The best ways to use Google services on Windows 10
Google services are aplenty on Windows 10 if you know where to look.
Google doesn't seem eager to support Windows 10, but thanks to some third-party clients and Google's PWAs, you can access many of Google's services on your PC.
Here are the best ways to access Google services on Windows 10.
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myTube! by Ryken Studio has been a highly recommended Windows 10 app for a long time. It works well, looks great, and packs the YouTube viewing experience full of features. It has compact overlay mode, background audio, and many more features. It also improves the general layout of YouTube by making easier to read comments and add your own comments while continuing to watch videos.
It's available for Windows 10, Xbox One, Windows 10 Mobile, and Windows Mixed Reality for $0.99.
EasyMail for Gmail
EasyMail for Gmail brings Gmail and Google's Calendar, Notes, and many other services into one app. The Fluent Design makes the app fit right in on Windows 10 and you can easily jump between different services on multiple accounts.
The app impressed me during my review as it also integrated well with Windows 10 features such as Windows Hello. If you're a Gmail user, I highly recommend giving EasyMail for Gmail a look.
It's available for free on Windows 10, but you can pay to remove ads ($4.99) and pay even more to do away with the ads and add Windows Hello support ($9.99).
Google Photos PWA
While Google and Microsoft don't always get along, they've both decided to push progressive web apps (PWAs). These allow developers to make one version of a service that works across different platforms. Google Photos was recently converted to a PWA, bringing a better Google Photos experience to Windows 10.
It doesn't support every feature that you see on Android. Most notably, you can't automatically upload photos through the PWA version of Google Photos. However, it is a nice way to look through your images and you can upload things manually if you'd like.
There are some roadblocks to get around such as inconvenient "installation" and it feels a bit out of place on Windows 10, but the service does work.
Android Messages allows you to sync SMS messages from your phone to your PC. To set it up you scan a QR code through your phone. You can then view and send messages directly through your PC.
There are a few different options to use Android Messages on your Windows 10 device. Regardless of what you're using on your Windows 10 device, you'll have to use the free Android Messages app on your Android phone.
See Android Messages in Google Play
There are plenty of other options when it comes to using Google services on Windows 10, though some of them fall short compared to other apps.
Google Maps PWA
Google is converting more services over to PWAs, which is great, but Google Maps can't track your location in the PWA version. This is a key feature for Google Maps that's omission cripples the service quite a bit.
To use the Google Maps PWA just go to maps.google.com?force=pwa
There are many cloud storage options on Windows 10 and you can download Google Drive's Backup and Sync program to bring Google Drive into your File Explorer. It works very well and makes backing up your photos, documents, and other content easy. It doesn't have some of the features that Dropbox and OneDrive have worked into their Windows 10 programs but it gets the job done and is great for anyone who uses Google Drive.
Chrome dominates the browser space on PCs. In addition to browsing the web, it can expand into many other services through extensions and Chrome apps.
Summing up the Google experience on Windows 10
It's always worth pointing out that the Google experience would be significantly better if Google would work together with Microsoft, but the overall Google experience is good on PCs. You can access Google's popular services on Windows 10 and while they don't all work as well as their Android counterparts, most of them are more than serviceable.
Third-party app developers have always done a good job of closing the Google app gap and even Google is helping now with PWAs. Hopefully this trend continues and the Google experience gets even better on PCs.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.