It’s trite to remind people of Google’s notorious track record for killing off its apps and services, but it’s true. Like any company, Google is continually trying out new ideas and testing new technology. Sometimes it works out, but other times it doesn’t, and a new Google product seems to get its own doomsday countdown every few months.
If you’ve forgotten which Google apps and services are being shut down, a group of open-source digital historians has your back.
Killed by Google is an open-source list of every Google-owned service, app, or piece of hardware that has been put to rest since the company began. It also keeps tabs on those that are scheduled for the chopping block (denoted by a guillotine icon) and how long the poor souls have left.
At the time of writing, the list has 149 total entries, including five soon-to-be-shutdown products, though the Killed by Google team encourages others to add to the list if something appears to be missing—a lot of Google products have come and gone, after all.
While Killed by Google makes it easy to double check if and when Google’s killing off a service you like, it’s also a sobering nostalgia trip. For instance, do you remember Google Health? What about the much-maligned Google Glass? Or did you know that Google’s URL shortener, Goog.le, is mere days from extinction? The list goes on.
Some of the many products on the Killedbygoogle list were phased out for newer, better Google services—such as Allo making way for the new RCS-powered Android Chat, or Songza getting integrated into Google Play Music (which has recently been cross-pollinating with YouTube Music).
Similarly, other no-longer-available products can be replaced via third-party apps—like replacing Google’s past RSS readers with Feedly. In fact, there are non-Google alternatives to almost every Google service.
However, some of these now-defunct products have yet to be adequately replaced—whether by Google or third-party developers. We say this not to forecast doom and gloom about Google’s future, nor dampen any excitement for its ongoing and upcoming projects.
However, lists like Killed by Google point out the ephemeral and transitory nature of products from even the most successful of companies, and reinforces the reality that no one product or company will be around forever, nor are their ideas always successful.