Google is best known for the myriad products that they come up with every year. With so many innovative products, many of the projects hold a lot of promise. Every time a Google I/O conference happens, a hype is built around what new products will be presented. However, Google also has a reputation for axing many projects during the same time they announce them. With so many projects being announced and axed, one has to wonder why Google hasn’t been able to keep a consistent line of products/projects, especially, when they directly want to challenge the competition. For example, Google Video which failed to take down YouTube — its sole purpose was to crush the video streaming giant — even though it had an intuitive user interface.
No matter what one says, the fact remains that whatever projects Google cuts or introduces them in the market, they hold a lot of promise. Below are some of the products that had a lot of hype around them, but didn’t deliver.
After the failure of Nexus Q, Google turned to Asus and Intel for collaboration to help them bring its Android TV platform to the consumers. Nexus player owners reported that their devices just stopped working. They complained that these devices became unresponsive, hanging at the Google logo during startup or displayed an error message. The error message instructed to factory reset the device, and even after the users performed a factory reset, the issue didn’t resolve. Eventually, in 2018, Google stopped its sales.
Google discontinued their product Daydream VR less than four months from its launch. Google, in their statement, said that asking people to put their phone in a headset and lose access to the apps they use throughout the day causes immense friction. And they were right. The Daydream View headset saw a decline in usage over time. Also, products like Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL didn’t support the product. Besides, Hulu — a video-on-demand service — also dropped its support which furthermore contributed to reduced usage.
Google URL Shortner
This tool was created with the purpose of shortening the web addresses. Google shut down goo.gl before its tenth year of running. goo.gl links could send web surfers directly to specific apps on Android as well as on iOS, this was in addition to the feature of shortening URLs. With the advent of new technology like Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL), Google shut down this project in 2019.
The idea behind clips was to use an AI-powered wide-angle camera designed to capture short videos automatically. For example, if a cat suddenly starts walking on two legs for some reason, Clips eliminates the need for you to search for your phone and capture the moment desperately.
One of the reasons Clips didn’t work is that it didn’t live up to the promises made by Google. In a review done by The Verge, they found out that Clips didn’t do anything worth the price of about $249.
Google killed this product in January 2019, Chromecast audio — a dongle that made speakers compatible with Wi-Fi. The reason Google gave for the discontinuation was that it simply did not fit the ‘company’s portfolio’ where there are several other products that users can enjoy audio on. Nevertheless, people were enthusiastic about this one because unlike smart speakers, this didn’t listen to peoples’ conversations.
Project Tango was built to take Google’s AR ambitions forward. Tango was a design for a camera that could detect motion and depth, which might find a lot of new applications. But, the problem came when there wasn’t a camera that was powerful enough to handle Tango. Equipping a powerful camera in a mobile phone with such capabilities was not cost-effective. Therefore, making it more expensive for consumers. Eventually, Google axed this project because it would result in low usage.
Work With Nest
At the Google I/O last year, Google made lots of announcements, but one which came as an important one for Google’s plan for smart devices was ‘Works with Nest’ shut down news. This meant non-Google smart devices would lose compatibility with Nest devices. The Works with nest program connected Nest devices with other smart home platforms and made it possible for all of them to work in unison. The shutdown created a lot of disappointment among the users as this move compromised their options for a smart home ecosystem that worked around Nest.