Believe it or not, you can do all that and more straight from the Google search box—and in most cases, you’ll get the details you need the instant you tap the Search button.
Read on for 10 clever, time-saving Google searches, from converting currency and units of measurement to looking up definitions and—no kidding—tracking the latest earthquakes.
1. Track a package
Expecting a package? If it’s being shipped by FedEx, UPS, or the U.S. Postal Service, you can just plug the tracking number into the Google Search box.
When you click the Search button, you’ll get a link that’ll take directly to tracking results on the shipper’s web site.
2. Convert currency
So, how many Japanese yen to a U.S. dollar today? Easy.
Just type “1 USD in yen” (or something similar) into the Google Search box to get an instant conversion, including a history of the currency’s relative strength and a form for performing new conversions on the fly.
3. Get local movie showtimes
Want to go to the movies? Find out what’s playing—and when—by typing “movies” and a ZIP code into the Google search box.
Have a specific movie in mind? Type its name into the Google box and (again) add a ZIP code.
Hint: If you skip the ZIP code when looking up local movie times, Google will make a rough guestimate of your location.
4. Look up a definition
Ah, “vagary.” Cool word. What does it mean, again?
Type “define vagary” into the Google search box and you’ll get the full definition, a phonetic spelling, and synonyms. You can even hear the word spoken by clicking the speaker icon.
5. Track a flight
Need to know whether your flight’s delayed—or when another flight is slated to land?
Type the airline and flight number into the search box (“united 458”) and you’ll get a status report, a terminal and a gate number.
6. Convert units of measurement
How many kilometers in a mile … didn’t we learn that in high school?
If you’re still not sure, just type “1 mile to km” or “how many kilometers in a mile?” into the search box, and the answer will appear in a measurement converter.
7. Get the weather
Find out how beautiful the weather is in, say, Hawaii by typing “weather maui” or “weather honolulu” into the Google search box.
You’ll get the current temperature, a 7-day forecast, and even hourly details on rain and wind.
8. Do the math
You don’t need a calculator on your desk if you’ve got Google in a browser tab.
Type in “6*7” (or “what’s six times seven?”), “132/3,” or “square root 100” and you’ll get an answer the moment you click the Search button, along with a web calculator for solving more equations.
9. Check the time
Can’t remember whether Chicago is in the Eastern or Central time zone?
Type “time chicago” in the Google Search box to get the current time in the Windy City, along with details on which time zone it’s in (Central, in case you’re wondering).
10. Confirm a quake
Whoa! Did you feel that? If you think you just felt an earthquake—or if you know you felt one—type “earthquake” into the Google search box.
The first listing will be for the US Geological Survey, and just beneath you’ll see a list of most recent temblors on the planet, complete with magnitudes and map links to the various epicenters.
Looking for more Google tips? Click here!