Google is best known for search. But it’s obviously tried a lot of other things too. Products like Gmail, Google News, and Google Maps are great, too.
But sometimes Google products are terrible. Wave, anyone?
In recent years, Google has done a great job of getting rid of the stinkers. This trend picked up when Larry Page became CEO in 2011.
The newfound focus is good.
But in the process, Google has also gotten rid of some products that were, in retrospect, pretty freaking great.
We’d like them back!
Here are the ones we’re thinking of specifically:
Picnik offered photo-editing abilities inside of your web browser. It was a pretty cool proposition. If you only cared about light editing and basic resizing, you didn’t need to install a photo editor.
Picnik closed down in January 2012 and merged its tools into Google+.
There are comparable image editors available online today, but we liked the simplicity and user-friendliness of Picnik.
Google Desktop indexed your personal computer and made everything instantly searchable. You could also run widgets on top of it and even launch a Google search when your browser was closed.
It came under fire for a number of privacy and security concerns. Google discontinued it in September 2011, citing that the future was about the cloud, not about the individual computer.
Google Health offered a means to keep track of your health and medical information. Launched in 2008, users had a one-stop spot to document allergies, insurance info, and medications.
It was taken down on January 1 of this year. But with modern healthcare as complicated as it is, we liked knowing that everything was in one place.
Google 411 was Google’s free voice-based directory assistance. Using speech recognition, the service helped people find people and businesses, then connected them to a voice call.
Google shut it down in November 2010, but it was an awesome free alternative to calling 411. There’s still a substantial population without smartphones that could benefit from a service like this.
iGoogle is still active today, but it’s scheduled to be discontinued in 2013. iGoogle lets you build a personalised homepage with intant access to your email, news, and a wide variety of widgets.
We love being able to keep an eye on weather and maintaining a list of bookmarks. We’ll be sorry to see this one go.
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