You probably already know that there are plenty of fantastic apps available for Apple’s mobile devices. You’ve got iPhone apps to organize your life, apps to track expenses, and apps to keep fit, among countless others. These come from developers of all sizes, but there are fewer companies bigger than Google.
Even though Google’s Android platform competes directly against Apple’s iOS, the search engine giant certainly wants to capitalize on that giant demographic with a wealth of Google apps for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The two companies may be each other’s throats, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great Google experience on the iDevice of your choosing.
Yes, it’s possible to open up the mobile Safari browser and use Google’s mobile interface that way, but having a native search app has several advantages. The voice search is better, the search itself is faster than in a browser, and the app comes with Google Goggles for fast real-time information about just about anything.
Safari is pretty good and it’ll offer a familiar experience for Mac users, but there’s a good chance that you’re already using Chrome on your computer. Why not get Chrome on your iPad and iPhone, too? You can have unlimited tabs, Google sync and backup, and access to an Incognito tab for private browsing.
With the official Gmail app, you have access to all those Gmail functions that you’ve come to know and love. Read threaded conversations, label your messages and archive them, respond to Google Calendar invites, and auto-complete your contact names as you type them.
In some ways, you could say that Google Drive is a direct competitor to other cloud storage solutions like SugarSync and Dropbox, but the heavy Google integration (it was once known as Google Docs) might make it a better fit if you’re already a heavy Google user. You can edit your documents and spreadsheets from within the mobile app too.
You might be more interested in other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but Google+ is definitely starting to come into its own, especially with the profile integration on other Google properties like YouTube. From the app, you can participate in hangouts, upload photos, post status updates, and more.
As far as Google apps for the iPhone go, this one had to be one of the most hotly anticipated after all the troubles ailing Apple Maps with iOS 6. The refined Google Maps app really works, giving you accurate information, local search functions, turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions, and Street View.
While not nearly as useful for getting around town as Google Maps, Google Earth offers a fantastic perspective at many of the world’s most famous landmarks. It offers this great, almost 3D-like perspective of major cities around the globe, plus the added ability to put on layers for roads, borders, photos, and more.
Google Play Books
Given that you are using an iPad or iPhone, it’s more likely that you may use iBooks to get your reading material, but that’s not your only source. You can turn to Kobo or Kindle, for example, as well as Google’s take on the e-book scene. There are both free and paid e-books to read here, including several with full illustrations.
How do you say “hello” in Korean? What does “ordinateur” mean in French? Particularly when you’re traveling, this is one of the most important Google apps you’ll want to have on your iPhone. Google Translate supports up to 64 languages for text and you can hear your translations read aloud in up to 24 languages.
Free phone calls are nice. You can use this mobile app to access your Google Voice account on the go, sending free text mssages and accessing your voicemail, complete with transcription support.
It may not have “Google” in its name, but YouTube is clearly one of Google’s best known properties. There are 48 hours of video uploaded every minute on YouTube, so there will never be a shortage of content to watch, from music videos to video game tutorials, epic cooking shows to cute pets doing funny things.
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