The Google graveyard: all the products Google has shut down

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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.

  • RIP 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.

    Currents was introduced in 2019.

    Currents was introduced in 2019.

    An hour ago
  • Currents was introduced in 2019.

    Currents was introduced in 2019.

    Currents was introduced in 2019.
    Image: Google Currents

    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.

    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.

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  • Moody photo of Dropcam on a black background

    Moody photo of Dropcam on a black background

    One more year.
    Will Joel / The Verge

    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.

    Google is also winding down the last few legacy Works with Nest connections, but not ‘til September 29th.

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  • Take a good look — it’s the last you’ll see of Snapshot.

    Take a good look — it’s the last you’ll see of Snapshot.

    Take a good look — it’s the last you’ll see of Snapshot.

    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.

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  • A Google logo sits at the center of ominous concentric circles

    A Google logo sits at the center of ominous concentric circles

    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Over the past 15 years, Google has introduced more than a dozen messaging services spanning text, voice, and video calling. This week, the company’s efforts culminated in the general availability of Google Chat, a combination of Slack / Discord-style rooms with more traditional messaging.

    It’s the sort of announcement that might have been expected to bring some consistency to the company’s muddled messenger messaging, but — as is traditional for Google in this area — there’s plenty of confusion to go around.

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  • Image of a balloon floating in front of a snow-covered mountain range.

    Image of a balloon floating in front of a snow-covered mountain range.

    Image: Alphabet

    Alphabet is shutting down Loon, its division that provides internet from floating balloons, according to a post on the blog of Alphabet’s X moonshot division.

    “The road to commercial viability has proven much longer and riskier than hoped,” Astro Teller, who leads X, wrote in the blog. “In the coming months, we’ll begin winding down operations and it will no longer be an Other Bet within Alphabet.”

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  • Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Google plans to shut down Android Things, a stripped-down version of Android designed for smart home devices. The OS never really got off the ground, so this isn’t all that much of a loss, but it is yet another entry in Google’s expansive graveyard of shut-down projects.

    The smart home project got its start in 2015 under the name Brillo, which was meant to provide the “underlying operating system for the internet of things.” In 2016, Google revamped Brillo and relaunched the initiative as Android Things, which was likewise meant to run on products like connected speakers, security cameras, and routers. By relying on Android, the OS was supposed to be familiar to developers and easy to get started with.

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  • Photo by Nick Statt / The Verge

    Google has discontinued its Google Nest Secure alarm system, the company first confirmed to Android Police. And sure enough, if you visit the Nest Secure’s page on the Google Store right now, there’s a big button right at the top that says the product is no longer available.

    “Google Nest will no longer be producing Nest Secure, however we will continue to support our security users in all the same ways,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge.

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  • Google will discontinue its emergency location sharing app Trusted Contacts in December, and has already yanked it from the Google Play Store. Instead, it’s directing existing users to try similar but less helpful features in Google Maps. That’s a shame, because while Trusted Contacts could let you find a family member even if they don’t respond (say, if they are unconscious or in danger), Google Maps requires them to proactively broadcast their location to you.

    The announcement was quite abrupt:

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  • Google officially dropped Daydream virtual reality support from Android 11 — a final step in its retirement of the system. As Android Police notes, Google posted an announcement saying its latest version of Android doesn’t support the VR platform’s app. “Daydream VR app is no longer supported by Google and may not work properly on some devices running Android 11 or later,” it reads.

    In fact, the Daydream software is no longer supported at all, according to Google. It won’t receive updates, although users can potentially still access third-party VR apps through the Play Store. Google had already sidelined Daydream VR. It discontinued the Daydream View headset and dropped support on new Pixel phones in 2019. But it continued to support the Daydream app for existing users. Now, even that is apparently ending.

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  • Stock imagery of the Chrome logo.

    Stock imagery of the Chrome logo.

    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Google is going to let you use Chrome apps for a little while longer, as the company on Monday announced an extension to its planned timeline to end support for the software (via 9to5Google).

    If you aren’t familiar with Chrome apps, they’re apps that you install in Chrome that work similarly to apps that you’d launch from your desktop — like this one for read-it-later app Pocket. But they aren’t widely adopted — Google said that “approximately 1 percent of users on Windows, Mac, and Linux actively use Chrome packaged apps” all the way back in August 2016 when it first announced plans to wind down support for the platform.

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  • Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

    Google Plus, the company’s failed social network, is officially gone as of today. After Google Plus personal accounts were shut down last year, Google announced that it would be replacing the social network for enterprise users with Google Currents. Currents is generally available starting today, and the Google Plus Android and iOS apps have been rebranded to Google Currents to reflect the change (via 9to5Google).

    Currents, given its enterprise focus, is designed to help people within organizations communicate with each other. Users can post and comment on discussions and can see content in a News Feed-like “home stream,” which can be ranked by relevance or chronologically, according to Google. G Suite admins can also moderate discussions if needed.

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  • The Bookbot wasn’t quite as flashy as other autonomous vehicles in the Google portfolio, but it was popular with patrons of Google’s neighborhood library, and its librarians. No one seems to know why the little cube-like, wheeled delivery robot saw its pilot end in June after just four months. So a trio of former Google engineers apparently started a new company called Cartken to revive Bookbot from the Google graveyard, TechCrunch reports.

    Part of Google’s Area 120— the company’s internal incubator for the “20 percent” projects employees work on outside of their main jobs — the Bookbot would pick up users’ library books at their homes and return them to the Mountain View Library for check-in. Tracy Gray, Mountain View’s Library Services Director, told TechCrunch the little robot was popular, and people would stop to snap photos of it while it did its deliveries.

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  • Stock imagery of the Chrome logo.

