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Google

The Abandoned Google Project Memorial Page 150

HughPickens.com writes: Quentin Hugon, Benjamin Benoit and Damien Leloup have created a memorial page for projects adandoned by Google over the years including: Google Answers, Lively, Reader, Deskbar, Click-to-Call, Writely, Hello, Send to Phone, Audio Ads, Google Catalogs, Dodgeball, Ride Finder, Shared Stuff, Page Creator, Marratech, Goog-411, Google Labs, Google Buzz, Powermeter, Real Estate, Google Directory, Google Sets, Fast Flip, Image Labeler, Aardvark, Google Gears, Google Bookmarks, Google Notebook, Google Code Search, News Badges, Google Related, Latitude, Flu Vaccine Finder, Google Health, Knol, One Pass, Listen, Slide, Building Maker, Meebo, Talk, SMS, iGoogle, Schemer, Notifier, Orkut, Hotpot, Music Trends, Refine, SearchWiki, US Government Search, Sparrow, Web Accelerator, Google Accelerator, Accessible Search, Google Video, and Helpouts. Missing from the list that we remember are Friend Connect, Google Radio Ads, Jaiku, SideWiki, and Wave.

We knew there were a lot, but who knew there'd be so many. Which abandoned Google project do you wish were still around?
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The Abandoned Google Project Memorial Page

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  • This one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tehlinux ( 896034 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @04:18PM (#49199887)

    >Which abandoned Google project do you wish were still around?

    Don't be evil.

    • Google Notebook. I was so pissed when they dropped support for it.
      • for all intents and purposes google glass is gone.

        • That's like saying for all intents and purposes the iPhone is gone because the iPhone S is coming out. Glass isn't gone, it's just being retooled for a v2.

        • It may be gone, in its current form, but I am sure it will spawn new markets in new incarnations. I can see this as nice solution for surgeons, to be able to record things from their perspective either for auditing or educational purposes. Maybe even get pilots to wear them to study user interactions with the cockpit.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I thought notebook was cool at first. Then I saw a few jokes I had jotted down (in a private notebook) on an episode of the Simpsons. They jumped the shark long before google notebook, so my humor couldn't have saved it anyway. Def stopped using google for any sensitive information after that though.

    • you beat me to that one!

      open thread, search for evil.

      fuuuuck, too slow :(

    • >Which abandoned Google project do you wish were still around?

      Don't be evil.

      None, and if Google disappeared, I would be sad for about 2 screens of commercial postings that I wont have to look at with a search. I just love my rapid scrolling reflex.

       

  • I miss Google Search (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06, 2015 @04:19PM (#49199893)

    They used to have a great search engine, but then they replaced it with something that keeps second-guessing my search terms.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Google Desktop Enterprise Search. That tool could read Lotus Notes nsf files along with everything else on my HD. Now I'm back using Explorer and Notes separately for searches.

      • This is what I miss most. At one time Yahoo and Google were competing in desktop search and you had two powerful engines to choose between.

        And the way they dropped their desktop search application was infuriating - it was dropped with less than a week's notice, which was little publicized (I missed it) so you did not have a chance to save the installer (assuming it was complete in itself), and they did not open source the code base so that others could maintain it.

        Now the best I have for Linux systems is Re

    • by nmb3000 ( 741169 )

      They used to have a great search engine, but then they replaced it with something that keeps second-guessing my search terms.

      Probably the most annoying part of this for me is the blazingly stupid way they'll just drop words from your query. There have been times when I submit a phrase with 4 or 5 search terms, and most of the first page is filled with results that have 3 or 4 of the words crossed out. The results were useless garbage and I'd rather have been told there were no pages found. Along with this is the absolutely horrible decision to remove the functionality of the (+) symbol to mean "required". I don't know what so

      • Oh, and don't forget the malicious adwords results serving up malware for popular software titles. That's always a winner.

        They have fixed the problem for now. Try to search for VLC for example.

  • Reader (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pascal Sartoretti ( 454385 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @04:21PM (#49199925)
    I miss Google Reader, their RSS reader.

    By the way, 90% of these projects don't ring any bell.
    • I miss Google Reader, their RSS reader.

      Too bad you didn't step up to the plate and become the maintainer, when Google offered to give the source code away to anyone who wanted to run their own "Google Reader" service.

      I guess you maybe couldn't figure out a revenue model for the damn thing, either?

      • Too bad you didn't step up to the plate and become the maintainer, when Google offered to give the source code away to anyone who wanted to run their own "Google Reader" service.

        It is not a problem of code, it is a problem of providing the service

        I guess you maybe couldn't figure out a revenue model for the damn thing, either?

        Feedly seems to have found it...

        • Re:Reader (Score:5, Interesting)

          by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @05:10PM (#49200337)

          Too bad you didn't step up to the plate and become the maintainer, when Google offered to give the source code away to anyone who wanted to run their own "Google Reader" service.

          It is not a problem of code, it is a problem of providing the service

          When Google originally offered the code, they offered to host it on Google's hosted infrastructure service for a year, at no charge, until the project got up on its feet. There were no takers.

