Google has never shied away from axing projects that were not as profitable or relevant as the company had hoped. Instead of keeping quiet about them, Google usually announces which projects it will no longer pursue.
In keeping with tradition, Google is saying goodbye to six more projects this year, bringing the total number of failed projects to 263. Let's learn more about the projects that will be phased out in 2022, how they came to be, and why Google is doing so.
Android Things was an operating system for low-powered IoT devices. Google shut down the project in 2019 and will stop taking on new projects in 2021 and 2022. The initial vision of Android Things was to support any hardware device with a Google Assistant-powered display.
Cameos on Google
Google Cameos or Cameos on Google is a video-based Q&A answering app. It launched on the Apple App Store in August 2018 and on the Google Play Store in October 2019. The app was an extension of Google Posts, a discontinued feature that allowed businesses to post their messages on Google.
G Suite (Free Edition)
Google has stopped offering its G Suite's Legacy Free Edition to new customers. Users can upgrade to a paid version of G Suite, now rebranded as Google Workspace. The company emailed G Suite users informing them about the discontinuation of the service in 2022.
Google Chrome Apps
The support will end for all existing Chrome app users for all operating systems. Google will continue to support and invest in Chrome Extensions on all existing platforms, but deprecation does not affect support for Chrome Extensions.
Google OnHub is a wireless router with a mobile app that was released in 2016. It was one of the few wireless routers available at the time that could automatically update and receive security updates (which was cool back then). Google is discontinuing Google OnHub, its Wi-Fi router service, on December 19, 2022. The company recommends users upgrade to a new Wi-fi setup and offer them a 40% discount.
YouTube Originals, a part of YouTube, has been shut down. The project was started in 2016 to produce and stream original series, documentaries, movies, and events from YouTube. They will continue to invest in the original content of YouTube Kids Fund and the Black Voices Fund.
As Google continues to experiment in different areas, we're going to see more failed projects. Some of them, like G Suite and Google OnHub, are rebranded or extended into other technologies. Others, like Chrome Apps and YouTube Originals, are killed off for good.