Google tips and tools for Mac Users

Google offers many search techniques and tools for the Mac.  Most are too complicated to remember and are not particularly useful when you need something in a hurry.  However, here are several Google search tips and tools that I have found useful for the Mac.

Search Tips
Pictures of yourself on the web.  You can find pictures of yourself on the web.  Just search for your name under images.  For example, I found a huge number of pictures of myself on the web just by doing a search for “Wise Young” images on Google.  You can narrow this by adding “&imgtype=face” to the end of your search string in the URL to select out only those images that contain faces.

Calculations, exchange rate, and fuzzy searches.  If you put two numbers with an arithmetic operator, e.g. 45 + 39, 45 /39, or 45 ^ 2, the Google search engine will calculate the results for you.  If you put a ~ sign in front of a word, it will broaden the search to related words.  If you put a + sign in front of a word, it will require that the word be used in the search.

Monetary Exchange Rates.  If you write  12 hong kong dollars to us dollars, Google will return “12 Hong Kong dollars = 1.548588 U.S. dollars”.  It is quite tolerant.  For example, you can use renmenpi instead of Chinese yuan, GBP instead of pounds,

Track flight status.  Just type in the airline and flight number into the Google search bar and it will return a line that gives the status of the flight.  For example, if I enter “Continental flight 99”, Google returns a track which says when the plane left and when it will arrive, as well as a link to http://flightstats.com which allows you to change the date of the flight.  This unfortunately works for U.S. flights only.

Look up word in the dictionary.  Just type “Define: xxxx” where xxxx is the word that you want to know the definition of.

Look up stock.  Type “Stocks: xxxx” where xxxx is the stock symbol.  For example, “Stocks: ACOR” will call up a link that will give you the latest stock quote for Acorda Therapeutics.

Google Tools for Mac

Many of Google products were designed for Windows users.  For a long time, they ignored Mac users.  However, this is changing.  Several Google products have versions specifically designed for the Mac.

Calaboration.  If you use a iCal on a Mac, Google now gives you a tool that will easily helps you synchronize your iCal with all your Google calendars.  This program allows you to choose select google calendars to add or remove from your iCal.  Your iCal calendar then synchronizes automatically with your google calendars.

•  Google Mail. This provides unified communications with email, instant messages, as well as voice and video communications, all from the inbox of your Gmail.  Google provides 25 Gb of storage per user which allows you to keep all emails and has the best search technology for finding old messages.  It receives and sends mail from any computer that has web access.  It has one of the most sophisticated spam prevention systems on internet.  It links into Google calendar and mobile devices.  You can also get Notifier for the Mac, which accesses Gmail messages from your desktop.

•  Google Desktop.  This downloadable program gives you a google search box that can be brought up by pressing the CTRL button twice (which brings or hides the searchbox).  Google Desktop automatically index and allows you to do full text searches of files made by many programs, including Microsoft applications, Firefox, Adobe, images, videos, and others.  It stores all of the information, including deleted files, including images of deleted files.  It allows advanced searches that includes specifying time windows for the information.

So, in summary, Google provides several powerful tools for Mac Users.  These tools are becoming increasingly integrated with Mac and your mobile phone, serving communications and calendar functions in a way that no other system does.

Posted on Carecure on December 3, 2008.

Blogged with the Flock Browser
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