An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

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October 8, 2009

Obscure Google Features

One of the most frequently used reason for removing features from Google's products is that not many people used them. Here's a recent example:

"Google Base has its own search page for users to search across everything that's been uploaded, but it isn't widely used. Instead, people search on Google Product Search for products, or on Google Maps to find houses for rent or sale. Therefore, we're planning to retire Google Base's separate search page in a few weeks."

Google Base search is not the only obscure Google feature. Even though it's difficult to estimate how often each feature is used, it's safe to say that the following features are rarely used:

1. Gmail mute. The option that lets you ignore boring conversations from mailing lists is available in Gmail's standard interface and it has recently been added to Gmail Mobile.

2. Google Reader's auto sorting. "This works by prioritizing subscriptions with fewer items. So, with this setting, your friend's blog with one item a month will not be drowned out by higher volume sites such as the New York Times because we'll raise the blog to the top."

3. Google Chrome's docking positions. "Drag a tab to pre-defined locations, or docking positions, on your computer monitor or browser window to quickly resize your browser window. When the docking icon appears, release the mouse over the icon to have the tab snap in place."

4. GoogleTournament function from Google Spreadsheets. "The GoogleTournament function returns live data for games occurring during the Men's and Women's NCAA Division I Basketball Championship."

5. Google Toolbar's "up" button lets you go up one level in a web site.

6. Google Music Search, used for showing outdated information about music artists.

Can you think of other obscure Google features that are probably used by a small number of people?

This blog is not affiliated with Google.