Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III
You probably spend a considerable chunk of your day typing things into Google's search bar. The world's leading search engine is pretty efficient at answering the billions of queries—from basic to complex to completely inane—it receives every day. Google's search function has evolved in recent years to make more advanced and customized types of information available at your fingertips.
Here are just some of the things that you probably didn't know you could Google.
1) The cheapest airfare from all the major travel booking websites at onceGoogle Flights, the search engine's built-in flight tracking application, gives the major travel websites like Expedia, Orbitz, and Kayak a run for their money. Simply type in "Flights from x to y", and you'll be on your way.
Google Flights will show you the cheapest fares from all the major flight booking engines, browse current prices by months, and show you the cheapest times and places to fly based on your destination.
If you have your heart set on a certain destination, Google Flights will track fares for you. You can sign-up to get alerts for when prices to your selected routes fall.
2) The current Olympics medal tally by countryGoogle's custom page for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio has a wealth of information. You can keep track of how many medals each nation is winning, get an overview of each sport, an exhaustive schedule of events (both televised and non-), as well as an overview of athletes by sport and country.
3) The scores and schedules of any professional sportJust Google "baseball," "football," or even "cricket," and you'll get the latest scores and schedule for any major sport.
4) The exact time anywhere in the worldWhat time is it in Zurich? Is it OK to ring up your buddy in Poland? Or your uncle in New Delhi? Google makes it easy to find out the time anywhere in the world.
5) The location of your nearest Starbucks, mall, movie theater, and moreNeed a caffeine fix or low on gas? You can easily find the nearest Starbucks, gas station, grocery store, Walmart, florist, bookstore, etc., by simply Googling "nearest" followed by the thing you need.
6) Your public IP addressNeed to know your public IP address? Simply Google it.
7) How to register to vote in your stateStates have different deadlines, requirements for ID, and rules for online, mail-in, and in-person voter registration. Google "register to vote" and you'll find a state-by-state voter registration guide—just in time for the 2016 presidential election.
8) Calorie counts for virtually any foodIf you're watching your weight, counting calories can easily amount to a chore. While packaged foods have easy to find nutrition labels, it can be trickier to estimate calories in restaurant foods or even homemade foods.
Google can give you calorie and nutritional estimates for virtually any food. Find out how many grams of protein, sugar, and fats you can expect in your next meal.