On Google’s 25th anniversary, here’s a look at some of its duds and lesser-known services
Google is celebrating its 25th anniversary today. In these 25 years, the company has released numerous products and services, some of which you likely use daily, like Gmail, Google Drive, Google Search, and Android. But not everything the company launches becomes a huge hit. Some products are quickly discontinued after launch, while others live on but hardly get any limelight. And no, I am not talking about Google Allo, Wave, or Buzz. These offerings are a lot more obscure than them. On Google's 25th birthday, below is a look at 5 unknown or all but forgotten Google products or services you never heard of or completely forgot about.
The Google Pixel 33? Self-flying cars? Google Bard Assistant?
Whether you've extensively used Google Search over the years, accessed YouTube to watch endless hours of videos, or are simply a fan of Google's Pixel hardware, the company's overall impact on the whole world cannot be overstated. Google (initially known as Backrub) started off as a search engine in 1996, with founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page beginning their journey in a Stanford University dorm room. Since then, Google has widened its scope to an extent that perhaps even the founders didn't envision back in the day.
We would have done 25, but we killed the other 15
Google is celebrating its 25th anniversary today, and during the past quarter-century, the company has created plenty of products we use every day. Sadly, it's also killed an overwhelmingly long list of products and features I loved. You can usually see these terminations coming from a mile away, but occasionally, they come out of nowhere and leave us reeling. Here are 10 dead Google products I miss so much.
25 years later, we can't imagine a world without Google
It's hard to believe, but Google turned 25 today. Depending on how old you are, this may either seem like a much longer time than you expected or much shorter than you thought. As someone who grew up with Google (I turned 29 this year), it's definitely hard to imagine that there ever existed a world without the internet-defining search engine. Yet here we are, only 25 years later. So, it's time for a look back at how Google became the internet behemoth it is today.
The company is under investigation for its default search engine deals
Google is among the biggest companies around, providing us with a great search engine and the underlying software of many great smartphones. It’s clear that it shapes the world through its products and services, and it’s definitely made many things a lot easier for many people. But at the same time, the company is concerned about keeping its products at the top of the food chain, and that might sometimes involve anti-competitive practices. At least, that’s what US regulators are alleging in a landmark antitrust trial against the company.
Could we see a change in Google's hardware fortunes?
In recent years, Google has refocused on improving its range and hardware quality. From the stellar Pixel 7 Pro to the incredible Google Pixel Fold and Pixel tablet, Google has proven it knows how to make good hardware.
Google Nearby Share Beta for Windows really gives AirDrop a run for its money — and here's how it works
The phone-to-PC sharing solution is a joy to use
Since the advent of Nearby Share in 2020, Android users have been enjoying the convenience of wireless file transfers between their phones and tablets. However, moving files from an Android device to a Windows computer has always been a little more clunky, making us envious of Apple’s AirDrop. Times are changing and Google finally has a workable Nearby Share implementation for Windows, currently in beta. We took the utility for a spin to get a look at everything it has to offer.
It’s easier than you think…mostly
Every once in a while, a major security vulnerability is discovered in devices you use in your daily life that could put your privacy at risk. Recently, Google's Project Zero team revealed multiple remote code execution vulnerabilities in Exynos modems that could allow hackers to compromise some of the best Android phones like the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 without any user interaction. Worse, they only needed to know the victim's phone number to achieve this. So, how can you keep yourself safe if you own an Android phone, watch, or even a car that uses an affected Exynos modem?
The Live from Paris event begins soon
Google’s next big reveal won’t be saved for Google I/O. The company is hosting a short-notice event in Paris to reveal some new changes to its services later today, and it's expected we may hear more details about the company's newly announced Bard AI tech. We know there will be changes to Google Search, Google Maps, and “beyond”, so it's likely to be related to the company's newly revealed chatbot.
Biking infrastructure is tricky, so the company turned to the local city government that planned it
Google Maps is an invaluable tool for navigating and finding places in the world around you. But the mapping service doesn’t excel in all areas, and bike navigation is one of them. With more and more cities around the world finally taking cycling infrastructure more seriously, Google seems to have realized it’s time to properly help cyclists find the best routes to their destinations. In Berlin, Germany, the company has even teamed up with the local government to do just that.
