Google's 8 Biggest App And Gadget Flops

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Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider

Google seems to be dipping into just about everything these days.From self-driving cars to augmented reality glasses, it’s clear the company isn’t just about search any more.

While those projects sound cool, there are several recent gadgets and apps from Google that have either completely failed or still haven’t taken off with the public. We put together the biggest of those flops.

Google Web Accelerator

Web Accelerator was an extension for your browser that used cached websites to speed up your browsing experience. However, it caused a lot of privacy concerns because your browsing history was temporarily stored on Google's servers.

With more people getting access to broadband, Web Accelerator became largely irrelevant. Google discontinued Web Accelerator in 2008.

Google Buzz

Buzz was one of Google's many failed attempts at social. It was sort of like Twitter meets Gmail meets Facebook meets AIM. Buzz didn't catch on and was killed after Google+ launched.

Google Wave

Google Wave was supposed to change how we communicate and collaborate online. Instead, Wave was too confusing and complicated for most people to figure out. We're still not entirely sure what it was supposed to do. Google Wave is now officially dead.

Gmail for iPhone

Ever since Apple's App store launched in 2008, we eagerly waited for Google to launch an official Gmail app.

It took Google more than three years and the result was extremely disappointing. The app is essentially a clone of the mobile web version of Gmail, offering no killer new features. In fact, Google was forced to pull the app on launch day because it had too many bugs.

Google TV

Google TV has been around for well over a year, but still hasn't seen user adoption on the scale of Apple TV or Roku. In fact, one of Google's biggest hardware partners, Logitech, abandoned Google TV.


Chromebooks are lightweight laptops that run Google's Chrome OS. At first, Chrome OS was just a browser window. That's it. Chromebooks are pretty much useless unless you can connect to the web.

Now Chrome OS is getting a big refresh that makes it look more like a Windows 7 desktop, complete with a taskbar and app icons. That could help Google compete against the hot Windows 7 Ultrabooks and Apple's MacBook Air.

The Nexus One

Google's first flagship Android phone was supposed to revolutionise how smartphones were sold. Google opened an online store for the device, but it never really took off. Google was forced to shut the store down and stop selling the Nexus One.

Android tablets

There hasn't been a single Android tablet to see success even close to what the iPad has enjoyed. Amazon's Kindle Fire may be an exception, but it's not a true Android tablet. Amazon used Android as a base layer to build its own tablet software.

However, there are rumours Google plans to start selling a cheap 7-inch tablet that will help it compete against the iPad and Kindle Fire.

BONUS: How will Google Drive fare?

Google just launched Google Drive, an online file storage service that's very similar to Dropbox. Drive works well, but it doesn't quite offer enough to make us want to switch. Will deep integration with Google apps be enough to keep users interested? We'll see.

Now check out a Google winner...

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