What will Google discontinue next?


Following-on from the recent Stadia cancellation, I thought I’d have a think about which-other Google products or services I think could go in the near-future, and here’s my list (in no particular-order). Anything I’ve missed or you disagree with — comment below!

ANDROID GO: designed for Android phones with less-than 2GB of RAM, so in Western-markets I’d guess this will be barely-any phones released now. And even in developing countries, I still wonder how-common such devices may be, and how-many choose them, compared-to used phones with a better-spec?

ANDROID ONE: essentially a branding that phones that offer a near-stock UI, minimal bloatware apps and guarantee at-least 3 years of updates can use. According to Wikipedia, in 2021, they list only FOUR phones that used it, and all of them were from Nokia. Samsung is now offering five-years of updates on many phone models, as are Google on their Pixels (though OS updates only in the first three) and even Google themselves don’t use the “Android One” branding, despite their own phones being compliant with their programme requirements! So, why bother having it? (Does the similar “Microsoft Signature PC” still exist?)

GOOGLE SHOPPING: I never find it to be useful: the prices displayed often don’t include P&P or international-shipping costs, or when it scans a trade-site, it often shows the before VAT prices. Compared to the “Images”, “News” and “Video” searches, I wonder how-used the Shopping search mode is?

GOOGLE GROUPS: wasn’t aware it still existed, and not really sure what it is. Sounds like either a Reddit clone, or a rival to the old “MSN Groups” or “Yahoo! Geocities” where people could make small websites that could host discussions and forums?

GOOGLE EARTH: why is this still a standalone product? What functionality does it offer that couldn’t just be merged into Google Maps?

GOOGLE JAMBOARD: a physical whiteboard product, with software behind-the-scenes that allows multiple teams to participate in the same session (so each location would require a whiteboard, I guess?). Why not just use something like Google Slides collaboration, and a large TV, monitor or projector. Is there really a need for this product?

GOOGLE SAFE BROWSING: in my experience, its detection-rate of malicious or phishing websites is poor. SmartScreen in Edge warns me about virtually every website I test in it; Google Safe Browsing (used in at-least Chrome and Firefox) I’d say at-best manages around a third.

GOOGLE GLASS: this is still a thing? Didn’t it get banned in some European countries on privacy-concerns? Can’t say I’ve heard any announcements or news around it for years now…

GOOGLE PIXEL: given the total worldwide market-share to-date, and given that there isn’t really anything that makes Pixel market-leading devices thesedays, is it really worth bothering long-term? Sure, the photos look great, but you could just install a “port” of the Google Camera app on other Android phones to then get similar-results. Their wired and wireless charging-speeds aren’t the best; you can get devices with more RAM, more storage and the option for microSD expansion elsewhere, along with higher refresh-rate screens; bigger-batteries exist elsewhere, and even still a headphone-socket (if you really look-around). On the software-side, sure, there may be some “Pixel Experience” things that are good, like the spam call-blocking, but, again, just install the Google Phone app on other phones. What really is the major USP of Pixel devices thesedays?

GOOGLE FI: this one is US-only, so I cannot comment on how good it is, but essentially it lets your phone roam between the T-Mobile and US Cellular networks. But… could you not just do that by using a dual-SIM phone, which in the mid-range up are quite-common now? What besides this (and ability to connect to certain, open Wi-Fi networks) is the point of this product?