Google offers the most extensive variety of indispensable or very useful FREE Apps. In my opinion, no other company comes close to Google in this arena. You think you know most Google Apps? Think again, this article presents close to 100 Google Apps! Can you name more than 10? Whichever technology platform your devices run under (Apple iOS / Android / Windows), very few of us, if any, do not use one or many of the Google indispensable or very useful FREE Apps. The object of this article is to regroup the Google Apps in one article and classify them by categories to simplify your review and selection.
Readers of this blog have been encouraged, in many articles, to use as little Apps vendors as possible and deal mainly with market leaders to limit their exposure to malware and bad surprises. Google should figure as one of your top Apps supplier, whichever technology platform your devices run under. This means that you should FIRST look for Google Apps to satisfy whatever need you may have. When someone talks to you about a new App that you should install and use, before doing so, you should look up to see if that need could not be fulfilled with one of the Google Apps. In addition to limiting your security exposures, this approach also has many other benefits derived for Apps integration.
One major benefit of using most Apps from the same vendor is Apps integration. When the same vendor offers many Apps, it will generally integrate these over time to derive additional valuable benefits. One which is becoming apparent these days is the growing popularity of Virtual Assistant Apps which requires Apps integration and interaction. Virtual Assistant Apps will be covered in an upcoming article. In the meantime, do not hesitate to review article 18.01-Voice on today’s smartphones provides the functionality to be more efficient and maximize your productivity-2015-06-17 which is an integral part of Virtual Assistant Apps.
The indispensable and very useful FREE Google Apps
To get a perspective on the quantity and the variety of Google’s FREE Apps, I have reproduced below the list of the current Google FREE Apps available on Android as displayed in Google Play Store. You can access this list at: Android Apps on Google Play. Following this list you will find the grouping of these Apps by categories with a small description of each. Many of these Apps are available and also run under Apple iOS and Windows.
Google Apps grouped by categories
In order to simplify your understanding in the use of the wide array of Google FREE Apps, I have regrouped them into different categories. I have also added a short description of each App to accelerate your search of the Apps that best suit your needs. The Google Apps by categories are:
Business / Investments
- Google My Business – Connects you directly with customers, whether they’re looking for you on Search, Maps or Google+. Use the free app to: Update your business info on Search, Maps and more / Share news, updates and photos on Google / Get custom insights, such as how many times you show up on Google / Read and respond to reviews from your customers / Choose to get notifications about important activity for your business.
- Google Analytics – Access all of your Google Analytics web and app reporting profiles from your mobile device. The app has an all-new look and feel that’s optimized for phones and tablets, so you can easily get your Analytics data anytime, anywhere.
- AdWords – Helps you stay connected with your ad campaigns from anywhere, using your Android smartphone. You can easily view your ads’ performance on the go with this simplified companion to your desktop account.
- AdWords Express – Helps you reach new customers on Google. Create your ad in less than 15 minutes, and only pay when potential customers click your ad to visit your website or give you a call. Stay connected to how your ad is doing — all from your mobile device.
- Google AdSence – It is an easy way to earn money from your online content. Simply display relevant and engaging ads on your website, mobile sites, videos, site … It provides an easy way to view key data from your AdSense and AdMob accounts. It allows you to access reporting features anywhere, directly from your mobile device.
- Creative Preview (Beta) – To make sure you know how consumers will experience your ad creative when it actually goes live.
- Google Apps Lookup – It allows Google Apps for Business and Google Apps for Education users to find and contact any user in their corporate domain.
Camera / Photos / Videos
- Google Photos – The home for all your photos and videos with Cloud storage and photo & video editing and sharing.
- Google Camera – Android smartphone/tablet camera App.
- Snapseed – Professional photo editor
Cloud / Accounts
- Google Drive – The Google Cloud service used by default by Google’s Apps.
- Cloud Print – Print from any compatible Android device to any Google Cloud Print connected printer. Share a picture or a document from apps like Gallery directly to Cloud Print.
