Google releases a lot of products, but it shuts down a lot of them, too. Some didn’t deserve to be discontinued (we pine for the days of Reader and Inbox), and some probably weren’t long for this world from the start. (What was Google Wave supposed to be, anyway?) The company actually used to shut down products with quarterly “spring cleanings,” but now, it just does so whenever it’s time for another product to be put out to pasture.
Follow along here for all our coverage of everything Google sends to the graveyard.
Google Wallet was the company’s first attempt at enabling money transfers on Android with the Nexus S 4G, and no matter how many apps Google launches, it will seemingly always be around. Google Pay tried to replace both Google Wallet and Android Pay a few years ago, but in a few months, Google Pay will be gone, with Google Wallet back on top.Read Article >
Android Pay popped up in 2015 as a temporary tap-to-pay king, while Google Wallet was recast as a Cash App / Venmo rival, but even when Google changed its mind and combined them, it couldn’t keep itself from messing with the formula again and again.
Google has removed links to page caches from its search results page, the company’s search liaison Danny Sullivan has confirmed. “It was meant for helping people access pages when way back, you often couldn’t depend on a page loading,” Sullivan wrote on X. “These days, things have greatly improved. So, it was decided to retire it.”Read Article >
The cache feature historically let you view a webpage as Google sees it, which is useful for a variety of different reasons beyond just being able to see a page that’s struggling to load. SEO professionals could use it to debug their sites or even keep tabs on competitors, and it can also be an enormously helpful news gathering tool, giving reporters the ability to see exactly what information a company has added (or removed) from a website, and a way to see details that people or companies might be trying to scrub from the web. Or, if a site is blocked in your region, Google’s cache can work as a great alternative to a VPN.
Every time another Google app or feature bites the dust — even a small, relatively inconsequential one — I get annoyed. Really annoyed.Read Article >
Here’s the thing: there are Google Assistant-equipped devices in three rooms of my relatively small house: living room, bedroom, and office. Which means, unfortunately, that when I say “Hey, Google” out loud to my phone, I am just as likely to get a reaction from one — or more — of those three devices. (Yes, I know that’s not supposed to happen and no, we haven’t been able to fix it yet.) And they sometimes offer different answers simultaneously, which makes things even more confusing.
Jan 31Google Assistant Driving Mode will shut down in February
Android Police spotted a new banner on the Google Assistant Driving Mode home screen stating the view will be gone in February (like so many other Google projects). It’s unclear if other parts, like music controls, will remain.
The built-in Google Maps feature offers drivers quick access to Assistant and audio apps. Its shutdown comes after Google also killed both the standalone “Assistant Driving Mode Dashboard” and the “Android Auto for Phone Screens” app.
Several “underutilized” Google Assistant features will soon be joining the infamous Google graveyard — such as the ability to use your voice to send an email, video, or audio messages — as the search giant introduces changes it says will make the feature easier to use. The company is also changing how the microphone works in the Google app and Pixel Search bar.Read Article >
Starting January 26th, users who activate any of the 17 Assistant features being removed will be notified that it’s being discontinued, with most features departing for good on February 26th, according to 9to5Google. This news comes less than a day after Google announced it was laying off around a thousand employees, some of whom worked on Google Assistant.
Google’s hardware division just took a body blow. The company has confirmed it’s laying off hundreds of hardware workers, especially in its augmented reality division — and 9to5Google is reporting that Fitbit co-founders James Park, Eric Friedman, and other Fitbit leaders are leaving the company entirely.Read Article >
Update, 1:42AM ET: It’s not just Fitbit and AR. Around a thousand Google layoffs were just confirmed, and there may be more.
Dec 11, 2023
Google is about to fully move on from the Google Play Movies & TV. It had already moved Android and iOS users to the Google TV app, removed the app from every Roku and most smart TVs, and pulled the app from Android TV in October. In a recently published support document, however, Google detailed the ways you’ll be able to watch the shows and movies you’ve bought through Google Play Movies & TV once the brand is gone for good in January.Read Article >
If you have a TV or streaming device powered by Android TV, you can watch things you’ve purchased or things you want to rent from the Shop tab starting January 17th, according to Google. If you have a cable box or a set-top box that runs Android TV, you’ll watch / rent from the YouTube app starting that same day. And on a browser, YouTube is the place to go, too.
