December 03, 2008

15 Useful Google App Engine Applications

By Mike Fruchter of (Twitter/FriendFeed)

Google App Engine, which was released in April 2008, is a platform for building, hosting and scaling web applications using Google's infrastructure. It allows a developer to build and test web applications without the worry of maintaining servers, and so forth. It's pretty much a plug and play type of solution, just upload your application, and it's ready to serve your users. A lot of these applications are very raw and are just test beds for the developers. There are quite a few that are useful and have some potential. This post highlights 15 of them.

1) Down or Not

This is a simple utility that will tell you if a website is online or offline. This site also displays a tag cloud of the last 100 or so websites that have been queried for their uptime.

2) Check Google Pagerank

This will allow you to check your website's Google Pagerank. What's also great about this utility is the ability to check Pagerank for up to 100 domains per time.

3) Jumbra

Jumbra allows you to combine your favorite RSS/Atom feeds into a single RSS feed. This could save a lot of time with unnecessary checking of multiple feed urls. You can combine up to 30 feeds to create one custom master feed. You can also share this url, and when you add new feeds, your jumbra feed will update automatically. I also set up a testing Jumbra RSS feed you can take a look at.

4) Browse the iPhone app store

This application is an HTML version of the iPhone app store. You can see the full previews of any selections available for purchase such as music, movies, games, apps etc. I particularly like this app because you can browse the iPhoneappstore without the iTunes software. It's at the point of purchase that you are directed to the Apple iPhone App Store, where you must have the iTunes software installed to complete the sale.

5) Go2

Go2 is a quick, free web Proxy. Proxy servers usually sit between an application such as a Web browser, and a web server. They intercept all requests to the real server to see if it can fulfill the requests itself. I tested it by using a simple http request, and it worked. The results and IP address all point back to Google's network. Black Spider is also another Google App Engine/web proxy that works well.

6) TCP3 Short and Tiny URL Generator

TCP3 is a url shortening application. It serves the same purpose as the rest of these services do and it works efficiently. There is an option for creating vanityurls. They also offer a gadget for iGoogle, and a toolbar shortcut that you can use to shorten the url of whatever page you happen to be on at the moment.

7) MyTextFile

MyTextFile is an ajax-powered notepad for quickly storing bits, or a single plain file of text. You can use it to store notes, snippets of text, web urls,or any other form of scribbled information. Login in with your Google credentials, and easily write notes on the fly and access them anywhere.

8) URL-Info

This application allows you to find out more information behind a specific web url. This retrieves the HTTP headers, links, images, and others information. Be sure to add this tool to your SEO toolbox.

9) Linkius
This application gives you your own custom mobile url to access and store bookmarks. The bookmarks are accessible via your mobile optimized url. You can create groups, and add new links directly from your desktop. I find this to be a pretty simple and solid application for what it was designed for.

10) Treksee Map Pedometer

This is a useful mash-up that will show you the distance between two points, in miles or km. You could use it to track how far you drove, biked, jogged etc. I could see myself using this for plotting the mileage points on family summer vacations, which involves a lot of time spent on the road.


This application allows you to print only the the relevant data on a web page. This is done by letting you remove or reformat the elements on a web page. Trim the excess junk, white space, advertisements and save paper in the process. This should be a definitebookmarker.

12) News Served Del.icio.usly

This is an interesting tool for discovery. It works by finding and reading the latest news by using your Delicious tags. You give the site your Delicioususername only and it generates news categories that are basically personalized with your bookmark tags. Clicking a tag will bring up the most relevant news sources for it, that are pulled from blogs and other news sites.


Re.flect is a simple website mirroring service. Here's how it works. "Give it a URL and Re.flect will attempt to serve a pre-cached copy of that URL. If the cached copy does not exist it will try to cache and serve that request on-demand, future requests will then be served from their cache limiting demand on the originating server."

14) Lullar Com

This application allows you to search and find people across the social web. You can search for social profiles by email, first name, last name orusername. It's very similar to

15) Spy

Louis wrote a nice review on Spy back in August. Spy is great for monitoring elements of the social net for topics of interest and brand monitoring. The service scans in real time, Twitter, Google Reader, FriendFeed and more. Looking backwards as little as one hour, or as much as two days for the relevant topic sources. It's a great way to visualize the social media conversations going on about a specific topic.

You can find more interesting and usefull apps at the Google App Engine Application Gallery.

Read more by Mike Fruchter at