The company, which started as a University project in 1996 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, both PhD students at Stanford University, has today turned into an Internet powerhouse and has the most influential web presence. For the past 15 years, the company has created over 100 products and some of them are extensively used across the world. So, here are our 15 favourite Google products.
Google Search is undoubtedly the company’s best product. It is the most powerful and reliable search engine. Apart from bringing tons and tons of information to your fingertips, the Search engine also ranks and indexes the Internet. Over the years, Google has enhanced the engine with handy features. One of the notable and our favourite feature is Instant Search that suggests results as the user types.
No one needs an introduction to Gmail. Google’s free email service was launched as an invite-only service in 2004, and then released for public in February 2007. Gmail was the first to introduce unlimited email space, which negated the need to delete older emails. We’ve seen it evolve over the years and also integrate with other Google products like GTalk. Undoubtedly, it has been instrumental in changing the way we use email.
An extension of YOU, says Google
It was last year in April that Google released Drive for users. You may have noticed that one fine day your "Docs" tag was replaced by Google’s cloud storage dubbed Drive. Basically Drive's a file storage and synchronising service that initially offers 15GB of free cloud storage to dump your docs, files, photos, movies, etc. The storage space can be further expanded with a premium subscription. It also houses Docs, which is Google’s freeware web-based Office suite. Docs is known for its efficiency as a "collaborative" tool.
YouTube is one of Google’s best acquisitions. The search giant acquired it in 2006. Needless to say, it allows billions of people to discover, watch and share video content. It has also started a paid subscription service, allowing creators to set subscription fees and accept advertisements, at their discretion, for the channels they create.
Youtube is getting bigger with more channels
Google Translate ensures that language in not a barrier while looking for information on the Internet. Google Translate currently supports over 70 languages. It lets you translate words, sentences and even pages using any two combinations of the supported languages.
This product has changed the way we look at the mobile world. This Linux-based software is an open platform that was unveiled in 2007, and is built specifically for touch-enabled devices. Today, more than 50 percent of the world's phones run on Android. The operating system and its openness has ensured that we have phones for every budget segment.
It is one of the most popular and reliable services by Google. Google’s web mapping service made its debut in February 2005, and soon enough Google Maps for Android followed. Millions of people across the world use its mapping service for directions, location details and to get the real view of an unknown street (Street View feature). And, who doesn't remember the chaos that was caused when Apple ditched Google Maps for its own set of Maps. Google had to launch its maps as a standalone app, owing to a lot of public pressure.
Blogger has been a boon for writers, allowing them to self-publish their thoughts and share them as time-stamped entries. It has played an important role in building the blogging era. Today, it is available in over 50 languages. Blogger is a product of Pyra Labs that Google acquired in 2003.
This photo-sharing website is yet another amazing product from Google. Brain child of a company called Lifescape and owned by Google since 2004, Picasa is an image organiser and viewer. It helps edit, organise and share photos. Some new features of Picasa include photo-editing effects such as Vignette and Duo-tone, and it also allows comparing the original and edited versions of the same photo by placing them side-by-side.
Google's 1,000 Mbps Internet service launched last year is a hundred times faster than the average Internet connection in the world, giving Google Fiber a great start. With almost crawling Internet speeds that we get, who wouldn't like the Fiber.
Google Play store
In May last year, Google renamed the Android Market to Play Store. Google Play brings together Android apps, Google Books, Music and Movies, all under one roof. Google's app store has over 1 million active apps, which is a great feat in such a short span of time. Today, it overtakes arch rival Apple's App store in the number of downloads.
The public appearances made by the futuristic-looking Google Glass, a wearable computer with head-mounted display, have increased over the last year. The device is expected to make its debut next year and will also get its own app store.
Hangouts is the unified cross-platform messaging service that effortlessly replaced the G Talk and G+ Messaging earlier in May. Hangouts was earlier introduced as the video-conferencing feature for its social network Google+. We particularly love the Hangouts video conferencing ability that lets one "hangout" with up to 9 other people at a time.
This is Google's free calendar service that came into existence in 2006. Its interface was designed by the designer of Gmail, and the tool is integrated within the email service. Nevertheless, if you aren't a Gmail user, you can register for the standalone service too. You can schedule events and even invite people. Moreover, you can share and compare your schedule with others or simply keep your calendar private.
The Chrome browser made its public appearance in September 2008. The idea of this freeware web browser was initially opposed by Eric Schmidt, but he eventually gave in on seeing the real product. Today, Chrome is one of the most widely used browsers in the world.
Though Google has shut down Reader, it still counts among one of our favourite Google products. Do share your favourite Google products in the comments section below.