Google has a lot of apps. maybe even very Many, in some cases (important).
Amid all the obvious headlines and oddly overlapping offerings, though, Google’s Play Store suite contains some truly useful treasures – clever creations by the Android creator that are just waiting to be discovered.
Here are 14 funky Google apps that will help you do all kinds of interesting things with your Android device. Sure, anyone could disappear any day without warning – this he is We’re talking about Google, after all — but for now, at least, they’re out there and ready to take it. And yes, they are all free.
(Some, but not all, are also available for iOS.)
Android has always been exceptional at letting you control your phone by voice — dating back before the official debut of the Google Assistant, but with a little help from the Google remote app, you can take your phone’s hands-free capabilities to whole new heights.
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The app is something called Voice Access. It’s technically an accessibility feature in Android, but it can be incredibly useful for just about anyone.
Plain and simple, Voice Access lets you control practically every part of your phone experience simply by speaking. Once the system is on, you can tell your phone to go back, go home, adjust or downgrade any item of your phone’s settings. You can ask it to long press on an element, swipe in any direction on an element, select or deselect text, and place the cursor anywhere you want. It can even handle text editing and lets you roam through apps and websites without having to lift a single finger.
Whether you physically need that kind of control or you think you’d benefit from comfort, this is one of your (steam-suspicious) options.
Speaking of speaking, the amazing Google Android app called Sound Amplifier will give you superhero-like auditory capabilities to make sure you never miss a word anyone else says.
The aptly named subwoofer lets you eliminate distracting ambient noise and amplify important sounds in your environment – such as the sound of someone talking several meters away or even the sound of a TV playing across a noisy desk.
This is also technically made for accessibility purposes. But it’s not hard to see how it can be useful in all kinds of situations, regardless of ability.
Google App #3: Lens
Arguably Google’s most awesome yet under-appreciated app, Google Lens lets you interact with objects and text in the real world as if they were on your phone.
The list of productivity-enhancing powers this thing has is powerful and huge. It highlights some options:
- It enables you to copy text from any paper or whiteboard in front of you and then paste it anywhere on your phone, quickly translate it or even read it to you aloud to swallow on the go (mmm, words…)
- It allows you to send text from the real world directly to your desktop computer clipboard, wirelessly and in an effort of about seven seconds
- It allows you to drag text from any screenshot or image and save, search or paste it anywhere else your precious little heart desires
- It works as an all-purpose code scanner – barcodes, QR codes, you name it – without forcing you to keep unwanted third-party software at the ready for that purpose.
Lens is probably already on your phone right now, believe it or not — via a camera-like icon in the Google app search bar on most any Android device and also inside the standard Camera app on Pixels — but a standalone download will give an easier way to access it. Using the regular Home screen shortcut icon or the Google Assistant command (“Hey, Google: open the lens!”).
Further blurring the lines between our physical and virtual world is the Image Scanner, which allows you to take high-quality, glare-free photos of physical images using your phone’s camera and then save them as digital files. PhotoScan walks you through the process of capturing multiple angles of your print and then does all the dirty work of cropping, straightening, and making it look good overall.
It’s like having a full-fledged scanner in your pocket – just, you know, much more practical to carry around.
As we think of giving ourselves easier access to things, Google’s Action Blocks app for Android is an app worth discovering.
Action blocks make it easy to create your own custom home screen buttons to initiate actions related to the Assistant or groups Actions – things like modifying purported smart devices around your home and/or office, and navigating directly to specific functions inside apps, or doing anything else the Google Assistant can manage.
All you have to do is figure out the specific types you need to save time.
If you are using any non-Pixel phone, do yourself a favor and go get the Google Phone app this moment.
The phone app’s more advanced calling features may be exclusive to Pixel owners, but the app itself can now actually work on most any Android device, no matter who made it — and it offers plenty of advantages over the default calling apps other manufacturers bake in. software.
Specifically, it has Google’s excellent spam blocking system and in-app site search intelligence built into it and is readily available. It has a simple and minimalist design that also fits in with the rest of the Google ecosystem. and, most importantly no You have all kinds of other junk mail attached – including third-party services that show you ads and do suspicious things with your personal information.