No ball pit this time, but there's a slot machine
Your favorite tech companies are kicking off 2023 with CES in Las Vegas. The entire show is a spectacle, with participating companies showing off the latest tech of all kinds — from everyday products like phones and tablets to slightly stranger fare like a connected urinalysis device and battery-powered TVs.
No, Stadia is not on this list—it dies in January 2023
Google is infamous for killing beloved projects. It has Google Reader to thank for this reputation, which was many people’s preferred RSS feed reader all these years ago until the company killed it out of nowhere. Google went on with discontinuing other beloved projects, like its innovative Gmail client Inbox or its social network Google Plus, which garnered a small but loyal following over the years. In 2022, the company kept at it, killing a bunch of famous and a few not so well-known services, just like last year.
Google's great new phones come with fun new camera tricks
The Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro were the first Pixels to receive a major camera upgrade. While Apple and Samsung have closed Google's once monolithic lead, the Pixel 6 series is still the most fun and reliable point-and-shoot camera available. Combining Google's software magic with an updated sensor has worked wonders and has enabled Google to come up with new software tricks like Action Pan and Long Exposure. Each of these mimics a tricky camera technique far too complicated for most casual photographers, especially on a phone. But this is a Pixel, and what was once a tricky maneuver is now possible with a button tap.
Last year's flagships have more than enough power
If you are somebody who cares about using the latest software releases as soon as possible, your options were historically rather limited in the Android universe. You could either buy the newest flagship from Samsung, LG, Motorola, HTC, or the usual suspects and hope that they wouldn’t abandon their flagships within the next few months, or you basically had to go with Google’s Nexus and later Pixel phones.
I would buy all of these silly little robots
I've never been acutely aware of so-called notification fatigue in my own life; my devices' beeps and buzzes are just a part of everyday background noise. Even so, the Gmail icon on my iPad Air shows a five-figure unread message count (we get a lot of emails here at AP), and despite my Nest Hub reminding me for the past several days that my dad's birthday is coming up, I still haven't made any plans with him (don't worry, I will). No joke, as I was writing this, the Echo Show 15 behind me chimed to remind me to review a recent Amazon purchase (I probably won't). I may not feel like my notifications are out of hand, but they're clearly no longer compelling me to actually do anything much of the time.
This generation may be doubly disappointing for compact-phone fans
We're all abuzz over the announcement of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Thanks to a prolific leak cycle, we more or less knew everything about them already, but with official confirmation of both specs and price, we can start to get officially excited — and officially annoyed. The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro represent the biggest gap in functionality between Google device sizes since Pixels have been around, and I'm really not here for it.
The big camera strip stares down on a brand new hardware design
Today is Pixel day, but I can’t tell you too much about the experience of actually using the Pixel 6 Pro just yet. (Sorry, embargo.) You know the specs, you know the features, and you know what it looks like in the abstract, but those are all promotional renders meant to paint the phone in the best possible light. What does it actually look like, in real life? How do the shapes meld and blend in reality? Our early first-look gives you a quick overview of Google’s changing design language and the physicality of the Pixel 6 Pro. And the elephant in the room is the elephant strapped to the back of the phone.
Dark theme is stepping out of beta and into the light
Last year, both Google and Apple added dark theming options into their mobile operating systems, with many system apps supporting the feature. Some apps took longer than others, though, like Google's own search app. We reported that its dark theme was available through the Play Store Beta program earlier this year, and now the feature is rolling out to all users on Android 10.
Count yourself lucky if you have a phone that can keep its display on to show you the time or a late notification without the need to blast all of the screen with light. Well, except for when you pull your phone out of your pocket — the panel goes on blast and your eyes are the worse for it. Plenty of people do and one such person has gone out of their way to request always-on display palm rejection from Google — and they're going to get it.
Is This A Nexus LG HTC Samsung Apple Patent Key Lime Pie 5.0 10 7 4G LTE Google Lawsuit Galaxy? Click To Find Out
The rumor mill churns and, having churned, moves on. The big story today is that according to sources familiar with the matter, reports have leaked that lead us to believe that an employee who asked to not be named has told Digitimes that sources say the next Nexus may have already been patented by Apple as the subject of the latest lawsuit to come out of Cupertino.