- Cloud Console – It enables you to manage your solution running on the Google Cloud Platform directly from your Android phone or tablet.
Entertainment / Media
- Chromecast – Cast entertainment and Apps from your smartphone/tablet/PC on your big screen TV/monitor.
- YouTube – Watch videos from all over the world.
- YouTube Kids – A simplified YouTube for kids.
- YouTube Creator Studio – Manage your channel on the go. Update video details and settings.
- YouTube for Google TV – YouTube your way on the biggest screen in the house, from a playlist of music videos to your favorite comedy channels.
- YouTube for Android TV – YouTube your way on the biggest screen in the house, from a playlist of music videos to your favorite comedy channels. Finding something to watch is simple with voice search.
- Google App for Android TV – The fastest, easiest way to explore movies, music and other content for your Android TV, when you need it. Use your voice to quickly search for movies, tv, music and more. Easily navigate through films, actors, artists, apps and albums. Ask Google for quick facts about anything. Plus: Google Search can help your discover content from other apps on your TV.
- Google Cast – It is a technology that enables multi-screen experiences and lets a user send and control content like video from a small computing device like a phone, tablet, or laptop to a large display device like a television. This app includes Google Cast receiver for Android TV platform. Available and pre-installed only on Google approved Android TV devices.
- Android TV Remote – Use your Android smartphone/tablet as a TV remote with all Android TV devices.
- Android TV Launcher – It is the jumping-off point for starting all activities on your Android TV entertainment device.
- Live Channels – This App is for watching Live TV. Watch your favorite news, sports, movies and TV shows from various channel sources such as built-in tuner, IP-based tuners, and more and show them instantly on your Android TV.
- Google Play Music – Google Play Music provides free, ad-supported radio for what you’re doing, how you’re feeling, or what you want to hear. Instantly start radio stations based on songs, artists, or albums, or browse by genre, mood, activity, decade, and more. Bring your own music collection with you by uploading 50,000 of your own songs; then listen to them across Android, iOS, and the web, for free.
- Sound Search for Google Play Music – Help you recognize music and songs playing around you.
- Google Play Books – Choose from millions of books including new releases, New York Times® bestsellers, textbooks and free classics. Easily adjust font size and customize even more of your reading experience. Read online or offline and pick up where you left off on your phone, tablet, or computer.
- Google Play Movies – Allows you to watch movies and TV shows purchased or rented on Google Play / Watch your favorite movies and shows instantly on your Android phone or tablet, or on any HDTV using Chromecast / You can also download and watch from anywhere, even when you’re not connected.
- Google Spotlight Stories – It is your mobile movie theater, bringing stories to life using the latest advances in mobile technology. Using 3D and 2D animation, 360° spherical cinema-quality video, full-sphere surround sound, and sensor fusion techniques, the screen is now a window into a story that unfolds all around you.
Food / Restaurants
- Zagat – It is your guide to discovering the best and most notable restaurants, bars, shops and hotels in dozens of top locations around the world. No need to wade through dozens of reviews, you will be told in a nutshell what other people are saying.
- Google Play Games – Choose from thousands of games.
- Google Cardboard – Virtual reality on your smartphone.
- Cardboard Design Lab – Enjoy an educational and immersive journey through principles for developing virtual reality experiences.
Office / Productivity Tools
- Gmail – The premier email service from Google
- Inbox by Gmail – An improved way of working with Gmail
- Google Calendar – A versatile electronic agenda App.
- Google Translate – The premier translation App.
- Google Handwriting Input – Google Handwriting Input allows you to handwrite text on your phone or tablet in 82 languages. A useful complement to touchscreen typing or voice input.
- Google Text-to-Speech – It powers applications to read the text on your screen aloud. It can be used by Google Play Books to “Read Aloud” your favorite book, by Google Translate to speak translations aloud so you can hear the pronunciation of a word, by TalkBack and accessibility applications for spoken feedback across your device, and many other applications.
- Google Docs – MS Word equivalent for creating and editing narrative documents.
- Google Sheets – MS Excel equivalent for creating and editing spreadsheets.