Dec 7, 2023You can listen to podcasts through Google Podcasts until March 2024.
Google mentioned the date in a support document about transferring your subscriptions away from Google Podcasts. You’ll have until July 2024 to migrate your subscriptions to YouTube Music or another service.Migrate your Google Podcast subscriptions - YouTube Music Help
Nov 16, 2023Google News hammers the final nail into its magazine subscriptions coffin.
Almost four years after the search giant stopped letting people buy digital magazines through Google News, the company is removing its magazine-reading feature entirely. After December 18th, you’ll no longer be able to access magazines purchased via the Google News apps or news.google.com, meaning you’ll have to export them if you ever want to read them again. Consider this your PSA.An update to Google News magazine support - Google News Community
Sep 28, 2023
It’s never a dull day at the Google graveyard — the company has blogged a Workspace update today announcing the end of its collaborative Jamboard whiteboarding software. Google plans to wind down the app in late 2024 and is introducing the “next phase” of whiteboarding solutions: pointing users toward third-party apps that work with Workspace services like Google Meet, Drive, and Calendar.Read Article >
Google says it will offer support to help transition customers to use other whiteboard tools, including FigJam, Lucidspark, and Miro. According to the blog post, Workspace customer feedback indicated the third-party solutions worked better for them thanks to feature offerings like an infinite canvas size, use case templates, voting, and more. So instead of further developing Jamboard, Google’s digging its hole and will focus on core collaboration services on Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
Sep 26, 2023
Google Podcasts is going away. Starting next year, Google will focus on offering podcast access within YouTube Music instead.Read Article >
This change doesn’t come as a complete surprise. In April, Google launched the ability for users in the US to listen to podcasts in YouTube Music without a paid membership. It also lets users listen to podcasts offline and in the background while also switching between the audio and video versions on YouTube Music. As part of its podcasts push, YouTube also announced it will make podcasts available within YouTube Music globally before the end of 2023.
Sep 25, 2023
Google will send Gmail’s basic HTML view sailing into the great beyond starting in January 2024, after which time everyone who uses it will be switched to the service’s far more modern “Standard” view. The change appears to have been announced around September 19th in a Google support article.Read Article >
Though the vast majority of people use the Standard view on their PCs without question, the HTML version of Gmail has its perks. The stripped-down Gmail experience loads quickly, and users can access it even on very outdated machines or with much slower connections. Its leaner nature makes it useful in situations where the best you can muster is a 3G connection (3G died last year in the US, but still).
Aug 31, 2023
In October 2021, Google launched a new Pixel Pass subscription program alongside the Pixel 6 series of phones that promised three things for one monthly payment ($45 for a Pixel 6 or $55 for a 6 Pro): “Google’s best mobile services, device protection, and regular device upgrades.”Read Article >
However, on Tuesday, Google emailed Pixel Pass customers to say: “We are writing to you to inform you that starting today, we are no longer offering new Pixel Pass subscriptions or renewals.”
Jun 30, 2023We need Google Reader more than ever.
I feel Epic CEO Tim Sweeney very strongly on this. But there’s an way for web browsing to feel much less horrible: RSS.
What if, say, a big internet company facing an existential crisis and growing trust issues decided to reverse its mistake and bring the beloved product back? What if they built in — I don’t know, not like they’ve ever done this before — a way to pay creators?
Imagine the goodwill Google would get just by trying it.
Jun 30, 2023
There was a sign in the Google Reader team’s workspace at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. “Days Since Cancellation,” it read, with a number below: zero. It was always zero.Read Article >
This was in 2006 or so, back when Google Reader was still growing. Back when it still existed at all. Google’s feed-reading tool offered a powerful way to curate and read the internet and was beloved by its users. Reader launched in 2005, right as the blogging era went mainstream; it made a suddenly huge and sprawling web feel small and accessible and helped a generation of news obsessives and super-commenters feel like they weren’t missing anything. It wasn’t Google’s most popular app, not by a long shot, but it was one of its most beloved.
Jun 27, 2023
Last January, we revealed Google was building an AR headset, too — “Project Iris” would be the company’s bet against the then-yet-to-be-announced headgear from Meta and Apple. But now that its rivals have been revealed, Google is reportedly pulling the plug on glasses-shaped AR: Insider is reporting that Google has shelved its plans for Project Iris, citing three people “familiar with the matter.”Read Article >
Remember Google’s fancy translation glasses from last year’s Google I/O that we called vaporware? If true, this report would mean those glasses are no more. It would also likely mean the versions with transcription and navigation features, which Google said it would test in public beginning last July, are also no longer in the works.
