Where tech products go when they die: An online Google graveyard
Where tech products go to die: Website catalogs Google’s graveyard of nearly 150 apps and services that it’s terminated over the last two decades
- A new website functions as a graveyard for the many felled Google products
- Its creator says the site is a way to remember victims of the ‘tech churn’
- The website comes as a response to Google’s killing of Google Inbox
Where do failed and defunct tech products go when they die?
In most cases, the answer to that question is that there really isn’t one answer, but for historians of Google’s many felled initiatives, remembrance is now only a click away.
At killedbygoogle.com, the brainchild of coder, Cody Ogden, all of the search giant’s killed or soon-to-be killed products, including, apps, services, and hardware, are compiled in a list that reads less like a ledger and more like an actual graveyard.
The extensive burial ground contains 149 different apps, services, and types of hardware that run the gamut of Google products, ranging from the company’s ill-fated social platform, Google+, to lesser known — or almost entirely unknown — offerings like BebaPay
GOOGLE KILLS OFF ‘ALLO’ AFTER 3 YEARS
In 2016, Google launched a free app with a built-in personal virtual assistant that aimed to keep chats flowing by suggesting words and emoji to add to your messages.
Its skills included:
- Personal Assistant: When chats involve making plans, Google Assistant could retrieve information on nearby restaurants, movie times and even the weather
- Smart Replies: The ‘Smart Reply’ feature let people keep their conversation moving with a single tap by suggesting text and emoji responses based on their personality
- Expressions: Allo featured a slider that can make your messages and emojis larger or smaller
In December 2018, Google revealed it would be killing off Allo. The app will be defunct after March 2019.
‘We grow accustomed to the apps, services, and devices we use as a part of our routine,’ said Ogden in a recent blog post.
‘We come to know their characteristics, their quirks, and like a relationship, it deeply affects us, even for years after they are no longer with us.’
The extensive burial ground contains 149 different apps, services, and types of hardware that run the gamut of Google products, ranging from the company’s ill-fated social platform, Google+, to lesser known — or almost entirely unknown — offerings like BebaPay, an electronic ticketing platform in Nairobi, Kenya.
Since the website’s creation, fans and critics of Google’s deceased products have taken to Reddit to opine about which products they remember fondly and which they might be better off without.
‘Google Reader was the biggest loss. It was a really handy RSS/Atom feed aggregator. Still miss it these days and nothing comes close. Even Feedly (which is paid),’ said one user.
‘I’m pissed about Inbox. I love it. And even though Google says they’ve incorporated Inbox’s features into Gmail… They haven’t. The bulk sweep of emails isn’t there, and that’s what made Inbox great,’ griped another.
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The website’s creation comes on the heels of several announcements from Google this month that spell the end of three relatively well-known services.
Among them are Allo, Google’s messaging service launched in 2016, a Google’s URL shortener, and Google Inbox, an email service with a loyal following that is set to be discontinued on April 2.
At killedbygoogle.com , the brainchild of coder, Cody Ogden, all of the search giant’s killed or soon-to-be killed products, including, apps, services, and hardware, are compiled in a list that reads less like a ledger and more like an actual graveyard
In fact, according to a report from Fast Company, Google’s decision to eliminate Inbox and fold features into its surviving Gmail app was what ignited Ogden’s decision to create the website in the first place.
‘This project was born as an act of criticism toward a culture of software product churn. It was ignited by the announcement that Google would be killing Inbox by Gmail,’ Ogden told Fast Company.
‘I’ve come to call it “a place of reverence.” Like a graveyard, Killed by Google is a place to show respect for what used to exist, and to provide an opportunity for introspection about what one’s digital future holds.’
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