Google has become much more than a search engine, it has developed products and applications that help us navigate our chaotic lives easily. If you think about it, there’s a pretty good chance that some, if not most, of your travel arrangements were completed on Google. Maybe you used Search to find your airline’s online check-in page? Which is quite simple – but here we have the low-down on how you can use Google apps you might not have known about to make your holiday travel experience useful and easier.
Google Assistant is a conversational, voice-activated digital assistant created by Google to perform actions on behalf of a user and provide contextual information. No more texting and driving – just ask Google nicely and it will tell you the answer or even carry out a task for you, like dialling your sister so you can check that everything is okay while she’s house sitting. It’s as easy as saying, “Hey Google!”
Beyond telling you to turn left at the next exit, Google Maps’ Explore feature turns the app into a pretty cool tour guide. It lists the best restaurants and bars as rated by locals and passers-by alike. Nowadays, if you’re road-tripping, Google Maps can keep you safe by showing you the speed limit and even notifying you of road hazards, such as accidents, ahead. Not fond of remembering where you parked, tapping on the blue dot that indicates your location will open up a hidden menu where you can save your parking location. If you’re travelling internationally and worry about roaming charges, Google Maps allows you to create offline maps. Open the Google Maps app on your phone. Search for a place. At the bottom of the screen, tap the name or address of the place and tap on More. Select Download offline map.
With unlimited space for backing up photos, you can rest assured that all your travel memories are in safe hands. Google Photos allows you to upload new photos, view, edit, save and create new videos, animations, collages, albums and photo books. For those who don’t have a Google device, you can opt to back up and sync your photos and videos automatically as you take them. You can set your Google Drive to keep a copy of your photos and videos by going to your Drive’s settings, turning on Create a Google Photos Folder, and clicking save. As photos are added to your account, they will be sorted into categories.
Unfamiliar territory? Get instant information on objects, landmarks and cultural artefacts with Google Lens, even if you don’t know their names. Google Lens uses your smartphone camera to not only detect an object, but to understand what it detects.It offers all the information based on what it sees. If you’re using your camera to detect a specific flower, ask Google Assistant what the object you’re pointing at is. You’ll not only be told the answer, but you’ll also get suggestions based on the object, such as nearby florists, in the case of a flower.
It’s a useful tool for when you’re travelling and want to learn more about your surroundings, frombuildings to monuments, street names and even plants.
This app was a saving grace while travelling through Turkey. It’s almost impossible to get lost in translation, no matter where in the world you go. Using Google Translate’s features, you can learn how to translate foreign words as if you were a local. The app translates signs and menus visually, saves your most-used phrases and more. Even if you’re pretty sure you’ll have a data connection at your destination, it takes only a minute to download your target language in the Google Translate app. Just tap the name of the language on the main screen; it will say Detect language. From that screen, you can tap the download icon next to each language you need on the go.
Google is your friend!