Jun 16, 2023
Google Domains has been a quick and easy place to buy a dot com (or dot net, or dot studio, even) for your cottage bakery — but the company is now giving up on the registrar business and selling the assets to Squarespace. The deal includes handing off 10 million domains owned by Google customers to the popular website builder.Read Article >
In a press statement, Google’s VP and GM of merchant shopping, Matt Madrigal, says the sale is an effort to “sharpen our focus” and that the company plans on “supporting a smooth transition” for its customers being handed off to Squarespace. Madrigal then assures customers that Squarespace, which already has its own domain management plus web building tools, would be the perfect home for customers’ websites. Google Domains first became available as a beta in 2014 and finally came out of beta just last year.
May 27, 2023The real Q project.
Apr 12, 2023RIP Google Currents.
You remember Google Currents, right? The enterprise community feature that replaced Google Plus (RIP) is scheduled to join the Google Graveyard this summer, and now we know exactly when that will happen.
Beginning July 5, 2023, Currents will no longer be available. Workspace administrators can export Currents data using Takeout before August 8, 2023. Beginning August 8th, Currents data will no longer be available for download.
Bonus ten points if you remember that this isn’t even the first discarded Google project to use the name Google Currents — the name had already been used for a magazine-ish tablet app (RIP) in the early 2010s.
Apr 12, 2023
Update April 12th, 2023, 5PM ET: Google announced it will begin winding down Currents on July 5th, with data available for export until August 8th, 2023, when it will no longer be available.Read Article >
Google has announced that it’ll shut down Currents, which was introduced in 2019 as a replacement for Google Plus for G Suite. In a blog post, the company says it’s “planning to wind down” Currents, and that it’ll push the people who were using it to Spaces, which is sort of like Google Chat’s version of a Slack channel or Discord room.
Apr 7, 2023
Google is ending support for the Dropcam and the Nest Secure home security system in one year, on April 8th, 2024. They are among the few remaining Nest products that haven’t been brought over to Google Home, and their demise hints that the new Google Home app might almost be here. At least, no more than a year away. Surely.Read Article >
Google is also winding down the last few legacy Works with Nest connections, but not ‘til September 29th.
Jan 19, 2023
Google made a few mistakes with its Stadia cloud gaming service. Maybe more than a few. Okay, it made a lot of promises it didn’t keep and said a lot of things that look pretty laughable in hindsight and totally pulled the rug out from under its indie developers. We did our best to warn you!Read Article >
And yet, I don’t think Stadia will be remembered poorly now it’s gone — because in the end, Google did right by its customers. Pay attention, rival companies: this is how you shut down a service right.
Dec 3, 2022Google’s Duplex on the Web joins the Google graveyard.
As reported by TechCrunch, Duplex on the Web, which could automate things like buying movie tickets on a website, is officially deprecated and “will no longer be supported,” Google writes on a support page. I honestly didn’t know this service existed, which might speak to why Google is shutting it down.
Jun 27, 2022
The Nexus Q was such a misguided product that Google decided to pull the plug before the device was ever released to consumers. Ten years to the day after its introduction at I/O 2012, the $299 media player positioned as a “social streaming device” remains a unique debacle in Google’s hardware story. Say what you will about Google Glass, but the company’s first foray into wearable tech at least got people talking. The Nexus Q, in contrast, was an example of what can happen when a company becomes very lost in its own walled garden.Read Article >
There were promising aspects to the Q; in hindsight, you can clearly see the groundwork and early DNA of Google’s Chromecast within it. But everything about the execution was fundamentally shortsighted — and a little weird. In the below promo video that Google released on the day it announced the Nexus Q, someone describes the product as “this living alien object.”
Apr 14, 2022Read Article >
The Android feature, which could be accessed via a small and easily overlooked inbox icon on the Assistant screen, would show all your current information via a scrollable interface — things such as appointments, weather forecasts, traffic, and reminders. It was a small but useful feature — unfortunately, though, it was also not easy to find unless you knew where to look. As a result, it’s probable that not many Android users actually knew about it.