Does the title bear resemblance to a 1963 American comedy movie? Maybe it does – but that’s beside the point. I’m sure there are very few people alive who are NOT impacted by the Californian behemoth of an organization: Google. Me neither. From the time we wake up to the time we crash – we have the all-encompassing, (borderline) omnipresent Google meddling with most of the things we do. Little do we realize how much Google affects us. How about a lowdown? Here’s a page from (almost) everybody’s life. Match this with yours are you’ll see some eerie resemblance.
- Most of us (except the BPO/KPO employees) start our day at 6 (sometimes 7, even 9 am?).
- The first thing we do after
fartingstretching is checking our phones, Android (an OS developed my Google) phones (iPhone users – no offense meant – read on and have a hearty laugh!)
- In the phone, we check WhatsApp posts followed by emails viz. Gmail . It doesn’t matter if you’re fond of Gmail or not – your Android phone makes it imperative for you to own a Gmail account.
- Our tryst with Gmail continues throughout the day – every now and then.
- For making voice calls – we use the Google Phone app (be honest – you didn’t know that the app was called that ?)
- For texting, we to use Android Messages (no prizes for guessing it’s a Google product).
- In case you wanted to know Google’s answer to WhatsApp/Hike/Telegram/Snapchat – it’s called Allo . You should not forget this was preceded by the ubiquitous (at least in the Android ecosystem) Google Hangouts . Well… Hangouts still survives since you can create groups in Hangouts – not in Allo though.
- Guess what… our calls, messages and WhatsApp chats are backed-up to our Gmail account (excluding the tech savvy ones who know how to prevent this).
- The photos we clicked on the phone are backed up on Google Photos .
- We browse the internet using the Chrome browser (which however uses the Chromium engine).
- We can backup files and lots of (if-you-know-what-I-mean) stuff on Google Drive .
- We can have an almost facetime-like experience using Google Duo . Almost!
- We can listen to online and offline musing using the Google Play Music app.
- Most phones come pre-loaded with the Google Now launcher (I hate that bland excuse of a launcher – I prefer Nova).
- Needless to say – you type using the default G-board or the optional Google Indic Keyboard (I use both).
- When we’re bored typing, we can use the Google Text-to-Speech app.
- Wanna impress that Spanish/French/Arabic/Japanese/whatever/wherever chick who just enrolled in your class/joined your office? Use Google Translate and enjoy translations to your heart’s content.
- Lost your way? There’s Google Maps and Google Earth to your rescue. Did I forget to mention Google Navigate that’s used widely by phone junkies (and lousy-ass stalkers too) and cabbies alike? By the way Google lets you customize your map choices via the Google My Maps app. I so miss the Google Latitude service.
- Vision impaired/Low on vision/Eyesight problems? Use Google TalkBack and let the phone READ BACK stuff to you.
- How could I miss the oh-so-famous-worldwide video sharing/streaming website/app – YouTube ? Although YouTube was NOT created by Google – they just BOUGHT at a discount sale from its creators – former PayPal employees way back in 2006. Was it a garage sale… I don’t quite remember ?). YouTube has a poor cousin – YouTube Go (lite version of YouTube). There’s something for kids too – YouTube Kids .
- We plan our day(s) with Google Calendar (I do). In case you haven’t noticed yet – the app icon always shows the current date (I’m sure you’ll go check now).
- Have a thought that you think may fizz out later – use Google Keep to hold on to that thought and use it effectively.
- Like reading books – read on Google Play Books – Google’s no-bells-and-whistles answer to Amazon Kindle/Audible/Bluefire/Nook etc.
- Saw something that you wanted to know more about – indulge in some augmented reality stuff from Google – it’s Google Goggles . Google’s answer to Layar (ring a bell?)
- Wanna track your fitness regime – use Google Fit .
- Now whoever said that you can’t do without Adobe Acrobat (don’t scratch your head – it’s the app you need to view PDF files) – was wrong! Google has its own Google PDF Viewer .
- Working with spreadsheets, presentations etc. – go on – use Google Sheets and Google Slides .
- Let’s talk about home/in-car entertainment and we all know about streaming content. Some of us also know about Chromecast . Still lesser people know about Google Home devices. Now all these devices can be controlled by one app – Google Home .
- Feel the need to SCRIBBLE – why not use Google Handwriting Input ?
- Google can also manage your home Wi-Fi needs – they have Google Wi-Fi app that helps manage your Google Wi-Fi/OnHub routers.
- If you thought the school and college kids were left out – you’re wrong. Google has Classroom to help connect with your classes and finish your homework too. Isn’t that fun? Too bad – I’m not in school/college anymore.
- Worried about identity theft or just someone taking a sneak peek and your Google stuff/emails? Strengthen your account security with Google Authenticator .
- Heading for the great outdoors – plan your trip with Google Trips .
- Want the world to easily locate your business whilst searching on Google? Use the Google My Business app and stay easily searchable.
- Lost your phone? My wife keeps forgetting where she kept her phone – once she out on the bike with me. We just use the Find My Device service/app from Google to find her phone.
- Tired of printer cables – use the Google Cloud Print service/app and fire your print commands from your phone/tab/Chromebook (I knew you’d be gaping at the mention of the last item).
- Google has an app for almost every task – take Snapseed for instance. It does a neat job in terms of photo editing.
- For the pros, Google has AdSense and Analytics .
Well the point is, I could go on and on with this seemingly interminable list – but I won’t. Let’s just say it’s a very long list and enumerating all the apps isn’t my idea anyways. Google isn’t paying me for this ?. What I wanted to convey with this brief list is that Google covers us/has an app for almost whatever we intend to do – be it official, creative, productive or whatever epithet suits your tastes. Having said that – I just figured my post would be incomplete without a word of caution. So let me throw in some caveats.
When I say Google has an app for almost all our needs – just imagine the kind of data (personal or otherwise) you need to provide Google. In other words, after a while, Google knows you better than your mom/spouse/significant other. Yes – they do. Unnerving? Be prepared to live with it. Whether you like it or not – Google has your info. They know what you did last summer and winter and Christmas and Halloween and … the list goes on. In short – Google’s the mom who knows everything or the big brother who’s watching you – all the time! Enough said about the problem – now for the solution. Quit the Android universe altogether. Move on – go elsewhere – just hope you reach someplace where the big daddies aren’t as watchful and big mamma Google. Can you? Is there anyone less intrusive – I don’t know yet. I’ll leave you with that thought. Happy rumination, my dear ungulates.