Google Search BarYou can certainly use some suitable alternatives like Bing, but I think we’d all agree that Google is the current reigning king of search engines. If you want to find something on the Internet, you just Google it. But did you know that the popular search engine actually has several built-in tools for extra features and functions? These cool Google tricks really make it even more useful!

In addition to YouTube, Gmail, Alerts, Keep, and Google Drive, you can actually do a lot of things with Google without ever leaving the regular old search bar. You just have to know how to ask.

The Built-in Calculator

Quick. What is 23 multiplied by 47? This isn’t the kind of arithmetic that most people can quickly do in their heads, but Google can come to the rescue. You can type in just about any equation into the search bar and Google will not only give you the answer, but it’ll also bring up a calculator if you wanted to do any more calculations. This even includes more advanced operations like trigonometry and exponents.

The Tip Calculator

Google Tip Calculator

Never ask "how much do I owe?" again

Type in “what is the tip for $X” (where X is the amount of the check) and Google will not only add the tip for you, but it’ll also split the check between as many people as you’d like. It defaults to a 15% tip and just one person, but you can easily change the check amount, tip percentage and number of people.

Get the Local Weather

There are tons of websites and widgets where you can grab a weather forecast, but you enter “(name of city) weather” into Google, you’ll immediately get the current conditions, temperature, precipitation percentage, humidity, and wind, as well as a forecast for the next few days.

Dictionary Definitions

Some words that you enter into Google will automatically render a quick definition, but you can force this function by typing “define (word)” into the search bar. This will bring up common definitions, plus a pronunciation guide. If you expand the results, you might also find information on the word origin and its usage over time, as well as the ability to translate your word to another language.

The Most Current Currency Exchange

Google Currency Converter

How many Hong Kong dollars is 150 Mexican pesos worth?

How much one American dollar is worth against the Euro changes by the minute, but Google stays on top of it all. It works best if you know the standardized code for the currencies of interest (CAD for Canadian Dollar, instead of CDN or C$), but you can convert nearly any currency by using the basic formula shown above.

Convert All the Units

Converting currency isn’t the only thing that Google can handle. You can use the same “X to Y” kind of construction to perform all sorts of unit conversion. Go from feet to meters, liters to gallons, light years to miles, tons to ounces, and whatever else you may need to do.

Checking Your Stocks

So, you’ve just invested your holiday bonus into a particular stock and you want to know how it’s performing. Yes, there are stock tracking sites and widgets, to be sure, but if you just enter the ticker code for your stock into Google, it’ll tell you its current trading value, as well as its change over time, its open, its high and low, its volume, and its market cap. This is arguably one of the most valuable Google tricks on the list, since it could literally make you money.

Sport Scores and Updates

Google Sports Scoreboard

Yes! The Canucks did win in overtime!

Stuck at yet another family function with an inability to watch your favorite team? You don’t even need to put in a date, time, or opponent. Simply type the name of your professional sports team into Google and it’ll display the box score for their most recent game, as well as their current division ranking.

Flight Tracker and Schedules

The last thing you want to do is rush to the airport, only to learn that your flight has been delayed for six hours. The flight tracker seems to work only with flights departing or arriving in North America, but when you enter the airline and flight number, you’ll get its current status. You can even get a schedule by typing “flights from (city A) to (city B)” into the search bar.

Image credit: Anthony Ryan / Flickr

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