Internet search giant Google recently announced through a post on its blog that it is shutting down a few mobile and web services. “Over the past year, we’ve made changes to around 50 products, features and services—donating, merging and shutting things down so we can focus on the high-impact products that millions of people use, multiple times a day,” said Max Ibel, Director of Engineering. Google is axing Google Apps for Teams, Google Listen and Google Video for Business.
Google Apps for Teams was introduced in 2008 to allow people with a verified business or school email address to collaborate using non-email applications from Google, such as Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Talk. Google has now realized that the service was not as useful for people as it had originally anticipated. Apps for Teams is scheduled to be phased out, beginning September 4 2012. Existing Google Apps for Teams accounts will be turned into personal Google Accounts. The change will not affect other editions of Google Apps.
Google shutting down more services
Another service that is set to be axed is the Android app, Google Listen. It was launched in 2009 to enable Android users to discover and listen to podcasts. With Google Play now available, people have wider access to a variety of podcast apps. So Google has decided to discontinue Listen. People who have already installed the app can still use it, but after November 1 this year, the podcast search won’t work. The podcast subscriptions can be accessed in Google Reader in the “Listen Subscriptions” folder and can be downloaded via the Import/ Export tab.
The third service to be shut down is Google Video for Business. The service allowed Google Apps for Business and Google Apps for Education customers to use video for internal communication. All videos hosted on Google Video for Business will be transferred over to Google Drive, which is Google’s cloud storage service, and has similar sharing and hosting capabilities. The videos will be stored for free and will not count against a user’s Google Drive storage limit.
Apart from these services, Google would be closing a number of Google-created blogs that either aren’t updated as frequently, or are redundant because of other blogs. Google maintains more than 150 blogs and other communication channels about various products and services. Google goes on to mention that shutting down these blogs doesn’t mean it will be sharing less information. The blog post clarifies, “We’ll just be posting our updates on our most popular channels”.
Last month, Google had decided to axe iGoogle. It will be retired on November 1, 2013. iGoogle was launched back in 2005 before anyone could fully imagine the ways in which today's web and mobile apps would put personalized, real-time information at his or her fingertips. With modern apps that run on platforms such as Chrome and Android, the need for iGoogle has eroded over time. So the company has planned to wind it down.