Exploring Google Mobileâ™s Impressive Line of Free Smartphone Apps

GoogleMobileYou don’t have to be an Android fan to appreciate Google’s quite impressive offering of Google branded smartphone apps.   Since Android is a Google platform, all of the company’s mobile apps will work on Android devices.   Many of Google’s mobile apps will work on iPhone, Windows, Blackberry, Nokia/S60 and even some non-smartphones.   If you are using a non-Android device, you can visit m.google.com from your device browser to see which apps are available for your phone.   In the meantime, below are a few fun, innovative, must-have goodies:

Google Translate

This application allows you to translate back and forth between over 50 languages.   The voice input feature allows you to say a word or phrase to obtain translation.   There are also dictionaries in over 30 languages.   Perhaps the most interesting feature is conversation mode. Enable this to allow speech to speech translation, making it easy to have a conversation with someone who speaks a foreign language.

Google Sky Map

This open sourced app offers an impressive look at the night sky (although it does work during the day).   I like it because there have been numerous times when I am curious about a bright star or planet.   I simply point my phone to the sky and an exact map of the planets, stars and constellations appears on my screen.   You can also search for a specific star or planet.   Just type in what you want to locate, and the app will point your device directly to the object!

Google Talk

Google Talk allows you to chat or video chat with any other Talk user.   While this app is most handy on smartphones, don’t be afraid to download it to your tablet.   And, if you have a Gmail account and a front facing camera, you can enable it from your PC.   While iPhone users cannot download Talk to their devices, a third part app called Vtok by Skymobius, Inc. will allow you to make video calls to your Google contacts.


Google Play Books

Yes, there are a number of book apps out there, but Google’s rendition isn’t too shabby.   Books purchased are available on your computer and on all devices which you download the application (including IOS).   This versatile platform allows you to change reading font, save your page position and sync across all of your devices, and includes a night reading mode.

Google Earth

This popular desktop application is available for mobile devices.   The entire world is literally at the palm of your hands.   Search and zoom to anywhere you would like â“ from your own home to pyramids in Egypt â“ the possibilities are endless!

Google Goggles

Search the internet by taking a photo!   Want to know more information about a landmark?   Take a photo of it and Google Goggles will look it up and return information about it.   Another neat feature is the ability to scan a business card and add full contact information to your phone contacts without typing a single word.   The application also recognizes logos and artwork, and can translate text.   So, the next time you are in a foreign country and cannot read the menu, simply scan the menu item you would like to know about and Goggles will translate it for you.   Google Goggles was previously only available for Android, but now iOS 4.0 users can download the application as well.

Google Maps

This popular app offers accurate maps which pinpoint your location, voice-guided turn-by-turn GPS navigation and search features to locate restaurants, businesses, etc. near you. The Android version also offers Indoor Maps, 3D Maps and Street View.   Google Maps is now available for iOS user platforms.

Google Currents

Access your favorite blogs, publications and content in a user-friendly magazine format.   Download free editions of magazines from popular publishers, available for both high-speed and offline reading.


Google Shopper

Looking for prices, reviews, specs or other information on a product?   Google Shopper puts it all right at your fingertips.   Search by voice, barcode or scanning (books, CDs, DVDs and video games).   Find local stores as well as online offers.

I’ve highlighted some of my favorite Google mobile apps, but, of course, there are many others.   And, you can count on Google to continue expanding their app offerings, so be sure to check frequently to see what’s new.

So, what are you waiting for?   Grab you smartphone and start downloading!!

Gina Smith writes freelance articles for magazines, online outlets and publications on behalf of a number of companies, including Global Response.  Smith covers the latest topics in the business, golf, tourism, technology and entertainment industries.