Another mostly relevant download for those of us who don’t own a Pixel, Google’s self-designed file manager app — which comes preloaded on current Pixel phones by default — is truly the best all-in-one Android file manager for most business users.
It’s clean, simple and fun to use, and makes it virtually painless and even Attractive Searches your phone’s local storage and finds, shares, or organizes any files you’ve downloaded, transferred to the device.
Files has an exceptional search system, as you’d expect, and it has a very useful system for analyzing your phone’s local storage and finding quick and easy ways to free up space.
Files isn’t quite as distinct as some of the more advanced third-party Android file management apps, but it’s pretty useful—and especially if your Android file management needs are relatively basic, it’s a nice little upgrade over the default file management service that comes pre-installed on your device.
If you’re paying for extra storage on your Google account, the Google One app has some valuable extras that you shouldn’t overlook.
The app can help you manage this Google storage allocation as well as your device backups, for example. But more importantly, it will give you the option to activate a free Virtual Private Network, or VPN, to add an extra layer of security to your data connections and make sure no one else can see or intercept what you’re sending.
It’s a kind of guarantee that usually costs you a decent amount of coins to enjoy, but if you’re already paying for Google storage, anyway, it’s there and waiting to be activated on your favorite Android phone.
Little known fact: You can actually track a lost Android device on Which The phone or computer you’re signed in to – using only your regular web browser.
Yes, sure: Google’s Find My Device works properly in Google Search, and all you have to do is type these three magic words (“Find My Device”) into any Google search prompt to get started.
If you have multiple Android gadgets and want an easier way to locate your different products, Find My Device for Android is exactly what you need. You’ll keep the device finder one tap on your home screen or in your app drawer, and you’ll always be able to search for any Android phones, tablets, watches or even some Android-related headphones with just a few quick steps.
Google App #10: Snapseed
Google Photos is increasingly becoming a photo-editing tool, but Google already has else The app is explicitly available for photo edits on the go – and it’s still a step ahead of photos in some useful ways.
It’s called Snapseed, and it’s a standalone app that Google bought years ago and still maintains (at least to some extent) as a completely free option for anyone to use today.
And despite the continuous improvements in the Photos app, it remains one of the most effective and accessible photo optimization options for any Android phone.
This next option is pretty specific, but if you’re running your own business—or responsible for your company’s online presence in any way—Google’s My Business app is totally worth a snip. The app gives you one simplified gateway to controlling your company’s presence within Google. You can respond to reviews, edit your business profile, and even get notifications whenever a customer (or potential customer) tries to connect with you.
For the small business owners among us, this can be invaluable.
I’ve mentioned Opinion Rewards many times over the years, but it’s still something that most casual users are still unaware of. If you’re among those who haven’t used it yet, get started now – because it’s basically just a way to get free Google Play Store credits for a quick survey every now and then.
Here’s how it works: The app notifies you when a new survey is available. You answer a few questions about a recent shopping experience or your thoughts on some type of video or perhaps merchandise, and then the app places a credit in your Play Store account. It might be for 10 cents, or it might be for $1.
Either way, it takes almost no time to do so, and credits go up quickly — meaning your next app purchase or movie rental mid-flight can be at home (and yet the developer or creator still gets paid — a win-win!).
Grab a moment for your next boring business trip moment: Google Arts & Culture lets you explore national parks and monuments, zoom in up close to famous artworks, and even take virtual tours of entire museums right from your mobile device.
The app is packed with amazing views of great things from around the world, and provides a welcome mental shift no matter where your physical body is.
This last selection is actually the app that controls background selection for Google’s Pixel line of phones, but it’s widely available — just as with some of the other apps on this list, if you’re no You have a Pixel device, which you can think of as an easy upgrade from your system’s default wallpaper picker.
Aptly named wallpapers make finding a background for your home screen a fun adventure, with options to choose stunning static or motion-based images in a variety of different categories – from landscapes, seascapes, and planets to art and geometric shapes.
The best part, though, is the way Wallpapers can automatically change your wallpaper to a new one every day within whatever category your boat floats (including, if you’re so inclined, your selfies of floating boats). It’s a nice little surprise when you switch between different work tasks that are very important ™.
Auto update wallpaper – now, This refreshing.
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