Not everyone realises this, but Google is so much more than just a research aid or fact-finder for the curious. The search engine has a million other uses, and we’ve picked some of our all-time favourites to share with you.

How About Geography Trivia?

If you’ve never heard about Google-style geography trivia, then you’ve been missing out on a lot. Meet Smarty Pins, Google’s own Google-Maps based geography trivia game. When joining Smarty Pins, you’re “awarded” a total of 1,000 miles in your travel bank. Google will then begin asking you trivia questions and to pin down specific locations on a map. For every mile you’re off with your pin, Google will subtract one mile from your remaining miles in the bank. You can also win more bonus miles by answering within 15 seconds.

Once you’ve answered and placed your pin, a hint will pop into view guiding you along. The goal is obviously to answer as many questions as possible before your miles run out. But beware! Smarty Pins can be addictive.

Reminders With Google Now

Google Now’s reminder feature is pretty darn cool. Since certain Google searches will being into view a “card” (when searching for movies, holidays, etc.), it’s also possible to set date reminders whenever your search is associated with a specific date. An example would be a reminder about the release date of a movie.

When searching anything date-related, you will note the option, “Remind Me on Google Now” popping into view. Clicking on this option will add a reminder to your smartphone or tablet. Just remember that you’ll need to have “Personal Results” turned on in order for this to work.

Get Your High-Res Art Fix

Forever trying instill knowledge in its users, Google is only too happy to help you in your quest to really appreciate and learn about famous works of art. Several museums and other cultural societies have been working tirelessly uploading high-resolution works of art to their online libraries. And thanks to Google’s own artsandculture.google.com domain, you can now view literally thousands of famous works of art in superb high-digital resolution quality.

Play Games

Knowing some of Google’s lesser-known secrets can be a real boredom-buster. Google games are super effective at achieving exactly that. Google regularly updates its own list of play-ables at elgoog.im. There’s a nice variety too, although you won’t find the amazing online slots NZ offers here. But remember the Snake Game? Or Atari Breakout? You’ll find it all on Google’s special games platform.

Something For Word Lovers

Word lovers generally love Google. The search engine is after all the ultimate go-to-guy when wanting to check the spelling or even the pronunciation of a word. But did you know that it’s also possible to compare the popularity of words throughout history? This has got to be one of our favourite hidden Google gems. To check how popular a word, or even a combination of words, was at any specific point in time, simply head on over to Google’s word popularity checker at Google Books’ Ngram Viewer. Lovers of words and trivia won’t be disappointed.

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Lauren Sanchez - Author

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