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Vodacom Now!

Google offers much more than search. Here are some of our best hacks with Google's cool tools.

Search like a pro

Sometimes the trickiest part of looking something up on Google is phasing your search query properly. That’s especially tricky when you’re looking for something that’s a common term or has lots of different meanings. Which is where modifiers come in. Use them to get specific. Putting something in quotation marks “like this” searches for that whole term, while putting a minus in front of a word excludes it. See the full list of search modifiers here.

Find your way

Google Maps (and its partner apps, Street View and Google Earth) is amazing as is, but dig around in the menus and you can make it even better. Tap the three lines in the top left of Google Maps on mobile and you can see places you’ve recently been, add reviews and pics of places, share your location with others (for a predefined period), view live traffic info, or save areas offline (especially handy when you’re travelling and may not have internet access).

Get a digital PA

Google Now takes the info Google has about you and tries to glean useful insights from it and offer them to you right when you need them. So, if you use Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Maps, for example, it can tell you about upcoming appointments, check the traffic on your most likely route and remind you when you need to leave. Google Now’s readily available on Android devices, but iPhone users need to download the standalone Google app to use the service.

Plan your holiday

A relatively recent addition to the Google app stable, Google Trips collates your flight and accommodation information for a trip and then suggests things you might like to do while on the trip. It’s great when you’ve got a limited amount of time in a city and want to plan an efficient sightseeing timetable to match.

Type less, say more

Originally only available for iPhone users (but recently released for Android, too), GBoard is Google’s keyboard for mobile devices that harnesses the smarts of Google Assistant and, like Google Now, tries to provide useful info as you need it. Chatting to a friend about trying a new restaurant? GBoard will look it up and offer you the link to its website or its phone number so you can make a reservation.

 

 

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