7 Hidden Google Gems – Number 5 Took My Breath Away

Movie still of Indiana Jones with Google logo in place of priceless artifact

We all know that Google’s pretty great. From searches to email to managing your contacts for you, Google basically covers every aspect of your online life.

Google does so much, in fact, that it’s easy to miss some of the lesser-known features. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the seven best “hidden” gems Google has to offer.

Have a favorite little-known feature we missed? Leave it in the comments and maybe we’ll do a Part 2.

1. Enhance Photos with Google+

Google+ is the most underrated social media service around. It’s so closely integrated with other Google products, as well as your computer and phone, that it’s surprising that it hasn’t taken the social media world by storm.

One great feature is the ability to enhance your photos automatically. Using what Google calls Auto Awesome, you can upload all your images to Google+ and let the magic happen. Google+ will do everything from making it snow in snowy pictures to taking the smiles from a group of the same pictures to make a single image where everyone is smiling and nobody is blinking.

This is all done automatically. The best way to set this up is to install the Google+ app on your mobile device and set Google+ to automatically upload new images. They’ll stay private until you share them.

Click these links for more information from Google on Auto Awesome and automatic enhancement.

SEE ALSO: 10 Tips to Build New Habits Starting Today

2. Stream 20,000 of Your Songs for Free

Google Play Music marketing panel with Katy Perry photo

Google really wants to be your go-to app for music. This is why it created Google Play Music. You can stream unlimited music for $10 a month, but for free you can upload 20,000 of your own MP3 files and stream them anywhere with the Google Play Music app.

To set this up, just head over to Google’s Music site, log in with your Google ID, and accept the agreement. To use the free service, click the “Use Standard” button.

Google Play Music free trial prompt

Next, Google will walk you through the steps to get your audio files uploaded to Google Play. There are apps for OS X, Windows, Android, and iOS. Install the apps you need, and you’re all set to get quite a bit of your music into the cloud for free.

Google Play Music informational blurbs

3. Use Google Now to Do Just About Everything

Wouldn’t it be nice if your phone could just tell you what you wanted to know before you knew you needed to know it? (Follow me?)

For example, if there’s heavy traffic on your way to work, it would be hugely helpful if you could get a notification about it before you think to check. Or how about if the scores of your favorite teams would just come up on your phone automatically without you opening the sports app?

With Google Now, both of these and more are done thanks to Google’s hive mind. Google learns about you, where you go, what you like, and what you need. Based on this information, Now tailors your experience so you get what you need without having to ask.

Google Now is available for desktop computers, iOS, and Android phones. Check out this page to see how to get it for your device.

4. Sync Calendars with Family

We all live pretty busy lives, and aligning those lives into a cohesive single calendar can seem nearly impossible. With Google Calendar, the old task of sitting down and writing everyone’s weekly activities on a wall calendar can be made far simpler by using a group calendar.

Duplicate contacts killing your productivity? See how Scrubly can help in this 100-second video.

Sign in to Google Calendar using your Google ID and create a new calendar. Give the calendar a meaningful name, like “Scrubly Family Calendar,” and a brief description. Enter your location for time zone support, then scroll down to the “Share with specific people” section.

Entering details for new Google Calendar

Enter the email addresses of the family members you wish to share with (all need to be linked to Google accounts) and make sure to give everyone the ability to see and make changes to the calendar.

Then click Create Calendar. Your invitees will get a notification and can then join the calendar. Now, events added to the calendar will show up for everyone.

Here’s more information on creating shared calendars from Google.

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5. View Amazing Art via Google

You’ve probably used Google’s image search to find pictures of just about everything and anything you could think of. But what if you wanted to view some of the world’s best art without having to know what to search for to find it?

Google Art Project landing page featuring full-screen artwork

The Google Art Project was started to archive the world’s best art so that you could look at it without leaving your house – and without having to endure the thousands of incorrect images that come up in a basic search. It’s like walking into an amazing museum, with no waiting in line!

Click here to get started with over 40,000 pieces of art and start curating your own collection today.

6. Save Locations in Google Maps

Google Maps is possibly the best way to find directions and see street-level views of where you’re going. But did you know you can save places in Google Maps so you can find them later?

Google Maps location details

All you have to do is search for a destination in Google Maps and, once it comes up, click the Save star to save the location. Now it’ll be easier to find next time you’re looking for a bite to eat or that bar you really liked on vacation.

7. Send Massive Files with Gmail

Did you know you can send some pretty huge files via Gmail without issue?

Gmail actually allows you to send files up to 10GB in size. All you have to do is send the file via Google Drive and then choose the file from your computer.

The files are stored in Google Drive and are accessible via a link in the email you send. Make sure to adjust sharing options before sending so the people that receive the email can access the file. Check out Google’s help documentation here for more information.

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