    Stock imagery of the Chrome logo.

    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Today, Google shared an updated timeline for when Chrome apps will stop working on all platforms. June 2022 is when they’ll be gone for good, but it depends on which platform you’re on (via 9to5Google). Previously, we knew that Chrome apps someday wouldn’t work on Windows, macOS, and Linux, but today, Google revealed that Chrome apps will eventually stop working on Chrome OS, too.

    A Chrome app is a web-based app that you can install in Chrome that looks and functions kind of like an app you’d launch from your desktop. Take this one for the read-it-later app Pocket, for example — when you install it, it opens in a separate window that makes it seem as if Pocket is functioning as its own app.

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  • Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

    Google has announced that Cloud Print, which lets you easily print things from the web using Google Chrome (even on printers that lack an internet connection), will print its final pages on December 31st, 2020. 9to5Google reported on the news. Cloud Print has been a handy service, as it works both on desktop and mobile and gives extended utility to older printers. Interestingly, despite being introduced back in 2010, Google Cloud Print still has a beta tag.

    In a support document, Google recommends using the printing experience that’s baked into Chrome OS or, if you’re on a different OS, using “the respective platform’s native printing infrastructure.”

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  • Google cardboard stock

    Google cardboard stock

    In October, Google officially discontinued its Daydream View VR headset — and the company took another step away from its initial leadership position in phone-based VR today by announcing that it’s open sourcing the software of Cardboard, its “no-frills” VR headset. It had already “open-sourced” the actual Cardboard VR viewer by posting its technical specifications for anyone to download, so it is nice to see Google open up the software as well.

    Google says it’s shipped “more than 15 million [Cardboard] units worldwide,” but that it’s seen usage of Cardboard “decline over time.” That doesn’t surprise me, sadly — I just don’t think there were many compelling uses for Cardboard, beyond its initial novelty. I remember playing with a free Cardboard viewer from one of Google’s promotions with The New York Times, and while it was really cool that one time I used it, I haven’t been clamoring for another Cardboard experience since.

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  • 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.

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  • Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

    Google has essentially abandoned its Daydream virtual reality platform. The company confirmed to The Verge that the new Pixel 4 phone won’t support Daydream, and Google told Variety and The Verge that it will also no longer sell the Daydream View mobile headset. It will continue to support the app — which only works on older phones — for existing users.

    “There hasn’t been the broad consumer or developer adoption we had hoped, and we’ve seen decreasing usage over time of the Daydream View headset,” a spokesperson said. Although the system had potential, “we noticed some clear limitations constraining smartphone VR from being a viable long-term solution,” said the spokesperson. “Most notably, asking people to put their phone in a headset and lose access to the apps they use throughout the day causes immense friction.” That echoes similar complaints about Daydream’s biggest competition, the Samsung Gear VR.

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  • Google Reader has been dead for over six years, and the internet hasn’t been the same since. I still haven’t found a replacement that I enjoy quite as much as my memories of Reader, and I mourn its death every day. But now, we may finally have a place where we can pay respects to the beloved RSS app.

    Dana Fried, a Google employee, posted this photo of a graveyard, with headstones for Reader and many other now-dead Google services, which is apparently set up in the main lobby of the company’s Seattle campus in honor of spooky season:

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  • Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Google says it will shut down Google Hire, its G Suite tool built for recruiters at small and midsized companies, on September 1st, 2020, despite launching only two years ago. Google did not give a specific reason as to why it’s shutting down the tool beyond saying that it’s “focusing our resources on other products in the Google Cloud portfolio.”

    Hire is the latest of several Google products that have shut down recently, joining social network Google+, chat app Allo, and email app Inbox in the Google graveyard. It’s good that Google is trying to hone its product offerings, but it’s getting hard to trust that new Google services will stick around for more than a couple of years.

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  • Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    YouTube is shutting down its private messaging feature on September 18th, the company announced in a support post. It said it made the decision after choosing to focus its attention on public conversations, like the Stories feature it launched last year. YouTube launched its in-app messaging feature back in August 2017, meaning it will have been live on the service for just over two years before being discontinued.

    YouTube didn’t say exactly why it’s deprioritizing private conversations, but TechCrunch has a couple of ideas. First is the fact that Google has always had a problem with having too many messaging apps. Even after discontinuing Allo, Google still lets people communicate over Duo, Hangouts, Meet, Google Voice, and Android Messages (including the new RCS protocol). Having one extra private messaging service that (presumably) few people were using risks confusing matters further.

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  • Photo by Jake Kastrenakes / The Verge

    People take control of their smart thermostat from their wrist so infrequently that Google has decided to completely scrap its Nest app for both Apple Watch and the company’s own Wear OS platform. The smartwatch Nest app offered a quick way to adjust the thermostat’s target temperature or operating mode. But now it simply displays a “Nest is no longer supported on Wear OS” message when opened and instructs customers to uninstall it.

    “We took a look at Nest app users on smartwatches and found that only a small number of people were using it,” a Google spokesperson told 9to5Google. “Moving forward our team will spend more time focusing on delivering high quality experiences through mobile apps and voice interactions.”

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  • Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

    Google’s travel app Trips is shutting down on August 5th, ceding its territory to apps such as TripIt and RoadTrippers. It’s unfortunate; Trips was a handy app for travelers, offering a quick and easy way to track your travel plans, find your saved places, and explore unfamiliar territory. You could also download your information to the app so that it would be accessible offline, very handy when you are overseas and using a temporary data plan.

    Google has created a page describing all the various methods you can use to replace the features of the soon-to-be-gone Trips app. What follows are some of Google’s suggestions, with a bit of extra commentary to help you get at least some of the same functionality:

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