- Google Slides – MS PowerPoint equivalent for creating and editing presentations.
- Google PDF Viewer – View, print, search and copy text from pdf documents while you’re on the go. PDF Viewing is now available directly in Google Drive.
- Google Search – The most used premier Internet search engine.
- Google Goggles – Search by taking a picture: point your mobile phone camera at a painting, a famous landmark, a barcode or QR code, a product, or a popular image. If Goggles finds it in its database, it will provide you with useful information.
- Google News & Weather – Your comprehensive and personalized view of headline stories and local news & weather. Coverage from 65,000 publications.
- Google Now – The fastest, easiest way to find what you need on the web and on your device / Use your voice to search and more / Get personalized results based on your location.
- Google Now Launcher – On your smartphone swipe the Google Now Cards to access what you have been working on or timely info of interest. When you’re on your home screen, just say “Ok Google” to trigger voice input search queries.
- Google Keeps – Quickly capture what’s on your mind and get a reminder later at the right place or time. Speak a voice memo on the go and have it automatically transcribed. Grab a photo of a poster, receipt or document and easily organize or find it later in search.
- Google Wallet – Speed checkout with Tap & Pay on Android devices and other payment options.
- Google Express – Great stores like Costco, Target, and Walgreens delivered to your door today. Become a member and get free same-day or overnight delivery on eligible orders over $15. Restrictions apply.
- Google Purchase – Will be available in 2015 – Purchase is a new feature that lets you make purchases directly through Google Search results. When an advertisement for a product appears in search results, you’ll be able to click on that product and select the checkout option if you want to buy it. Google is also rolling out a new feature called conversational voice search. This means you can ask Google Now a shopping-related query in natural language, and it will pull up an answer. Google is also adding a few new cards to Google Now. A new product reviews card will show you reviews for a certain product when you ask. A price drop card will show you when a particular item is on sale, too.
Phones / Communications / Social
- Hangouts Dialer – Call using your smartphone or tablet for free using VOIP and WiFi.
- Google Voice – Make cheap international calls with your Google number and send free text messages. Currently only available in the US.
- Messenger – Send and receive SMS and MMS messages to/from any phone.
- Google+ – It’s a place to connect with friends and family, and explore all of your interests. Share photos, send messages, and stay in touch with the people … Competes with Facebook.
- Hangouts – Keep in touch. Message friends, start free video or voice calls, and hop on a conversation with one person or a group. Similar to Skype.
- Blogger – Start blogging on the go / Compose a post that you can save to draft or immediately publish / Edit existing posts / View list of your saved and published posts / Embed an image from the gallery, or, by taking a picture directly from the app.
- Project Fi by Google – Project Fi is a new wireless experience from Google designed to help you get the highest-quality connection, enable easy communication across networks and devices, and make the service experience as simple as possible. For more information about Project Fi and how to sign up, visit com/fiand request an invite. Here is a YouTube video: Google Project Fi – The Future is Calling.
Sports / Health
- Google Fit – Effortlessly track your walking, running and cycling physical activity.
Tools / Utilities
- Chrome Browser – The must use browser when web surfing using a variety of technologies.
- Chrome Beta – Preview and try out the newest Chrome features. Give early feedback. Let Google know what you think and help make Chrome for Android a better browser.
- Chrome Dev for Android – Try out our latest features / Give early feedback / Let Google know what you think to help make Chrome for Android a better browser.
- Chrome Samsung Support Library – Chrome Support package for certain Samsung devices.
- Chrome Remote Desktop – Securely access your computers from your Android device.
- Google Chrome to Phone – Easily share links, maps, and currently selected phone numbers and text between your computer running Chrome and your phone.
- Android System WebView – It is a system component powered by Chrome that allows Android apps to display web content. This component is pre-installed on Android device and should be kept up to date to ensure you have the latest security updates and other bug fixes.
- Android Device Manager – Locate Android devices associated with your Google account. Reset your device’s screen lock PIN. Erase all data on the phone.
