Though some may want to deny it, it's a fact that most of us can't live without Google and its services today. From looking up addresses, to finding movie timings to watching latest videos, Google has come to offer users nearly every bit of information. Today as Google turns 14, we list just as many reasons why we love it so much.
How many times in a day do you go, ‘Let's Google it'? The brand, like Xerox or Fedex, has turned into a verb used in common parlance. You can find information on almost anything, from the lyrics of an old Hindi song to the first Asian Miss Universe, and on a day when you've got some time to spare, you can see what Google assumes you're looking for by hitting the 'I'm Feeling Lucky' button.
Although it took some time for the Yahoo! and Hotmail loyalists to jump ship to Gmail, when they came on board, they stayed put. Why wouldn't they? Gmail offered far more storage space and there was virtually no spam. It also hosts a chat service on the page and was far more user-friendly than other services at the time.
With the introduction of Voice over Internet Protocol technology (VoIP), Google introduced their answer to Skype with Google Talk. It allowed users to chat with friends and family across the world without ringing up huge phone bills. It also allowed video chat if you had a webcam and the sharing of photos and videos.
It was the first ever social networking site most Indians were introduced to. Teenagers took to the idea of social networking online like moths to the flames, and soon they were uploading pictures, writing testimonials and leaving scraps for their friends. Although the site has lost many users today with Facebook and Twitter taking over, orkut will always remain close to our hearts, though now a thing of the past.
You can store, edit and share all your pictures at one place without having to worry about space or your snoop of an aunt. Image service Picasa lets you edit, upload and share the link to your albums with friends and family.
Korean rapper PSY's 'Gangnum Style' video became an overnight sensation on YouTube because of the videos that brought him over a million fans, and counting. Justin Beiber too, has YouTube to thank, as his videos on the site were what had intially brought him attention. But apart from music, YouTube's vast library of videos make for entertaining, educational and engaging viewing.
With Blogger, writers find a place to share their thoughts and advice online. The service lets you create your very own personal platform to air news and views, and many dedicated bloggers have even turned authors! A perfect way to unleash the writer in you...
The effort put into blogs or small websites finally began to pay off, when Google introduced AdSense that allowed you to make some money from online content. The service would help display relevant ads on a person's site and then pay the host a sum per every click.
From singing doodles to interactive ones to more recently, the 'London Games' ones, we love waking up to the innovative ideas the brains at Google drum up ever so often. The doodles are often funny, engaging, yet always pertaining to current or relevant events. In recent times, the Les Paul guitar doodle and the Freddie Mercury birthday doodle were works of art that held users in awe.
Want to find a picture of a hot celebrity or the logo of your favorite football team? Google allows you to find all that and much more on Google images, without having to trawl through a bunch of sites to find the right picture.
With Google Maps, the world (quite literally!) became the user's playground. From spotting your childhood home to locating Pizza joints, Google Maps allows you to pinpoint several locations on satellite maps. It has, however, run into trouble with governments over border disputes and security issues, but it remains one of the corporation's most innovative offerings.
With the introduction of Mozilla and now Chrome, users can kiss the antiquated Internet Explorer web browser goodbye. Folks now don't even have to visit Google.com with Chrome offering an in-built search bar and multiple tabs to allow easy navigation.
Google offers a 'Translate' option, which allows users to translate text or web pages from one language to another. This applciation comes in handy when visiting new or remote places where knowing the local language is a must.
With Facebook leading on the social networking front, Google could hardly be left behind. Google+ is one of the corporation's newest offerings that was launched in 2011, and may soon find favour with users who are tired of Facebook's new features and changes. G+ allows users to categorize friends, family and colleagues in different 'circles' and makes virtual 'hangouts' an exciting reality.