Google is the world’s most used search engine, and the world’s most visited website. Most people simply use it to search for common search terms; however, it has some hidden shortcuts which enable you to unlock more out of the search engine and other products such as Youtube.
Using Youtube as an audio only streaming platform
Youtube has a large library of music; however, it can be difficult to get your music to play in the background on your smartphone. Here is how to do it on Android and iOS devices.
If you have an Android smartphone, visit youtube.com, tap the ellipses/three dots in the upper right-hand corner and click on “desktop”. Search for a video you would like to watch and once it loads, press the home button on your Android device. It will continue to play in the background.
On iPhones and iPads things get a little complicated. You will need to search for an app which plays music from youtube. They tend to come and go from the app store. However, if you find one, the process is the same. Search for a video or playlist, press play and hit the home button. The video will stop playing; however, if you swipe up from the bottom of the screen, you will see action centre. Tap play and the video will keep playing.
If you use an older version of iOS, you will need to swipe down from the top of the screen to access the play button.
I like to create a playlist of my favourite songs and use this feature to keep the tunes flowing.
You can compare the nutrition information of food by typing in “vs” between tow foods. For instance “lasagne vs hamburger”. This is useful if you are on a diet, or on a fitness program. It can also be fun to find out the number of calories and types of nutrients in food.
In order to stay productive, it can be useful to time how quickly you complete tasks. Google has a built in stopwatch. For example, if you would like to set the timer for 10 minutes simple type “set timer to 10 minutes”. This feature is also available on mobile. The timer will make an alarm sound once it is done.
Google has a hidden game called Zerg rush. In order to access it simply type “zerg rush” into the search bar and press enter. Then play the awesomeness.
Have you ever found an awesome website and thought “I wonder whether there are other sites exactly like this?”. Wonder no more. You can find related sites just by typing “related:” followed by the URL of the original website. Google will use their powerful algorithm to find matching sites.
You can get to the right result quicker by using quotation marks around the search term. This will instruct Google to find webpages with that exact phrase.
The “allintitle:” prefix enables you to find sites with a specific phrase in the title. For instance “allintitle: LG G6 review”. This can cut down on a lot of time looking for the right result.
If your work requires you to do a lot of research or you need to research for school using file extensions can reveal some great results. Instead of searching as you normally do, add the extensions “.pdf” “.doc” “.ppt” and other document file formats. This has helped me to reveal detailed documents which would have taken me a couple hours via other means. The most popular results aren’t always the best, especially when it comes to research. Google Scholar is also useful for research.
Gmail has a “labs” feature which enables you to extend the functionality of Gmail. For instance, there is a “canned responses” feature which is useful if you find yourself sending the same responses on a daily basis. There are a lot of other useful features in Gmail labs so it is definitely worth checking out.
Google Trends is one of Google’s less popular tools. You can use it to view trending terms in any country or check out global trends. This is useful for seeing what is “hot”. If you own a business, this can give you some insight into which items to stock or which products are likely to be hot in the future. Some people used Google Trends to make a fortune during the fidget spinners craze. You can also use it to make decisions on gift ideas. There are numerous applications for this tool.
Hopefully, you found this article useful, and use it to unlock more features from Google.
Do you have some tips and tricks for saving time on a computer or smartphone? I am sure the community would love to hear about it in the comments section below.
Abdul - giffgaff blogger
Abdul loves all things to do with technology and money. He is launching a personal finance website very soon. Visit here to be one of the first to know when it's live.