Celebrating 25 Years of Google: Remembering 10 Beloved Products That Are No Longer with Us

Google is celebrating its 25th anniversary today! Over the past 25 years, they have developed many products we use daily. Unfortunately, they have also discontinued numerous products and features that I cherished. Sometimes, we could predict these discontinuations, but occasionally, they came as unexpected shocks. Here, I’ll discuss 10 Google products that are no longer with us and that I miss dearly.

Google's 25th birthday
Google’s 25th birthday (Photo google/Getty images)
  1. Google Now (2012-2016): Google Now was a highly useful software feature, available before Google Discover. It resided on the left side of our home screens and featured voice search, which was impressive for its time. Beyond voice search, Google Now excelled at providing precisely timed information. For instance, it saved your parking location when you used Google Maps and alerted you to traffic conditions before your commute. The home screen displayed cards with this information, which was more helpful than today’s endless news feeds, albeit less profitable for Google.
  2. Inbox: Inbox was an experimental email interface created by Google’s Gmail team. It organized incoming emails into categories more effectively than Gmail. It allowed users to set timers and reminders for emails, pin important conversations, and mark clusters of emails as read. Its consistent interface across mobile and desktop made it user-friendly.
  3. Google+: Google+ was Google’s attempt at a social network. It introduced the concept of collections on user profiles, allowing users to categorize their posts. Followers could choose which collections to follow, offering precise control over their feeds. It created a sense of digital community.
  4. Google Chromebook Pixel and Pixelbook: These high-quality laptops garnered a devoted fanbase. They were more powerful than typical ChromeOS devices, featuring impressive design elements such as glowing Google-colored light bars. Google eventually stopped producing its own Chromebooks, leaving a void for enthusiasts.
  5. Google Play Music (2011-2020): Google Play Music was a popular music streaming service known for its ability to upload and stream users’ personal music libraries. Transitioning to YouTube Music left some features missing.
  6. Stadia (2019-2023): Google’s game streaming service offered cloud-based gaming. When it worked, it was excellent, but inconsistent performance frustrated many users. It was ahead of its time, as home internet wasn’t fully prepared for cloud gaming.
  7. Google Play Edition Phones (2013-2015): These phones ran stock Android on popular OEM hardware, offering a clean Android experience. They were, unfortunately, not widely available.
  8. Google Glass (2013-2015): Google Glass, featuring a small display and camera, faced controversy due to privacy concerns. Today, similar concepts are more accepted, but Google Glass was ahead of its time.
  9. Google Daydream (2016-2019): This virtual reality headset for smartphones offered a decent VR experience. However, it couldn’t gain enough traction, especially as smartphones began adopting high-refresh-rate displays.
  10. Google Allo (2016-2019): Allo was a messaging app integrated with Google Assistant. It had potential but couldn’t overcome the shadow of Google’s previous messaging apps.

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This list represents only a fraction of discontinued Google products. There are 288 listed on Killed By Google, and Google continues to retire products, such as its Podcasts app. While some discontinuations were understandable, others remain peculiar. Nonetheless, we fondly remember these products. Enjoy Google’s 25th anniversary celebration, but be prepared for them to cancel their party plans!

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