This is part of our 12 Days of Google series. You may also want to check out:
- The first day: Google Reviews Dumpster Dive: Garbage Reviews & How to Avoid Them
- The second day: 23 Gmail Tricks to Make your Life Easier (Even Better!)
- The third day: Three Google Analytics Tasks for you Today
- The fourth day: How To: Adwords For Local Businesses & Agencies
- The fifth day: Google AMP For Business: The How and Why
What used to take a few searches and several clicks to find is often now surfaced in a knowledge graph or feature snippet—position zero. In many cases, you no longer even need to click into search results to find what you’re looking for, because Google has brought it right to the top. Here are some fun Google tricks. Some will make your life easier and others are easter eggs you can use as party tricks.
32 Fun Google Tricks
Set a timer
Google “set timer for x amount of time” and Google pulls up a timer. Push start, and it will beep when the time runs out.
Every time I visit a new city, I look up a ton of restaurants ahead of time. But, when the time comes, usually I haven’t mapped out a plan in advance, so when the hunger hits, I just need to find a decent place nearby. When you open Google Maps on your phone, there is a small bar on the bottom that you can open to see food and drink places nearby. Sort by lunch spots, coffee, cheap, etc, and see all the reviews at the same time.
Find your IP address
Your IP address is the address or logical location of your computer when it’s connected to the Internet. Ask Google for your IP address to quickly get it in a time of need.
Find sunrise or sunset time
To quickly identify the sunrise or sunset time of whatever city you are in, simply search it and the almighty Google will tell you. This is Saskatoon on the shortest day of the year. Thankfully we are now on an upswing, so this will get earlier and earlier.
To quickly convert from imperial to metric or vice versa, simply type your question into Google. Tall people tend to be more successful, right?
Find the local time
If you’re hopping from airport to airport, this feature can come in handy. Just Google local time and voila.
Find the time in another region
Have a business meeting with someone in another time zone and don’t want to make a blunder when scheduling a meeting and don’t want to ask them what the time difference is? Simply type in “local time in” and the region and Google’s got your back with the intel you need.
Easy tip calculator
Google can help you with that pesky task that can leave both you and your server with an awkward tension—calculating tip percentage. Just type it in, then select the appropriate numbers for your frugalness or generosity. It’s also perfect for splitting the tab between friends.
Type any string of digits into Google with an “=English” to follow and Google will write the number out for you.
Flip a coin
While Google may solve every question you have come up, for those that are unable to be answered by facts, flip a coin!
Roll a die
Need more options than a coin can provide? Roll a die instead!
Ask Google to convert from one currency to another.
Find a flight
Ask Google to find a flight from one destination to another. Google will suggest some top flights and can even track these flights for price changes and send an email to your inbox to notify you of the flight changes.
Simply typing into Google: “definition of” and the word you want to define, and the results will bring up a featured definition snippet in Google. No more going to a dictionary website for what you need!
Similar to the definition, typing in “synonym of” and the word you would like to get synonyms for, and Google will surface a snippet with the definition and synonyms. Throw that thesaurus out the window.
Have a song stuck in your head or are you having a friendly dispute with a coworker or loved one as to what the actual lyrics of a song are? Simply type “lyrics to” and the name of the song and, once again, Google has your back. Notice I typed in the lyrics and not the proper title of the song and Google still knew what I was talking about. Thanks Google.
One of the ten things Google knows to be true is that you can make money without doing evil (Google). From their relentless pursuit of the ultimate user experience to the results they surface, this not so fun Google trick shows the humanity behind the engine. If you search suicide or “I want to commit suicide,” Google will surface help articles and the help number in your country.
Google knows a lot and can answer almost any question, but it is no answer to existentialism. But, if you go to Google Maps’ satellite view and zoom out as far as you can, you’ll get a view of the Earth from space with real time shadows. Feel small in a good way.
If you think Earth looks neat, go to Google Mars and see a map of Mars. If that doesn’t give you a more accurate view of how insignificant your life’s dilemmas are, nothing will.
One more zoom out: with Google Sky Maps, you can stars, constellations, planets and even galaxies.
Want to try flying a plane but don’t have tens of thousands of hours and even more money? Using Google Earth, press ctrl+alt+A for a basic flight simulation experience. More keys and controls can be found here.
Mind reading search
As an April fool’s joke in 2000, Google released MentalPlex, which has been kept in its original form for you to enjoy today. Simply stare into the MentalPlex circle and mentally project what you would like to see.
StarWars may be all the rage now, but there are definitely some Star Trek purists out there. Google acknowledges this with its Klingon search option. There are also searches for Pirates and Elmer Fudd.
Search “atari breakout” in a Google image search and you can play the game!
Do a barrel roll
Type “do a barrel roll” into the search bar. For fun, there is absoltuely no good reason to do this, of course.
If you Google “askew” or “tilt,” Google will shift your world. This one bothers me like a crooked picture.
There are some word nerds at Google, for sure. If you type “recursion” into the search box. The search engine suggests “recursion” as an alternative.
The answer to life
The only thing you didn’t think you could find on Google is here. If you search “answer to life the universe and everything” Google will tell you. Fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams knew that already, though.
Horns on a unicorn
And I’m not talking about a startup company valued at over $1 billion (though in Canada, this is apparently called a narwhal).
What is the loneliest number?
Google is a smarmy beast. Ask “what is the loneliest number” and you’ll get the answer in a calculator.
There you have it, every fun Google trick you could ever need, as well as some you could never possibly need or even want.