10 useful tools built into Google Search you should know about
Who has a coin these days?
It really seems like Google wants to provide a solution for all your problems. These days, that’s a big job, but the big G can certainly help you with minor daily challenges with some of the tools built into the company’s famous search engine.
The platform has long sought to give answers before you finish typing your questions, but not every problem has a google-able answer. For those, Google Search has tools that provide simple functions you’d otherwise need apps for. And honestly, who needs more apps on their phones, anyway?
The internet can be a stressful place, so it’s always a good idea to, literally, take a breather. Google “breathing exercise,” and enjoy one full minute of guided relaxation. The graphics will instruct you when to inhale, how long to hold your breath, and when to let all your worries go with a deep exhale. And if you need one more minute, just click on the replay icon and start again. Repeat until you feel at peace (or at least a tiny bit less anxious).
If you’re a musician or need perfect rhythm for whatever reason, you’ll need a metronome. You can always buy a physical one so people think you’re interesting and mysterious. But if you want to save money and keep your vibe as-is, you can just google “metronome” to get one.
Google’s tool is set to 100 beats per minute by default, but you can use the slider bar below it to increase or decrease the BPM to suit your needs. When you’re ready, click the play button and get into the groove.
Timer / stopwatch
Temporarily unavailable for reasons unknown, but most likely due for a comeback any day now, the timer and stopwatch tools can help you manage time when nothing else will. Just type “timer for 10 minutes” or “stopwatch for 3 minutes” into the search bar and hit Enter to start. It’s ideal for anyone who has so many apps on their phone that digging out the clock app could take 10 minutes.
Colors are not just colors, and no, that’s not a “shower thought.” Each color can be translated into a code depending on how you plan to use it, a feature that’s especially important for fields like graphic and web design. For webpages, you’ve got HEX codes; for anything displayed on a screen, you’ve got RGB—but if your end goal is to go to print, you’ll need CMYK.
If you’re making your way into coding, for example, or setting up your printer for some high-quality photographic visuals, and you need a tool to nail down the right hues, Google has got you: type in “color picker,” choose the color you want, and see it automatically codified into different formats. You can also plug in a specific code to see what color it represents and all the other code variations it can have.
To use it, though, you’ll need to give Google access to your phone’s or computer’s microphone. Once you do, make sounds with your voice or an instrument and the platform will identify the pitch for you. It will also show you how close you are to the note you want, so you can adjust up or down as needed.
Unless you’re a high school student, a mathematician, or an accountant, you likely haven’t owned a physical calculator in the last 10 years.
Most smartphones come with basic calculator apps, and your computer probably has one too, but in a pinch you can google “calculator” and the search engine will display an interface that will help you solve all kinds of math—from the most basic addition to the most intricate equation.
These days, we can track almost everything and use the resulting data to make informed and accurate decisions. But sometimes, you just need some chance. Google has got not one, but three ways of summoning Lady Luck.
Flip a coin
Yes, you could use an actual coin, but it’s possible you don’t have one on you, especially if you’re prone to paying for stuff with your phone. If that’s ever the case, just type “flip a coin” into the Google Search bar. The platform will automatically flip a virtual piece of currency and tell you whether you won or lost.
If you need more than two options, you can tell Google to roll some dice for you. Type in “roll dice,” and the engine will automatically roll a six-faced die. If you want to use another die, remove it by clicking on it on the window where it rolled, and then choose the one you want from the options below—you’ve got six types to choose from, including eight-, 10-, and 20-sided dice.
You can also add other dice of any kind by clicking on them. We’re not sure what the maximum number of dice you can roll at once is, but we rolled 160 and Google didn’t even flinch.
If for whatever reason you want to add or subtract a certain number to the total sum of the dice roll, you can set this modifier up by clicking the +- button, typing the number, and clicking Apply.
Spin the wheel
Google also has a tool for when you’re feeling like turning household chores into a game show but can’t be bothered to build your own props. Type in “Google spinner,” and the search engine will spin a six-section wheel for you. Click Wheel size in the top left corner of the window, and you’ll be able to choose a wheel with up to 20 sections. If you don’t like the idea of cleaning the bathroom and need to spin it again, just click Spin.