If you still think Google Search is just a search engine, you seriously need to wake up. There are so many things that Google Search

5 Essential Everyday Uses for Google Search

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If you still think Google Search is just a search engine, you seriously need to wake up. There are so many things that Google Search can do beyond just search, and some of them, I’ve come to find that I almost can’t live without. I thought I’d share 5 of my most used with you.

NB: All screenshots are taken from the Stock Browser and Dolphin Browser for Android. Appearances and interfaces may differ on other browsers (Opera Mini) and OSes (iOS, WP8 etc)

Google Search Dictionary

I can’t remember the last time I installed a dictionary app on my phone – I don’t need it. If I ever need to do a quick word check, I just enter define: word into the Google Search widget. Quicker than having to load any app.


Google Search Clock

Typing in time city gives you the accurate time for any city in the world. Very useful for when I’m following up on an international event, or when I just want to decide if it’s a good time to call or text that friend who lives in a different time zone.


Google Search Forex

I find Google search very sufficient for my currency conversion needs. If I need to estimate how much something I saw on an international website would cost in Naira (pre-artificial-inflation of course), I just type in amount original currency code in ngn (it goes both ways). 45 usd in ngn will convert 45 US Dollars to Naira. You can find a full list of all currency codes here.

Pounds to Naira

Google Search Anything on Your Phone (Android only)

You can actually use the Google Search widget on your homescreen to find anything on your phone. Yes, anything. Just key in first few letters of that contact, app, note, file you’re looking for and it will show up in your suggestions.


Some apps do not show their files by default though, so you have to enable them in the Google Search settings.

Google Search Calculator

I can’t remember when last I used an actual calculator. Google can calculate just about anything – from simple arithmetic operations (using +, /, * and -), to complex ones (sqrt, expo, cos, sin, etc), and even to plotting graphs, Google has got you covered.


How about this for fun? – (sqrt(cos(x))*cos(200x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.7)*(4-x*x)^0.01, sqrt(9-x^2), -sqrt(9-x^2)


There are many other cool ways you can use Google Search but I find these 5 very relevant and essential to my daily needs. How do you use Google Search? Are there any other features of Google Search that you absolutely cannot do without?

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  1. Nice tip.

    Out of the ones mentioned, I find the DEFINE indispensable. You are guaranteed to get a legitimate_word definition every time using DEFINE

    The currency conversion is also handy, however, I would prefer my calculator (REALCALC for Android) for calculations and unit conversion.

  2. Interesting tips and I’ve been using those for some time and some more but numbers 3 and 5 items are better left for standalone apps. You may not remember all the codes for every currency and calculators are better with complex mathematics and graphing without remembering all those cryptic functions.

    Incidentally I have an app that combines the two functions above and some more in one package on Android – HandyCalc.

  3. @eyebeekay and @Henry I find that I really don’t do conversions beyond naira (ngn), dollars (usd), euros(eur) and pounds (gbp) most of the time. And I’m sure that’s the same for most people. I hardly have to remember more than those 3. And it’s just quicker to type into my Google search widget than to start scrolling to and app or finding a calculator.
    As for the calculator feature, well I’m more particular about everyday use here, not hardcore use.

  4. Google comes in handy anytime i want to know exchange rates, i usually convert from dollars or rupees most of the time. Google understands it anyway you enter the search query; $789 to naira or 11999 rupees to naira, it just serves me with the equivalent amount.
    Its also useful for making SI units conversions, say 31lbs to kg or 31 miles per gallon to kilometers per litre.
    I seldom use it to search my phone, its has a qwerty keyboard and i have shortcuts for my frequently used apps and settings.

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