7 Essential Google Mobile Apps

Download these Google apps for your iOS or Android device

What in the world would we do without Google? A lot of us use it every day on our computers to answer questions through search queries, find directions to a particular location with Google Maps, and organize documents with Google Docs.

It is important to have access to all our tools and information on our mobile devices as well as on our computers. Got an iPhone, Android or iPad device? Here are some essential Google mobile apps you might want to download.

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Photo © Google, Inc.

What We Like

  • Does more than search. Includes trending news, weather and collections pages.

  • Accepts verbal search queries.

What We Don't Like

  • Runs slowing when searching for images.

  • No longer has popular "Related Images" feature.

Even if your mobile device’s default web browser has a search bar built into it, it’s convenient to have the Google search app installed to streamline your searches across your Google account and remember any previous searches you made. If you already have an Android device, you likely don’t need to worry about installing the Google search app because it is built into the operating system. Here’s the link to it on iTunes for iOS devices.

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Google Maps

Photo © Google, Inc.

What We Like

  • Voice guidance with turn-by-turn directions.

  • Street View imaging for many locations.

  • Saves parking location.

  • Indoor maps for airports, malls and stadiums.

What We Don't Like

  • Changes route without driver approval.

  • Drains the battery.

  • Provides only one route when recalculating.

Mobile devices and location-based apps were made for each other. If you don’t have the best mapping app installed on your smartphone, how are you even getting around without it? Save yourself the trouble of getting lost and asking someone for directions the old fashioned way by downloading Google Maps for iPhone and, of course, for Android if you don’t have it already.

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Photo © Google, Inc.

What We Like

  • Undo Send.

  • Swipe to delete/archive.

  • Support for multiple accounts.

  • Responds to Google Calendar invites in the app.

What We Don't Like

  • Lacks bullet and numbering formatting in emails.

  • No dark mode.

  • Intrusive ad positioning.

If you have a Google account, and most people do, you likely have a Gmail webmail account as well. Although most people love Gmail and use it frequently, not everyone uses it. If you don’t use it at all, you probably don’t need to download it. If you do, you’ll definitely want to have the great Gmail app installed on your device. Get it here for iPhone/iPad or for Android.

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Photo © Google, Inc.

What We Like

  • Clean user interface.

  • Personal recommendations on the Home tab.

  • Easy scroll-and-tap navigation.

What We Don't Like

  • Too many ads.

  • Internet connection required.

  • Heavy app usage eats up data.

Whether you like to watch videos on your mobile device or not, it’s always useful to have YouTube installed. Even if you don’t watch videos on your phone, any search query could pull up a result for a video, and more often than not, it’s from YouTube. If you have the YouTube app installed, it triggers the YouTube app when you select a video to watch from search results. Get it here for iPhone/iPad or for Android.

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Google Earth

Photo © Google, Inc.

What We Like

  • 3D feature is cool.

  • Roll-the-die feature for discovering new locations.

  • Information cards and maps for cities, restaurants, and attractions.

What We Don't Like

  • Some images are years old.

  • Slow-to-load app.

  • Requires an internet connection, preferably a fast one.

It’s one thing to have Google Maps, but you can get a more realistic view of almost any location with the Google Earth mobile app. Google Earth offers you high-quality digital imagery of roads, buildings, major landmarks, trails and more. Having it installed on your phone is useful when you want an actual image of a specific place while on the go. Get it for iPhone/iPad or for Android.

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Google Chrome

Photo © Google, Inc.

What We Like

  • Plenty of privacy features.

  • Fast and easy to use.

  • Accommodates voice search.

What We Don't Like

  • Intrusive ads.

  • Easy to accidentally delete all tabs.

  • UI wastes space.

Not so satisfied with your current mobile web browser? Why not give Chrome a try? If you already use Chrome as your preferred web browser on a regular computer, it might make a lot of sense to start using it from your mobile device as well, mainly because it syncs up all your stuff across your account. Get it for iPhone/iPad and of course for Android.

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Google Drive

Photo © Google, Inc.

What We Like

  • Files accessible from everywhere.

  • Easy to share files with others.

  • Option for offline viewing.

What We Don't Like

  • Some files not editable in the Drive app.

  • High-resolution images are downsized when uploaded to Drive.

Google Drive is Google’s own cloud storage service. It’s free and incredibly useful if you’re a big fan of Google Docs, Gmail and other Google tools. You can use it to store files, documents, photos, and anything yelse ou want so that it can be accessed from any computer or mobile device. Some people prefer Dropbox or iCloud, but Google Drive measures up well in comparison. You can get it for iPhone/iPad or for Android.