Recently I had the pleasure of hanging out with Kia Wahl from Google’s Sydney office for a couple of days.
Kia featured as a guest at our recent ‘Social Media All Stars’ Web Wednesday event, and also delivered a presentation about Google+, of which she is a product specialist at a Boardroom Briefing event at the Innovation Centre.
It was great to find out more about the Google products we know and love, but also some which are lesser known, or newer on the scene.
Kia’s visit prompted me to go looking for what else is out there in Google World.
To save you a bunch of ‘googling around’ here’s five of Google’s lesser known products that I recommend you check out:
1) Google Now
I got very excited when Kia told me about Google Now – an application that acts as your personal assistant through voice commands. Whilst you do give up some of your privacy in using it (which personally I am more than happy to do if the benefits are useful to me), it has some pretty awesome features Google Now helps you manage your day, stay connected and be a local anywhere. The big downside is that Google Now is currently only offered on Android Jelly Bean 4.1 (and unfortunately I’m an iPhone girl). Watch the video about this product here:
2) Google Glass
Released just this week, Google Glass will retailing for $1500, BUT they’re only available to US citizens for the time being. See this link for more on what they do http://www.google.com/glass/start/what-it-does/ but in short, by wearing the glasses you can access information in smartphone-like format hands-free and can interact with the Internet via natural language voice commands. For instance, wearing the glasses you can see ‘take picture’ and then you can say ‘share with my friend Jane on Facebook.’
3) Google Fieldtrip
Last September, Google launched the location-based app Field Trip for Android. FieldTrip runs on the background an automatically alerts you when it detects interesting and relevant information about places around you.
Watch the video about this product here:
Google acquired Feedburner back in 2007 for $100m and it is a really great tool that I use regularly. See this previous blog post for how I use Feedburner in regards to syndicating content on this blog and the website in general with my social networks and people interested in receiving the content we put out. In short, if you’re not using it, you should check it out: http://feedburner.com/. I’ll be running a free lunchtime webinar on RSS feeds and the use of feedburner in a couple of months. Sign up for it here.
Google’s multilingual social networking and identity service was launched on June 28, 2011 and as of December 2012, it has a total of 500 million registered users of whom 235 million are active on a monthly basis. Google has been working hard to integrate many of its existing technologies, and Kia indicated at Web Wednesday that there are more integrations to come. Check out The Creative Collective’s G+ page here.
Some big integrations that have already occurred include the fact that everyone with a gmail account now has a G+ account.
Google Places is now Google+ Local and it is highly advisable to visit your account and check that all the information has come over and to update any details that haven’t (which upon inspection in our case, we realised hadn’t). YouTube is now also somewhat integrated with Google+.
You can also now easily share YouTube videos on your Google Plus Stream, with some handy search options for YouTube when you select the video icon in the share box.
Are you already using these Google products? What do you think of them? What are your favourite Google products? Please share in the comments section below….