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  • So I'm an Android user,

  • and I used to use Google Hangouts to text.

  • Syncing all my texts with my computer was great,

  • but then Google killed Hangouts.

  • Yeah, I can technically still use it,

  • but what's the point of using an app

  • that's about to be shut down?

  • Something similar has probably happened to you

  • because Hangouts isn't alone.

  • Google has killed over 150 apps, products,

  • or services since 2006.

  • There are entire websites dedicated

  • to cataloging dead Google products.

  • How can a company as big as Google be so unreliable?

  • All right, let's go over some Google products

  • that have met an untimely death.

  • Inbox was an email app that Google released in 2014.

  • It had features and UI options that the Gmail app lacked,

  • but Google shut down Inbox in 2018,

  • and Google's messaging ecosystem is an even bigger mess.

  • Google introduced its new messaging app, Allo, in 2016.

  • - We're gonna walk you through three areas

  • that make Allo really special.

  • Narrator: But then it shut down Allo just three years later.

  • Google has even shut down its URL-shortening service.

  • But what about hardware?

  • Surely Google wouldn't abandon

  • entire physical product lines.

  • Google used to partner with companies like LG

  • to produce a line of smartphones under the Nexus brand.

  • But after the Nexus 6P, Google stopped making

  • these devices and moved on to its flagship Pixel phones.

  • Also on the chopping block?

  • Chromecast Audio, which was discontinued last year.

  • Google is even shutting down the consumer side

  • of its social network Google+.

  • OK, so that one isn't exactly beloved,

  • but it still counts.

  • OK, I think you get the picture.

  • But why does Google do it?

  • Why kill off so many products?

  • Well, Google is a big company,

  • and a lot of their teams work independently.

  • And when the structure or focus of these teams change,

  • the products they've developed usually changes too.

  • Google Play Music was created in 2011,

  • but now Google also has YouTube Music.

  • Two services that are very similar.

  • So Google announced that they planned

  • to replace Google Play Music with YouTube Music.

  • Let's say two separate teams develop

  • their own messaging apps, then those teams merge.

  • There's a good chance that one app is going away.

  • Services can also be shut down because

  • their original purpose or function has become outdated.

  • Instead of being updated, it may just be canceled.

  • When these services shut down, users have to do a ton

  • of research to figure out when the app will truly die,

  • what happens to their data,

  • and how do they migrate to another app.

  • It always sucks when an app you use suddenly shuts down,

  • but what's the broader effect

  • of all these canceled products?

  • Antonio: Looking at a list,

  • Google has killed a lot of things,

  • but nothing that's really big or has a huge impact.

  • Like, Google hasn't killed Gmail, for example, or YouTube.

  • Google's very good at experimenting and also making

  • it seem like the experiment is the real deal.

  • They'll just release something into the wild and see

  • if it sticks, and if people don't like it or don't use it,

  • OK, we'll sort of cancel it and kill it.

  • What often tends to happen is that a new version

  • or a rebranded version of that old app or service

  • that it killed shows up later.

  • Other companies like Apple, for example,

  • is much more calculated about what it releases

  • and what it kills off.

  • It does create a sense of sort of vagueness or uncertainty

  • about how long its new products will hang around for.

  • Narrator: Unfortunately for Google,

  • this has already started to happen.

  • Google announced their upcoming game-streaming platform,

  • Stadia, in March.

  • Giving users the freedom to play a game on any device

  • without needing powerful hardware is an awesome promise.

  • Phil Harrison: I'm thrilled to announce that Stadia

  • is launching this year, 2019.

  • Narrator: But if users are gonna invest their time and money

  • into a platform, they wanna know if it will stick around

  • and not disappear three years later along

  • with their game library.

  • I use Google's video-calling app, Duo.

  • It's really good actually,

  • but I'm always worried that they're going to abandon it.

  • It was released around the same time as Allo and, yes,

  • there have been a lot of updates,

  • but there's no guarantee that it'll stick around.

  • On the flip side, people were surprised

  • when Google moved its phone-carrier service,

  • Project Fi, out of the project phase.

  • They even renamed it to just Google Fi.

  • But even with the name change, I still worry that Google

  • will shut it down one day, which will force me and others

  • to find a different carrier.

  • OK, so Google clearly has a ton of ideas,

  • but they don't always follow through.

  • But for services like messaging,

  • you want to use something that'll stick around

  • and not go away right after you convinced your friends

  • and family to start using it.

  • If you use a lot of Google services like I do,

  • you never really know if your favorite app

  • is on the chopping block or not.

  • We just need to enjoy apps like

  • Duo while we still have them.

  • Google, I swear to God.

  • Make something else that's similar to Hangouts,

  • or don't kill Hangouts!

  • Just don't kill Hangouts, that's it.

  • 'K, I'm done, bye.

So I'm an Android user,

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Why Does Google Kill So Many Products? | Untangled

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/27
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