Every day in our lives we are prone to use the internet. With it comes many sites in hand, social media like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, linked in etc. These websites are used for various purposes like connecting and reaching out to people, professional work, killing your boredom, creating awareness, fun and so much more. Imagining a world without all of this is quite frightening to us since we have adopted it as a habit. Amongst all this, there lies a platform which can provide this entire set of uses under one frame, namely ‘Google’.
Google is the top-rated search engine in the world. It is a Multinational American Tech Company founded in 1998 and has now made its place amidst the leading four tech companies which are Amazon, Apple and Facebook. It works by using an exclusive calculation also called algorithm which is intended to gather the most reliable and significant requested material for the user. Ever since it started, it has worked to escalate the business of organizing online information efficiently.
Google’s vision is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” It has geared up so much that now It has become a verb, for instance, I searched something at Google I can say ‘I Googled it.’
Google search is the maximum used search engine by people with almost around 5.4 billion searches every day. It works on getting information available on public accessed forums. These results appear based on Page Rank which is a priority-based ranking given to websites. Google search also has search specifications like Search for images, News, Video, Books, Finances and others. Along with this, it gives you custom searches like language translate, flight booking, weather forecasts, definitions, currency, unit and time converts etc. An option of ‘Advanced search’ is also present in the tools settings which gives additional choices of finding pages with; XYZ exact words or phrases, None of these words and any of these words. It further narrows down your search by giving you options for language, site name, last updated, file type (Jpg, png, pdf, word, ppt, etc) to make your work easier.
‘I am feeling lucky is another search advancement where you may type your request and then press this button right under the search bar. You will now be navigated directly to the 1st page in results, skipping the search page.In 2011 June, Google introduced “Google voice search” which saves your typing time and search for spoken words instead of typed ones. You will hear an answer now rather than reading it. This then also got upgraded to ‘OK Google’ in 2013 where the person will say OK Google before saying question and an audio-based search will get started.
Apart from the search option, Google blesses us with so many other services like Chrome – an internet browser, Gmail – an email platform, Google drive – Cloud storage, Google maps, Google translate – A language translation service, Google books, Youtube (created in 2005 and bought by Google in 2006), Google Play, Google news, Firebase, Google pay, Google photos, Google calendar, Google Classroom, Google flights, Google fonts, Google text to speech, Google trips, Hangouts and the list will keep on going.
A few of these are being used more than others in the day to day lives of people. Let us discuss a few here and get to know how they work.
Mail or Gmail is free of cost website for emailing business that inaugurated on 1st April 2004 and since then has been the maximum used for email purposes. Gmail became the favorite of people in literally no time due to the facilities it provided in contrast to others. Firstly it gives you 25 GBs of space whereas other yahoo or Hotmail only provide you with a few MBs and you’re constantly nagged by low on space notification. Next, you can add all your accounts to it and maintain it with one application only. Another feature that it gives is to organize your emails according to labels and a search option with which you can type a keyword and find on to a year old mail.
Hangouts is a communication forum in which you can operate with a Gmail account. It brings expression to your communication and includes messaging, free video and voice call along with fun emojis, stickers and GIF. This has replaced Google+ and Google Talk while being submerged as a whole into Hangouts. You can add up to 150 people in a group and 10 in a video call. Hangouts can be used as an application on your smartphone or through the site.
Drive got introduced on 24th April 2012 and has made lives convenient since then. It is a cloud storage facility developed by Google for its users who are always low on storage. It gives you 15 GB free storage where you can upload any data of yours with assured security that you can manage. It is an online service so you can back up and organize your data on your drive, log in through your Gmail account and can access it from anywhere. In case you get filled up with 15 GBs you can activate premium storage up to 30 TBs by paying a little amount.
It becomes very difficult for a teacher to monitor each student’s progress. Google classroom launched on 12th August 2014, has created ease in this regard. It is a free web service that helps in the exchange of files and documents amongst students and teachers through an online portal, eliminating excessive paper use. It uses several of its services to make this process resonate smoothly. For eg: Google calendars for scheduling and setting up deadlines, Google drive for transferring the files, docs, slides and spreadsheets for creating the assignments and finally Gmail for communicating without any hassle. It works in a way where a class may create a specific folder in the drive of the user where all the students can submit their work. The teacher may refer their work from there, evaluate each one’s progress, grade and return it to them.
Play which started on 22nd October 2008 is the legitimate app store for all gadgets with Android as their operating system. It let the users hunt for and download the apps that are linked with android. These apps are subdivided into categories like games, books, Photography, Shopping, Social, communication, Medical, Travel, Health, Food, news, TV, music and many others for the user to browse easily. In March 2012, google combined a few of its services under one frame called Google play, these include; Google play books, play movies & TV, play games and play music. It can be accessed through your mobile phones or also website.
What takes up the most space in everybody’s phone are the pictures and deleting them seems a sin. Google photos help, in this case, is true grace. It initiated 4 years back in 2015 and is an amazing facility to share and store photos. It provides us with a free and unlimited space to store photos up to 16 Megapixels and videos with a resolution 1080p. The most human thing about this app is that it recognizes pictures according to visuals and subjects. After analyzing it gets grouped according to similarities like places, animals, specific persons, events, food etc. This photo content recognition also develops animations and small videos for the same group of photos. It finally also acts as a backup tool when the media is exchanged between people or social platforms.
We get to see so many different apps on play store, app store and websites daily. Firebase is an application for mobiles and websites that helps developers to produce apps for these platforms. It involves numerous assistance under it, including;
Analytics, authentication, cloud messaging, Realtime database, crashlytics, performance, and test lab. It gives a free plan for 1 GB of real-time database storage and two charged memberships namely Blaze plan – five dollars for 1 GB of storage and Flame plan – 25$ per month for 2,5 GB storage.