          This will probably be moderated down as well... however, yes, "providing the service" is *exactly* the problem, and it's *exactly* why Google cancelled the thing when the back end hosting infrastructure APIs changed out from under the (unmaintained) Reader codebase. The maintainers had moved onto other projects.

          And while Google could have either brought them back (the ones who wanted to revisit their old code), or they could have put new hires on the porting problem, and gotten Reader back on its feet on the new hosting infrastructure, it wouldn't have solved the basic problem.

          The basic problem is that there was no sustainable revenue model for the service. Google's Reader service allowed the use of any client that someone cared to write, and a heck of a lot of people wanted to write clients that excluded advertising as a means of supporting the costs of running the service. Which would be fine, if there were any way to charge for it, *other* than advertising, which didn't break the client/back-end-service model, which is what people *liked most* about Reader in the first place.

          So Google didn't throw good money after bad, and no one else stepped up to throw good money after bad, and (possibly) figure out some other way to monetize the service, such as changing the over the wire representation such that advertising was indistinguishable from content. Which wouldn't have worked, since that would just trigger an arms race for clever advertising exclusionary filtering in the display services, instead of at the protocol level.

          So you're right: "it is a problem of providing the service", and the specific problem is "no one wanted to pay to do that".

    • I loved reader and used it for hours every day. When Google abandoned reader I started using newsblur [newsblur.com] which is even better.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      TT-RSS for the win. They have a couple of Android clients, too: http://tt-rss.org/redmine/projects/tt-rss/wiki

    • What he said.
  • by aaron4801 ( 3007881 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @04:34PM (#49200031)
    Google+ and Hangouts
    • by edremy ( 36408 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @05:50PM (#49200657) Journal
      What's wrong with Hangouts? You have a better option for a free video conferencing service that can handle ten people at a time?
      • You have a better option for a free video conferencing service that can handle ten people at a time?

        Yes. None.

        Hangouts is part of a list of technologies that seems like it helps. But what it adds is outweighed by all the little bullshit technical problems. But at the time, it never feels like that. It's always almost there. So people use it. And all anyone remembers is that last half of the meeting when it worked, not the first half when everyone watched Joe in Wyoming fuck around trying to get somet

      • You have a better option for a free video conferencing service that can handle ten people at a time?

        Yes. None.

        Hangouts is part of a list of technologies that seems like it helps. But what it adds is outweighed by all the little bullshit technical problems. But at the time, it never feels like that. It's always almost there. So people use it. And all anyone remembers is that last half of the meeting when it worked, not the first half when everyone watched Joe in Wyoming fuck around trying to get somet

  • I loved Google Reader. All other 3rd party solutions like Feedly, etc, all just don't work the same. What I ended up doing was setting up my own instance of Tiny Tiny RSS on my shared web host I already had. Has a great Android client app, works for me. http://tt-rss.org/ [tt-rss.org]
  • by ptaff ( 165113 )

    Let this be a reminder of why Software as a Service should be avoided when local software can be used instead. How much user data is now lost forever(1) because Google suddenly decided it didn't want to bother?

    1) Well, it's kept away from the user; what Google decided to keep is entirely up to Google.

    • Was the data lost forever?

      In the only examples I personally had experience, such as Reader, Google gave plenty of notice and made the data easy to retrieve for use in other services.

      I miss Reader but the migration to Feedly was seamless.

  • I have pretty much missed this on a regular basis since it was discontinued. I own a Note 4 and can use the google search app but some times I want to be able to do it hands free and S Voice is way more awkward then Goog-411 was.
  • They carve a niche, realize it's a niche, abandon it.

    Then open source solutuions come in to fill the gap and i make myself use them. May the trend continue.

  • Gmail Paper gets my vote.

    One click, and the next thing I knew the door bell was ringing and a print out was delivered to my door. How handy is that???

    Too bad the service only lasted for one day in April.
  • Like others have said, Reader was a true loss. But equally high on my list was "iGoogle" (ie. a Google-powered home page). It had widgets for everything I wanted, it was easily configurable ... basically it was the perfect home page.

    www.ighome.com has tried to recreate it, but the quality of engineering is seriously lacking. Many of the widgets don't work, and if you leave it open in a tab for too long the memory leaks in it start chewing up all your RAM (Google's version never did that).

  • Google Alerts (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cyberfunkr ( 591238 )

    I don't know why Google Alerts isn't considered dead.

    I have not received an alert from then about anything in over two years. Which is very unfortunate as I relied on it for my company. I would have it alert me anytime it was mentioned so I could watch for trouble, positive and negative reviews, etc. My company is still around and making news, but the alerts just stopped showing up.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I am definitely still getting all of mine. I have about 6 subscriptions I receive daily to my gmail account.

  • Google Maps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wiredlogic ( 135348 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @05:25PM (#49200461)

    I miss Google Maps. The laggy pile of trash they have now makes me go to Bing when I want to map things out now.

