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Google Clips is dead

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RIP

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Google may have introduced a lot of new Pixel camera tech at its 2019 fall hardware event this week, but it quietly retired a camera product as well: the Google Clips camera has been removed from Google’s online store (via 9to5Google).

Google confirmed Clips’ removal to The Verge and tells us that Clips will continue to get support until December 2021. In addition, the Clips mobile app, which is required to transfer videos off of a Clips camera, will stop working in December 2021, according to Google — so it sounds like the device will essentially become useless in a little over two years.

The idea for Clips was an intriguing one: it was a tiny AI-powered wide angle camera designed to automatically capture short videos of precious moments with your loved ones. In theory, by setting up a Clips camera in your house, you wouldn’t have to worry about quick-drawing your phone to record your baby’s first steps.

A GIF of a video from Google Clips.

In practice, though, Clips didn’t seem to work quite as well as Google’s pitch said it would. In his review, my colleague Dan Seifert found that Clips didn’t capture anything truly special over a couple of weeks of testing. My colleague Sean Hollister felt similarly, saying that, out of the 500 clips he took while reviewing the device, there were only “maybe a dozen I truly loved enough to share.” Priced at a rather steep $249, both reviewers found it hard to justify the Clips’ high cost.

I’ve never actually seen anyone use Google Clips. And if I asked five of my most tech-aware friends about it, I’m not sure they’d even know what it is. So I can’t say it’s surprising that the product is headed for the Google graveyard, but I do still think the concept has promise.

Update October 18th, 12:40PM ET: Added Google confirmation of Clips’ removal and information about support for the device.