- Google Device Assist – It provides tips and proactive troubleshooting to help you get the most out of your device.
- Clock – Clock, alarm, timer, stopwatch …
- Android Wear – The Android Wear App is the link to Android wearables. Control voice action preferences, adjust notification settings, and configure devices.
- Google Authenticator – Google Authenticator generates 2-step verification codes on your phone in addition to your account password for your protection.
- Google Gesture Search – It lets you quickly access contacts, applications, settings, music and bookmarks on your Android device by drawing letters or numbers. It continuously refines search results as you add each gesture, and becomes better as it learns from your search history.
- Androidify – Create and share your animated Android characters as emoticons, animated GIFs and pictures over texts, posts or chats.
- Google Apps Device Policy – ***THIS APP IS FOR GOOGLE APPS FOR BUSINESS, EDUCATION, AND GOVERNMENT USERS ONLY*** Google Apps Device Policy makes your Android device more secure.
- Google Japanese Input – Featuring a rich and relevant vocabulary set and convenient conversion capability to increase the efficiency of Japanese Input.
- Google Pinyin Input – It is an input method (IME) optimized for typing Chinese on Android.
- Google Zhuyin Input – It is a smart input method app for typing traditional Chinese on Android phone and tablet.
- Google Korean Input. It is a smart input method app for typing Korean on Android phone and tablet.
- Google Hindi Input – It is an Indic keyboard which allows you to type messages, update on social networks or compose emails in Hindi on an Android phone.
- Google Cantonese Input – It makes text input smart and easy. Users only need to use English letters to write out how they think the Cantonese word sounds.
Travel / Tourism
- Google Maps – The premier map App. Comprehensive, accurate maps in 220 countries and territories / Voice-guided GPS navigation for driving, biking, and walking / Transit directions and maps for over 15,000 towns and cities / Live traffic conditions, incident reports, and automatic rerouting to find the best route / Detailed information on more than 100 million places / Street View and indoor imagery for restaurants, museums, and more.
- Street View on Google Maps – You can explore the world at street level. See popular landmarks, check out places you want to visit in your hometown or far away, and take a virtual trip around the world.
- Google Earth – Explore the globe in the comfort of your home.
- My Maps – Create your own custom maps with to plan a vacation, find an apartment, make a map of bird sightings in your area …
- My Tracks – Records your path, speed, distance, and elevation while you walk, run, bike, or do anything else outdoors. While recording, you can view your data live, annotate your path, and hear periodic voice announcements of your progress.
- Car Home – Turn your phone into your personal navigation and infotainment device. Quickly access navigation, voice actions, and other features while driving.
- Street Art watch face – A collection of beautiful street art watch faces from Google Art Project.
For physically impaired people:
- Intersection Explorer – Speaks the layout of the streets and intersections in neighborhoods as you touch and drag your finger around the map. This helps blind and low vision users get an understanding of a neighborhood both before venturing out and while on the go.
- Google Talkback – It is an Accessibility Service that helps blind and vision-impaired users interact with their devices.
- BrailleBack – An Accessibility Service that helps blind users make use of braille devices. It works together with the TalkBack app to give a combined braille and speech experience.
- Google Opinion Rewards – Answer quick surveys and earn Google Play credits.
- Android Auto – Brings familiar Apps and services to the screen in your dash, making it safer and easier to get the information you need while you’re on the road.
- Google Classroom – It helps teachers save time, keep classes organized, and improve communication with students. It is available to anyone with Google Apps for Education, a free suite of productivity tools including Gmail, Drive and Docs.
- Screenwise Panel – This mobile app is used to manage registered panelists’ participation in market research panels. If you are not a registered panelist, this app will not function; please do not download or use this app.
- Google Admin – Lets you manage your Google for Work account on-the-go. Add and manage users and groups, contact support, and view audit logs for your organization. This app is only for super administrators of Google for Work products, including Google Apps for Work, Education, Government, Google Coordinate, and Chromebooks.
- Google Fiber TV – Control your entire Google Fiber TV experience with the touch of your fingers. Requires a subscription to the Google Fiber TV service (currently only available in select areas).
