Late last week, I wondered in a post how it was possible that I had gone for so long without knowing about an awesome little Google Maps trick. Using a simple search while logged into your Google account on your computer, you can quickly and easily send directions to your Android phone so that Google Maps is ready to navigate to your destination before you even take your smartphone out of your pocket.

Well, it turns out that nifty little trick is just the beginning.

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In a new support page on Google’s website, the company details several nifty things that can be accomplished on your Android phone by typing simple commands into the Google.com search box on your computer. Before you can get in on the fun, however, you’ll have to follow Google’s instructions to link your phone and sign into your Google account on your computer:

Step 1: Update the Google app

  1. On your phone, go to the Google app page on the Play Store.
  2. Touch Update.

Step 2: Turn on Google Now

  1. On your phone, open the Google app.
  2. In the top left corner, touch the Menu icon > Settings > Now cards.
  3. Turn on Show cards.
  4. Turn on Show notifications.

Step 3: Turn on Web & App Activity

  1. Visit the Account History page.
  2. Make sure the switch is on (green).

Step 4: Sign in to your browser

  1. On your phone, open the Google app.
  2. In the top left corner, touch the Menu icon.
  3. In the top left corner, you’ll see the email address that you use for the Google app.
  4. Visit www.google.com on your computer.
  5. If you aren’t signed in already, click Sign in in the top right corner of the page.
  6. Sign in using the Google Account you use for the Google app.

Now that you’ve updated the Android app and signed in on your Windows, Mac or Linux computer, here are five hidden functions you’ve unlocked:

Find your phone

  1. On your computer’s browser, search on www.google.com for find my phone.
  2. If your phone is turned on and connected to the Internet, you’ll see your phone’s location.
  3. If your phone’s location is unavailable, you can still make it ring for 5 minutes on full volume by clicking Ring. You can stop the ringing from your phone when you find it.

Send a note to your phone

  1. On your computer’s browser, search on www.google.com for send a note to my phone.
  2. Type your note in the box.
  3. Click Send note to your phone.
  4. You’ll get a notification on your phone with your note that you can either save to one of your apps or copy.

Set an alarm

  1. On your computer’s browser, search on www.google.com for set an alarm.
  2. Choose the time you want the alarm to go off.
  3. Click Set an alarm on your phone.
  4. An alarm will now be set on your phone’s Clock app.

Set a reminder

  1. On your computer’s browser, search on www.google.com for set a reminder.
  2. Type what you want to be reminded about, and either when or where you want the reminder to go off.
  3. Click Remind me on my devices.
  4. When it’s time for your reminder, you’ll see a Now card and a notification on your phone.

Send directions to your phone

For instructions on how to send directions to Google Maps on your phone, visit our previous post.

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