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Google Closes and Merges More Unused Applications

It’s quite disappointing that Google announced yesterday that a lot of their services has been planned to discontinue in the very near future. Knowing Google, these services are probably redundant and obscure that probably didn’t have a whole lot of popularity. This time, Google is shutting down three different services along with quite a number of company blogs that has become redundant or that wasn’t updated very frequently. The services that are being shutdown include Google Apps for Teams, Google Listen and Google Video for Business. This round of shutdowns is coming just after a few weeks after Google also decided that it was time to close the popular services like iGoogle and Google Video. People who used these products will obviously be disappointed especially for Google Listen as that was a really good app for Podcasts and such. It is understandable why Google Listen is closing though. It’s very easy to download a few podcasts and throw them on Google Play Music, so in a sense Listen is a redundant application. Either that or Google Play Music is. Either way, I think it’s very less likely that they would of closed down the popular Google Play Music.

Google launched the Google Apps for Teams in 2008. The tool allowed different business and schools to use non-email services like Google Docs without having to sign up for a Google email address like you currently do. Google said today that the service was not as useful for people as they originally had anticipated. With that said, starting on September 4th, Google Apps for Teams accounts will be turned into personal Google accounts. As far as I have seen, Google hasn’t said whether you’ll just be able to opt out and not use the service or not. I’m sure you could as it’d be really weird if that option wasn’t available.

Google Listen started as a Google Labs project was helped people find and listen to podcasts. Sort of what iTunes does if you’re looking for a comparison. Aside from that, Google Play offers so many different podcast listening applications that Google has decided that it will be shutting down Google Listen on November 1st. A lot of users will be disappointed to hear this as this was a really good quality application unlike a lot of the not-so quality applications on Google Play. There are some, but it’ll take a bit of digging. Current users of Google Listen will be able to listen to all of their existing podcast subscriptions in Google Reader but you won’t be able to subscribe to any new ones. You’ll have to find an application on Google Play to do that. Google last updated Google Listen earlier this year, but even after that it was very clear that this service wasn’t going to make it and that it was more of an afterthought than something they wanted to be long-term.

Google Video for Business allowed Google Apps for Business and Google Apps for Education owners to host videos for internal use in their organizations. Pretty similar to what the current Google Hangouts do, so it’s not really necessary anymore. Google has decided to migrate all of these videos to Google Drive, their new cloud-based storage service (much like Dropbox). Good news is, they will be stored for free and will not now or ever count against the user’s Google Drive storage amount. Personally, that’s a great move for Google. It’s very nice to hear that they won’t be filling up that storage amount and therefore charging you to purchase more storage.

Since last year, Google has either donated, merged or shut down 50 different services that have either become redundant, irrelevant or services that just aren’t being used. This all started after Larry Page took over as Google’s CEO instead of Eric Schmidt. The idea here, says Google is, to” focus on the high-impact products that millions of people use, multiple times a day” and not to waste resources on products that aren’t used as much so that the company can build a “better Google.” As I said, many will be disappointed because of this clean up. I’m sure there were a few devoted users out there to certain products that got used. The good news is that for most of them, there’s probably an app on Google Play that you can find that does the same thing. That or the service has just merged with another service and therefore you just need to get the other Google service to continue using the past service. It’s an inconvenience sure, but in the long run I think that users are going to be very happy with this decision and especially if Google starts putting out some more really useful applications or even expanding upon the already useful applications.

We’ll keep you updated as to whether other products and services will be getting a merge or even a shutdown. What do you think of this “spring cleaning” that Google has been doing since the new CEO has taken over? Aside from that, what do you even think of former CEO, Eric Schmidt stepping down? I was kind of sad to hear the news as I thought he was a fantastic CEO and always had some sort of good wisdom to say about their product(s) and brand. Even with all the Android litigation’s he has been very calm about it all.

Here’s the list of Products that Google has closed over the last few months from Tech Crunch:

Google Bookmarks Lists, Google Friend Connect, iGoogle, Google Video, Google Symbian Search App, Google Talk Chatback, Google Mini, Google Gears, Google Search Timeline, Google Wave, Knol, Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal (RE<C), Aardvark, Desktop, Fast Flip, Google Maps API for Flash, Google Pack, Google Web Security, Image Labeler, Notebook, Sidewiki, Subscribed Links, Google Flu Vaccine Finder, Google Related, Google Sync for BlackBerry, mobile web app for Google Talk, One Pass, Patent Search, Picasa for Linux, Picasa Web Albums Uploader for Mac and Picasa Web Albums Plugin for iPhoto, and all Slide products.

source: Tech Crunch