Whenever Google officially decides to take over the world, we will already be well-acquainted with their unending sets of online tools and applications and overall knack for simplifying our lives. If, for some reason, you’re still unaware of how the Google enterprise is revolutionizing the way even non-techies gather information and play on the Web, read below for 30 of the best Google applications that you need to try. 1. Android: Google’s plan to transform the way people use cell phones begins with the Android, "the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices," according to the Google Blog. Google has been working with the Open Handset Alliance to develop the open source phone, and individual developers are encouraged to create their own apps for a chance to win a portion of the $10 million award money. 2. Google Scholar: Instead of schlepping your research materials to the local college library, try using Google Scholar, an online search engine that allows access to all kinds of scholarly journals, reviews, abstracts and more. No sign up required. 3. Google Search on China Mobile: The Google Operating system blog reports that China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile operator, and that it has linked up with Google "to provide mobile and Internet search services in China…that will make it easier than ever before to find relevant content on the cellular phone." These apps are designed to increase Google’s presence in the international technology circuit. 4. Google Answers: This app has been around for a while, but it’s still flying low on the radar for non-techies. While most people just use the regular Google search engine to find answers to their questions, this service connects users to a professional who will respond to questions more accurately (hopefully) than a general search. The downside is that users must register an account and pay a small fee. 5. Google OneBox: Professionals in the business world tune in to OneBox to gain "access to information from business applications such as [the] contact database, calendar, CRM or BI system." 6. Writely: Google’s attempt to compete with the Microsoft Office Suite includes Writely, a free Web-based solution to Word. CNET Reviews holds that Writely is a reasonable substitute, so long as you "have stable Internet access and don’t need a ton of editing and formatting features." 7. SketchUp: This 3D sketch pad is free for the basic subscription, but according to CNET Reviews, "professionals will want the $500 version" for more complex designs. Sketchup also lets users share their drawings online with others and comes with clear, concise tutorials to help newbies figure out the system. 8. Google Desktop 4: Manage all of your tools and apps with the Google Desktop, including Google tools and any other files you have on your computer. Utilize the iGoogle page and sidebar to give your desktop a personal design. 9. Picasa Web Albums: This photo manager features new and improved functions, including the ability to publish albums online (or keep them private). 10. IMAP for Gmail: IMAP for Gmail allows Gmail account holders to access their messages through Outlook and Apple Mail even when they’re offline, by "creat[ing] a constant connection between mail clients." 11. Shared Address Book: This address book is a valuable app for larger companies that host many different e-mail addresses on the same domain. Instead of relying on a personal contacts list, users with the same domain name can find e-mail addresses just by typing in each other’s names: the addresses will then automatically pop up, even if they aren’t registered in your specific contacts list. 12. New Google Talk: Gmail users have been able to enjoy the hassle free chat system Google Talk through their e-mail accounts. Now, however, Google Talk can be launched outside of Gmail through the Web to make file transfers, PC-to-PC voice calls and more. 13. Public Calendar Gallery: Whether you want to advertise your company’s special events and deals or just let friends, family and customers know when you’ll be out of town, publish your own calendar to the Google Calendar beta. Featured calendars include presidential nominees’ campaign events, Orbitz travel deals and more. 14. New Google Docs: This app combines online project collaboration with the basic tools of an office suite like Microsoft Windows. Featuring spreadsheets, word processing capabilities and slideshow presentations, Google Docs is completely free. 15. Gmail mobile application for BlackBerry® smartphones: According to the official Google Apps Website, Gmail is now in sync with BlackBerry smartphones. E-mails load more quickly, and e-mails sent from your BlackBerry show up in your Sent mailbox on your computer too. 16. Google Apps Premier Edition: Business owners will want to try out the Google Apps Premier Edition to set up their Google Calendar, Page Creator, security features, company start pages and other apps on a consistent company system. 17. Mail Migration Tools: The Google Operating System Blog reports that earlier this year, "Google Apps added the option to migrate the messages from your existing email accounts [to your Gmail account] if you use the business or the educational edition." This app is useful for new Gmail users who want to compile their e-mail accounts into one client without having to save individual messages. 18. Domain Registration: With this app, system administrators can set up their own website, hosted by one of Google’s partners, for only $10 a year. According to the Google Apps site, "new domains come fully configured with the complete array of Google applications for your organization: personalized Gmail, Google Calendar, instant messaging, online document editing, and more." 19. Google Reader: Stop wasting your time visiting individual news blogs and sites to get your political, weather and business updates. Google Reader "constantly checks your favorite news sites and blogs for new content" and brings it right to your page. Users can also easily share favorite stories with friends, family and employees. 20. AdWords Editor: Advertisers are probably already with this app, which helps them manage ad campaigns and banners by increasing editing options, even when they’re offline. 21. Google Mobilizer: Wouldn’t it be great if all of your favorite websites were displayed nicely and neatly on your mobile phone? The Google Mobilizer makes that possible, by "mak[ing] any Web page mobile-friendly." 22. Click-to-Call: Google has given their advertisers a bit of a boost with this new feature. When Google users see an advertisement on one of Google’s pages, they can click on the the phone icon or call link to start a free call. Google will ask for the individual’s phone number, and once you type it in, you’ll receive a call (which won’t cost you a cent) from the advertiser. 23. Page Creator: As of 2007, the Page Creator is still in development, but we’re hoping that the easy Web page assistance app is going to be a hit. According to Wikipedia, the tool features 100 megabytes of storage, 41 Web templates, unique sub-domain names and more. Check back for updates! 24. Gears: This app "is beta software offered by Google to enable off-line access to services that normally only work on-line" by adding a browser extension. Google Gears also seems to be in the beginning stages, so let’s hope more apps and functions will be added soon. 25. Ride Finder: Need a taxi or airport shuttle? If you’re in one of the following U.S. cities, you can click on the Google map to find a list of services in your area: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, LA, New York, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. 26. Transit: This app lets you "create your own transit trip, complete with itineraries and maps." Currently, trip planning assistance is available for several U.S., Canadian, European and Japanese transit systems. 27. Book Search: While nothing can compare to curling up with a real book, virtual ones are sometimes more practical, especially if you want to waste time at work. Use the Google Book Search to access entire texts of literature, non-fiction reference books and more. 28. Google Finance: Customize your Google Finance page to include rates, progress reports, charts and updates for the stocks and trends you watch most closely. 29. Google Life Search: This new Google tool is basically a Google Base for China to compete with local search engines. 30. Archive Search: Forget dusting off old microfiche and microfilm from the library to discover archived photos and newspapers. Google’s Archive Search goes back 200 years and "can automatically create timelines which show selected results from relevant time periods" to augment your search.
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