It’s known that I don’t necessarily agree with the way Google does things at times, particularly in the realm of consumer privacy. But this doesn’t mean I don’t use Google products, because there are certain services they have that definitely do get it right the first time.
This is the best mapping product on the internet due to the fact you can look up directions using very vague terms and still get what you’re looking for.
For example, if I go to Google Maps and enter a search term from tampa to orlando, the result will in fact show directions from Tampa, Florida to Orlando, Florida.
You may not see this as a big deal, but the fact that search even worked is a marvel of technology. I did not specify the state nor I did not specify the country. Google Maps simply knew what to do and delivered the proper result.
In addition, I can use other general regional designations and it will still work. If I enter the search from tampa to 32801 (an Orlando ZIP code), that works too.
Granted, Bing Maps will do most of what Google Maps can do, but it does so in a way that’s slower and not as intuitive. Google still rules the roost as having the best maps on the internet.
This may not be the best online document suite (I prefer ThinkFree when it comes to UI and feature set), but it is the fastest and easiest to share out content with. GDocs loads very quickly, imports nearly any type of document (even PDFs) and does so in a manner that’s completely safe being it’s online rather than on your local PC.
The collaboration tools within GDocs at present cannot be matched when compared to any other like free product. Share anything with anyone anywhere just with a few clicks. For a team of people, you can delegate who gets editing privileges and who doesn’t. The security of your data is also better than average; the security of your data is solid and sound.
Updated right-now Google search results
This is something that escaped most people’s radar, but you will notice since late 2009 that Google search results will show content posted to the internet even as little as 30 minutes ago. This was not present in G’s search results before. It used to be that the newest information you’d get was about a week old. But now you get results very close to the speed of Twitter – and that was no easy task on G’s part.
Another very underrated product from the GOOG camp. This is the best free photo editor, period. No learning curve required, good solid photo editing options that people actually use (important), a wonderful UI design, super-easy import from any digital camera, the list goes on and on.
Picasa for all intents and purposes should be a paid product. It’s that good. This is a product that will make you happy.
I am very anti-toolbar by nature, but I understand a lot of people like to use them. And if you’re going to use one, G’s Toolbar is the best of the lot. Why? Because it has the features you’d use most often, such as a one-click solution for Translate. Add to the fact Google has a very powerful set of products that you can easily add into the toolbar, and you’ll quickly realize why G’s offering is the best you could use.
Strangely, it is not available for Chrome – and it should be. Granted, many of G’s toolbar features are in Chrome already, but it would be oh-so nice to get the full toolbar functionality in that browser, especially considering both are Google products. Maybe someday soon we’ll see it for Chrome?
The PCMech.com weekly newsletter has been running strong for over 8 years. Sign up to get tech news, updates and exclusive content - right in your inbox. Also get (several) free gifts.