- MyGlass – Lets you set up, manage, and add new features to your Glass device.
- Google I/O 2015 – An App built to be your co-pilot to navigate the Google I/O 2015 conference, whether you’re attending in-person or remotely.
- One Today by Google – Want to be inspired and help change the world at the same time? This App lets you give a little, and change a lot. Support the projects you’re passionate about with one click. Easily share that good feeling with friends—get your donations matched, too.
- Study Kit – This application is for use with the Google Study Kit to upload and view data from your Study Kit devices.
- Android for Work App – It provides the ultimate solution to get work done on your Android device and separates your work and personal data. Only compatible with companies that have enrolled with an Android for Work partner solution.
- Interactive Events – It allows guests, attending events run by Google, to interact with speakers on stage, take notes, participate in Q&A, connect to social media, and request further follow up information. The app is not available at events not organized by Google.
- Android Device Enrollment – Quickly and easily set up tablets purchased through Google Apps for Education. Admins can use this app to enable tablets to receive content from Google Play for Education, as well as transfer the configuration information.
The Google indispensable FREE Apps
Since many of the Google Apps have already been documented in previous articles, in order to limit le length of this article, I will refer the reader to these articles for further details about these Apps.
Gmail, running under Windows, is the backbone of many indispensable and very useful Google Apps. Integrated into Gmail running under Windows is Contacts and Tasks. Via Gmail running under Windows you can access your Google account, Google +, your notifications, the Gmail settings, select input tools and open a variety of other Google Apps. To learn how to configure Gmail you should read articles: 07.1–How to configure Gmail?-2012/01/19 and 07.4-Google’s recent Gmail, Contacts and Calendars updates offer unsurpassed functionality and ease of use for multi device users.-2015-04-02.
Gmail runs under various operating systems (Apple iOS/Android/Windows). It is therefore ideal, in addition to its extensive functionality, for people using a variety of devices.
The Google Chrome browser is the most versatile internet browser and the best suited for individuals that have multiple devices running under various operating systems (Apple iOS/Android/Windows). Using a single browser like Chrome with all your devices simplifies your learning curve and the complexity of running different browsers on each device.
Gmail and Chrome are the two pillars of the Google Essential Apps. They are complemented by Contacts, Calendar and other key Google FREE Apps highlighted in article: 07.2 – The Google Universe-2013-06-24.
I encourage you to read and refer to the three articles referenced above in addition to the current article for learning more about Google Apps.
My latest discoveries
Field Trip is your guide to the cool, hidden and unique things in the world around you. It runs in the background on your phone, and when you get close to something interesting, Field Trip pops up a card with details about the location – no touches or taps required. The hyperlocal history experts of Arcadia will unveil local lore in places you never expected. Trend-setting publications like Thrillist, Food Network, Zagat and Eater will point out the best places to eat and drink. Experts at Sunset, Cool Hunting, WeHeart, Inhabitat and Remodelista will guide you to the latest unique stores and products. Songkick and Flavorpill guide you to local music.
Discover thousands of interesting places/experiences that fall under the following categories: Architecture, Historic Places & Events, Lifestyle, Offers & Deals, Food Drinks & Fun, Movie Locations, Outdoor Art and Obscure Places of Interest around you.
Choose from three different modes to set frequency of Field Trip notifications. See “Field Trip” worthy places around you on a map, by touching on cards in map view to pull up enthralling points of interest around you.
Go on a Field Trip while you drive. Field Trip can detect when you’re driving and automatically “talk” about interesting places and experience around you.
Capture the memory of a special place, by sharing a wondrous discovery through email and social networks such as Google+, Twitter and Facebook.
Wondering where the gem that you recently discovered is? Find your discovered Field Trip cards in the Recent section.
For more info about Field Trip go to: http://support.google.com/fieldtrip
This concludes this article on Google’s indispensable or very useful FREE Apps universe. I invite you to take the time to explore all that is offered to you to take full advantage of your tablet and smartphone potential.