  • Real Estate (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mike2006 ( 947377 )
    I thought Google Real Estate using the old Google maps was impressive, accurate and fast. The new Google maps is slow and horrible. I am not really impressed by Trulia or Zillow compared to the old Google Real Estate.
  • There was another Google graveyard site which had little tombstones where we could deposit flowers. I remember visiting it around Google Wave's closure. But I can't find it now. Does anyone know where it is?
  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @05:58PM (#49200705) Journal

    > Which abandoned Google project do you wish were still around?

    Latitude, by a wide margin. As a built-in to Maps, Latitude was a very useful resource. When Google pulled it from Maps, where it arguably belonged, and hammered it into Google Plus to try to drive users there, I tried to continue using the feature, but all the fluff and baggage in G+ made it a terrible user experience. I switched to Waze, even though it's more clunky to use, but dropped that a couple years ago when Google bought them out. For now, I just do without the feature.

    When daughter was in school I would use Latitude as added confirmation that she had gotten home safely. Now that she's an adult I arguably don't need it anymore, but I miss the security of knowing where she is.

    Somewhat less important but still worth mentioning is Google Talk. My circle of friends were early adopters and have a long history with the tool. I still use whatever they call it now... Hangouts? ...on the Android phone but still use Talk on the desktop because I really can't stand the Desktop version of Hangouts. Looks and useability have taken a big step backwards. I occasionally get email from Google "we notice you're still using Talk. Please switch to Hangouts". So far I've been able to ignore it.

    Sometimes it seems like Google is their own worst enemy. They come out with well-written, useable apps that fill a real need, and then just when you develop a dependence, crap all over them. And so, for instance, instead of using the Latitude features of G+ to broadcast my location, I use Facebook's "check in" feature. It doesn't work as well, but I don't have any other reason to use G+ (only, like, three of my friends have accounts) and I'm already a Facebook user. I still use Google Maps occasionally, it's a good app. It'd be a better app if Latitude still worked.

    • by ChoGGi ( 522069 )

      Just wanted to add another voice to Latitude, definitely one of the used to be useful

      and no hangouts isn't what I would call useful :(

    • by spasm ( 79260 )

      Glympse (https://www.glympse.com/) does basically the same thing as latitude as far as I can tell (I never used latitude when it was around but use glympse all the time).

    • I occasionally get email from Google "we notice you're still using Talk. Please switch to Hangouts". So far I've been able to ignore it.

      SO many apps are missing a "Fuck You" button... Just saying.

  • I miss iGoogle the most from that list. There are third party options that work (specifically I use igHome), but I liked iGoogle better.

    I also miss the old version of Google Voice. At least it is still functional as part of Hangouts, but I like the simplicity of the Google Voice layout more than with Hangouts.
    • I miss iGoogle the most from that list. There are third party options that work (specifically I use igHome), but I liked iGoogle better. I also miss the old version of Google Voice. At least it is still functional as part of Hangouts, but I like the simplicity of the Google Voice layout more than with Hangouts.

      Yep, I missed iGoogle the most as well. I also miss Google toolbar for Firefox.

  • by iceaxe ( 18903 )

    A friend had a small side business which made use of Gears. When Gears went away, it wasn't worth the effort to redesign, so the biz shut down.

    Though it was trivial, it does make me nervous about basing anything critical on Google services.

    • Didn't Gears go away because its features got folded into HTML5? Seems like a much better solution than an optional proprietary plugin.

  • Nobody else knew it existed, which meant there wasn't a crapflood of angry reviews everywhere. I used it to put hours of operation notes on a bunch of local businesses that didn't list them, and in the case of one oddly-set-up webpage, instructions on how to get it to work. (Trying to get samples from a company that for whatever reason ships to just about every country in the world save the US, and if you email them about it they say oh yeah register as canadian and give a us address, rather than register

  • Android App Inventor was my favorite

  • Is Chrome on the list yet?

    (posted using SeaMonkey)

  • If I had to chose one project for killing which I would hate Google, it would be Google Notebook. With browser plugin it was one of the best tools for doing online and offline research I have ever used. They claimed that it could be replaced by Google Docs, but GD is nowhere close to the functionality and convenience Notebook offered. Another project I missed was Google Reader, however I found Feedly to be a decent replacement.

    For projects that have been virtually killed by Google's "improvements", my perso

  • Google Wave was really cool idea and service. Thankfully the Apache Wave exists now but without a large corporation pushing it the chances of it getting anywhere are slim at best. Oh, and I wonder where Google left its "Don't be evil" mentality.

    I also hope to see Google Plus on the memorial page as soon as possible. But for the sake of fairness it should be mentioned that as a service G+ is better than the Facebook. OH AND THE CURRENT USER INTERFACE of the Youtube. It's absolutely horrible and dysfunctional

    • In a world where we desperately need a new secure communication medium to replace email and social media, Google Wave was created to do just that. It was decentralized, federated, modular, and built on some standard protocols. Those of us who were exposed to it saw potential, but unfortunately it was ahead of its time. This project above all the others I wish was revived.
  • Google had a decent tool that would sync a calendar in Outlook with Google Calendar. It was a simple way to keep my work calendar visible on my phone. When one of their upgrades stopped it from working I just installed an old version. Finally they killed it entirely last year. Probably because there was no revenue stream. Pity.
  • the Do No Evil project. I miss that one.

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