Google's 2023 Shutdown Spree: 6 Products Pulled in Just 4 Months
Google Graveyard 2023
Google is notorious for its habit of killing off products, and 2023 has been no exception. In just the first four months of the year, the tech giant has already pulled the plug on six products, leaving users scrambling for alternatives. Let's take a closer look at each of the products that have been shut down in 2023 so far:
Google Code Jam
- Google Code Jam: This international programming competition was hosted and administered by Google. It consisted of multiple rounds of online and onsite contests, where participants had to solve challenging problems using their preferred programming language. The top 25 finalists got to compete for the title of Code Jam Champion and a prize of 15,000 USD at the Google headquarters. However, Google has decided to shut it down in 2023.
- Google Currents: This service provided social media features similar to Google+ for Workspace users. It was launched in July 2020 as a rebrand of the now-defunct Google+ platform. However, it was shut down in April 2023, and people using it were pushed to Spaces, Google's equivalent of a Slack channel.
Google Street View
- Google Street View app: This app was available on Android and iOS and enabled people to get a 360-degree view of locations around the world. It was over 12 years old but was shut down in March 2023. While the app is now gone, its functionality still exists on Google Maps and Street View Studio. As this comment on HN pointed out, this was a good move by Google.
- Google Jacquard: This small tag could be embedded into clothing and paired with a smartphone, allowing people to perform certain customizable actions on their phones without actually touching them. For example, a double-tap could play/pause music, brushing the fabric could change tracks, and covering the sensor would mute/unmute notifications. It was first unveiled back in 2015 by Google Advanced Technology & Projects (ATAP), but was killed in March 2023.
- Google Stadia: Google's cloud gaming service allowed gamers to run AAA titles on cheaper hardware, including phones, laptops, and TVs. However, it was shut down on January 18 due to low user adoption. Google refunded all Stadia hardware purchased through the Google Store along with the games and add-ons purchased from the Stadia Store.
- Google OnHub: This wireless router was powered by Google software and managed by Google apps. It offered special features like Google Assistant and was sold in two versions, manufactured by either Asus or TP-Link. In 2021, Google announced that the OnHub routers would no longer receive any software updates. Then in January 2023, the company rendered the product almost completely useless by disabling most of its features.