelling? Then use Google as an online dictionary to look up any word you can think of. It’s easy—and there are two ways to do it.

Google Is a Glossary Even more definitions are available when you use the Google Glossary feature. Google Glossary is what Google calls it, anyway; really, it’s just another advanced search operator that produces some very specific results.

Google Lists All the Facts When you’re looking for hard facts, Google might be able to help. Yes, Google always returns a list of sites that match your specific query, but if you phrase your query correctly—and are searching for a fact that Google has pre-identified—you can get the precise information you need at the top of the search results page.

Google Displays Weather Reports Did you know that Google can be used to find and display current weather conditions and forecasts? It’s a pretty easy search; all you have to do is enter the keyword weather, followed by the location. You can enter the location as a city name, city plus state, or Zip code. For example, to view the weather forecast for Minneapolis, enter weather minneapolis.

Google Knows Current Airport Conditions Weather information is important to travelers, as is information about flight and airport delays. Fortunately, you can use the main Google search page to search for this information, just as you did with weather forecasts.

Google Tracks Packages Airline flights aren’t the only things you can track with Google. Google also lets you track the status of package deliveries, from the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS. All you have to do is enter the package’s tracking number into the Google search box, and Google will display a link to the service’s tracking page for that package.

Google Is a Giant Phone Directory As part of its massive database of information, Google now includes listings for millions of U.S. households in what it calls the Google PhoneBook. You search the PhoneBook listings from the main Google search box, using specific query parameters.

Google Knows Area Codes It goes without saying that if Google knows phone numbers, it also knows area codes. If you have an area code and want to know which city it serves, just enter the area code; Google will return the city in which that area code resides.

Google Has Movie Information Numbers aren’t the only types of information available via a Google lookup. You can also use the standard Google search box to look up movie reviews and showtimes. All you have to do is enter the word movies followed by the name of the movie. For example, to find out when Casino Royale is showing in your neighborhood, enter movies casino royale.

Google Loves Music Google not only lets you search for movie information, it also is a great search engine for music. Google knows the names of tens of thousands of popular performers; all you have to do is enter the performer’s name in the search box, and Google returns specific information about that performer.

Google Knows the Answer to the Ultimate Question Let’s return to Google’s calculator for one final hidden feature. As you recall, the Google calculator has been hardwired to include the answers to some fairly complex—and fairly fanciful—calculations. For a bit of fun, try entering the query what is the answer to life the universe and everything. Google’s answer should delight long-time fans of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. (It’s “42”, in case you were wondering.)

Technorati tags: Google

Advertisements

2 Replies to “Exploring Google’s Hidden Features”

  1. Google has all my email, my dads company hosts their email there (Google runs gmail for other domains as well). I have fewer bookmarks these days, since mostly I just Google what I’m looking for now.

    Sometimes I think it’s a little sad. Google pretty much owns the internet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s