The curious case of disappearances of Google introduced Apps through the years; the many hits, and the misses

Google has become part of our lives, so much so that every search starts with Google, and they are a number of applications that we use introduced by Google.

Google LLC is an American multinational tech company that specializes in Internet-related services and products. 

One of the most famous and every day and countless times used application is the Google Search Engine; its other services and products include online advertising technologies, cloud computing, software, and hardware. 

Google, which has become an indispensable part of our lives, was founded in September 1998 by two Ph.D. students of Stanford University, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Today it is acknowledged as one of the Big Five tech companies in the US and at par with Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft.

After several years of its inception, in August 2004, Google announced its Initial Public Offering (IPO). In 2015 rechristened itself as Alphabet Inc and announced its plans to reorganize and restructure its various interests as a conglomerate. 

Google is the Alphabet’s leading subsidiary and will remain the umbrella company for Alphabet’s Internet interests. 

Google through the years, has introduced several lines of products amid acquisitions and partnerships that have introduced services and products other than Google’s core search engine – Google Search, Gmail and cloud storage Google Drive, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Chrome, and many other products have become part of our daily lives.

Besides the above services and products, Google’s many other services and products range from Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google translate, Google Earth and Street View, Google podcasts, and so many more.

From 2010 until 2015, Google moved increasingly into hardware and partnered with major electronics manufacturers to produce its Nexus devices and released multiple hardware products in 2016 that included Goole Pixel smartphones. Smart speaker Google Home, Google daydream amongst other services and products.

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Google introductions and discontinuation of products.

While Google innovates and periodically brings out lots of products, it also has the notoriety of shutting down many of them. 

Google has, through this mode of working has introduced and shut many of its products; many of these products, according to Google, have been discontinued because of inadequate response from the customers and hence looking to concentrate more on the other products that have received a favorable response from the customer.

However, the frequent launching and discontinuation of many of these products leads to the question – are these products launched randomly and without much thought as to whether they will click in the market or not?

Also, are these launched periodically to test the market pulse?

A list of discontinued products by Goggle in the year 2020.

1. Google Shoelace – was launched in 2019 as an invite-only platform that was available in beta for Android and iOS for people to connect locally. However, Google sent out an email to all its customers that it was shutting the app on May 12 this year. 

The reason for the same is considered to be the customers prioritizing their life and work amidst the Covid -19 pandemic.

2. Neighbourly, an app that lets one explore the neighborhood with help from local experts, was launched in May 2018. The app was expanded to several cities.

However, it failed to strike the chord with the consumers and did not see much usage. The company withdrew and shut the app in May this year.

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In its announcement, Google said that while the app had been developed to help make local sharing more human and helpful, unfortunately, the app failed to add any value and hence was taken off the shelf.

3. Hangouts – was to shut down way back in 2017, but the app is still very much around despite Google announcing the same. In 2019, Google let out that the app will be shut but delayed the same since it believed that many of the companies might need more time to transition from the G Suite. 

4. Cloud Print- enabled the customers to print from any device, from anywhere, to any web-connected printer. However, from December 31, 2020, Google plans to shut down the product. It is set to be replaced by Chrome OS. 

It is unclear why the company wants to shift from more modern multi-platform, cloud-based printing solutions, and move to local native hardware.

5. Google Hire – an app built for mid-sized businesses to simplify the hiring process, with the workflow integrated into Google G suite consisted of Search, Gmail, Calendar, etc. 

Google said that they were looking to shut down the product even though it was successful and were instead going to shift focus on using their resources on other products in Google’s cloud portfolio.

6. Google App Maker – In April this year, the company announced that the users would not be able to build new App Maker apps but will be allowed to edit and deploy existing apps. 

Shutting down this app in January 2021 will significantly impact admins, developers, and end-users. Presently the existing apps still work even though App Maker is no longer active. 

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Users need to revise their organization’s App Maker application as it will stop working in January 2021, and users will no longer have access to them. The data stored in Cloud SQL will remain unchanged and continue to follow the policies established by GCP. 

These are just some of the applications that Google has either axed or is set to axe; however, with the way Google has been cutting down its different applications, it will not be surprising if Google continues to do the same with many of its existing and yet to be introduced products.

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