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Thursday, December 1, 2022

10 Websites And Brands You Didn't Know Are Owned By Google – Screen Rant

Most people are familiar with YouTube and Android, but the companies that Google owns are so numerous, one needs a search engine to keep track.
Google has recently announced the discontinuation of their Stadia project. This was an attempt by the company to get into the world of game streaming, which didn't really work out. While it might be disappointing, for some, Google is no worse for wear from the development. After all, they have far more irons in the fire than one might expect.
Most people are familiar with Google's main search engine and know of its ownership of YouTube and Android. But the list of projects, companies, and websites that Alphabet Company has control over is vast. These run the gamut from industrial production companies to even companies that research AI. The companies that Google owns are so numerous (over 30) that one needs some kind of search engine just to keep track!
Those in the know might be familiar with AdSense, YouTube's monetization service. If one isn't into YouTube's culture one might not have been aware all of that is run by a Google company separate from YouTube itself. Google actually owns multiple companies that handle advertising and monetization online.
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AdSense is primarily used for running advertising non-Google products on Google-owned websites. DoubleClick sells advertising opportunities and also allows clients to view online traffic reports. Finally, there is AdMob, which allows for the placement of ads in mobile applications. All three are prolific and noteworthy, and Google owns them all.
If there's any brand that's pushed innovation more after Google bought them, it's Nest. Nest was originally a line of digital thermostats. It was a neat novelty how it could adapt to user preferences, but it was limited. After being purchased by Google in 2014, its product lineup greatly expanded.
Nowadays, Nest offers a variety of home appliances and security apparatuses. They are most famous for their security cameras that are complete with Ring. Gas and smoke detectors are also available. Despite mainly selling security products, There's also the more all-purpose focused appliance in the form of the Google Nest.
Those under a certain age are probably not familiar with Socratic, but it's been helping students for years. This app helps students with homework assignments by providing hints and info. Initially, it was somewhat limited, but after Google purchased it, it became much more useful.
Using AI, the algorithm designed to help with homework became more powerful. It can now recognize photos of individual problems and use that as a base to offer advice. Originally it just helped with math problems, but now it has branched out into other subjects.
One of the most asked questions regarding Google online is "are they working on AI?" They have multiple different AI divisions and indeed have purchased an entire company to work on the technology. Work has been slow, but ever since 2014 Google has worked with DeepMind at creating the first artificial brain.
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DeepMind has used the technology on Google's own famous search engine in order to better optimize its search engine. There are a lot of practical applications of the tech being used in Google's technology. The company is most famous for having its AI play classic arcade games, though.
Making a mobile application can be really tough. Despite the fact that mobile is so widespread, most programmers learn how to prioritize programming and designing for desktop. It's a good thing that there are several toolkits to help make the process easy, like those made by LaunchKit.
Google purchased LaunchKit a few years back, likely to help people develop for Android. While the app is mainly used for this, it does work for multiple platforms. It also contains tools to help build the app's website besides the app itself.
Despite its logo having a similar color scheme to Google's, they haven't been owned by them for long and Google only bought the analytics software in 2020. Their software is mainly used for data management, but it's possible their technology will become more important soon.
The software Looker is developing is meant to interface with programming and coding languages. In simplest terms, it translates code between programming language and basic English. The barrier to entry coding has through its esoteric language would be completely destroyed if Looker succeeds. It's totally possible Google is aiming to position them as a household name soon.
Calico is the healthcare arm of the Alphabet company/Google and are best known for helping in various projects researching human longevity. They're most active in California, so non-west coast users might not have heard of them. It's not surprising, given their name is an abbreviation of California Life Company.
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While they participate in most mundane healthcare practices like dispensing medicine, their stated goal is much loftier. According to their official mission statement, their goal is to "combat aging." Ending death is a pretty popular tech engineer idea, but only time will tell if it's possible.
Plenty of applications use crowdsourcing in order to build a complete and comprehensive database. Waze, the GPS app Google bought in 2013, was one such app. Users would input information to map roads and traffic and real time. It was a real innovation in navigation apps that every app began to mimic.
Nowadays, the Waze app itself is a little limited in comparison to its competition. The reason for this is simple: Google bought the app and integrated its tech into Google Maps. It's more than a little dishonest that the original app is still up, even though its features have been absorbed by Google Maps. In any case, it makes people unaware of Google's ownership of the company.
It's unavoidable that a company as large as Google would eventually join the trend of green energy. Dandelion Energy is dedicated to bringing geothermal energy systems into domestic environments. It aims to bring green energy, which is typically prohibitively expensive, down in price.
Home features from this company are common in green circles, but Google doesn't put its brand on them. Despite this, their products are produced by Lab X, the same place Google's self-driving cars are produced. The main product of Dandelion is geothermal pipes which circulate heat around a house. The heat is recycled, allowing it to be greener than other heating systems.
Google bought Fitbit in 2019 in a gigantic purchase, but most people still don't realize their fitness watch is made by the Alphabet Company. Fitness and technology are two fields that have a weird amount of overlap. For those who don't know, the Fitbit is a watch peripheral that tracks steps taken and caloric cost over a day. It also allows users to set fitness goals and compete against others.
Even before the Google purchase, users could sync the watch to a variety of mobile platforms and operating systems, so not a lot changed for the average user after the Google purchase. Google hasn't said the reason why they acquired the company, but it likely has to do with their aforementioned healthcare division, Calico. Whatever the case may be, Fitbit has brought technology and exercise out of the gym and into everyday lives, and more people should recognize Google's part in that.
NEXT: 10 Awesome Things You Didn't Know Your Fitbit Can Do
James W. Potvin is a freelance writer for Screen Rant. He has been making infographics about nerd culture for years and is excited to use that skill at Screen Rant. Screen Rant is his first professional writing job, but he has been working there for over nine months as of August 2022. He chiefly writes about video game content, but will also occasionally write about anime and comic books. In the past, James has worked in education. He loves video games, and his favorite is Kirby. His favorite anime is Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.


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