Google+, Chrome Apps, Picasa, Panoramio, Nexus, Project Ara, Hangouts on Air, Google Compare, My Tracks, Google X, Catalog, Web Accelerator, Answers are just a few examples of Google projects that Google has discontinued. There are more of them – we introduce you to the biggest Google flops.
We present the biggest Google flops. And show the laboratory in which some of these flops, but also some ingenious direct hits, were created.
Brilliant successes …
Some products from Google, which has been called Alphabet since August 2015, are ingenious and immediately find many enthusiastic users. Google Maps with Street View. Or google texts and tables. And of course, and especially web search, fall into this category. Android and the Google Chrome browser have long been successful models.
… time to mature …
Other projects like Keep, which is called Google Notizen in Germany, take some time to mature. There is also an app for Google Notes. The Nexus smartphones, on the other hand, were not a complete failure, but to date they have not gained any relevant shares in the smartphone market. These Android smartphones, which Google has produced by changing hardware partners, have so far been more of a kind of toy for technology lovers, as a Huawei manager put it a long time ago. The Pixel smartphones that were released in 2016 have not changed anything in this regard.
… and failures
The takeover of the traditional company Motorola in 2012, however, was not very successful for Google. In 2014, Google sold Motorola to Lenovo. The Chinese buried the renowned cell phone brand in early 2016. But some other projects and offers also failed completely. The Chrome apps, for example, have hardly found any users, as has Google App Maker. To date, the Project Ara has not resulted in a single finished smartphone that can be bought. The comparison service Google Compare could not even establish itself in the USA.
Occasionally, however, Google also discontinues services that were by no means a letdown. Like the Google Reader. When Google announced they wanted to discontinue this RSS service, a storm of protest went through the web. But without success. Because Google repeatedly stops services and programs that are less popular as part of its “cleaning campaigns” in order to free up resources for new projects. Google is also retiring the Google Now Launcher in March 2017. And at the end of 2020, Google Cloud Print will be closed, which was also not a flop in the strict sense of the word.
So not every discontinued Google product was actually a flop. At times, Google even competed with itself by releasing two similar products. Picasa, which wasn’t really a flop, but got competition from in-house through Google Photos, and Panoramio also fall into this category, but so do Hangouts on Air and My Tracks. Then after a while, Google pulls the rip cord and discontinues one of the duplicate products. Google also discontinued the Smart Answer tool Reply in October 2018, but this function is incorporated into Gmail Smart Compose and Smart Reply. And Youtube Music replaced Google Play Music in 2020.
This also applies to the competing projects with drones – one of these drone projects “crashed” miserably in January 2017. Google Talk finally met its fate on June 26, 2017: Google switched off the chat service and migrated all remaining users to Hangouts. But Google also wants to discontinue, Hangouts only seems to be allowed to continue to exist for corporate customers.
Most of the Google Flop offers compiled here have already been discontinued, but a few are still available. Still others have been through a long illness, such as Google+. First, Google ended the compulsory binding of a Gmail account to a Google+ profile. In November 2015, Google then started using Google Plus to target themed communities. But this realignment was also in vain, Google announced on October 9, 2018 that it would discontinue Google+ for private users. There was still a deadline for Google+ until August 2019.
We have not included the Android apps Bump and Flock in our gallery. These projects did not actually fail, but were discontinued due to strategic considerations. We also did without the idea of Google services such as the Bufferbox package storage service, which was only available in the USA. And the discontinued Quickoffice for Android and iOS is not a flop either – on the contrary, the office suite was extremely successful. Only Google bought them up and incorporated their functions into its own office suite.