Google Products Have an Image Problem

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Let’s state the facts. Google products, ranging from hardware to digital services, have an image problem. What has caused this? Google itself. This isn’t a new realization for me, but it’s one I’m beginning to come to terms with, as I see more and more people in public and on social media shy away from adopting into Google’s product ecosystem. The running joke seems to be, if Google releases a product, it’ll be shut down or discontinued a year later. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but isn’t there a saying how every joke has at least a grain of truth? The joke exists for a reason and Google has no one to blame but itself.

Take messaging for example of Google’s inability to offer a streamlined experience that will see support for years to come. There’s no shortage of ways Android users can message and talk to one another via Google’s services. You have the standard Messages app, Duo, Chat, Google Voice, Hangouts, and probably more. That list used to also include Allo and Google+, but you know, Google. The point for messaging I’m trying to make is, instead of just biting the bullet and taking the time and resources to create a single service for messaging, similar to what Apple has for iMessage, Google users are forced to jump around from app to app in order to get things done. Kellen and I recently completely jumped ship and went over to Telegram for our messaging needs. We’re not looking back.┬áThis problem goes way beyond messaging, but that’s certainly one of the problems we’ve been dealing with the longest.

A more recent product I’d point to is Stadia. Not to be mean to its fans, but Stadia probably won’t be around too much longer — though I’d be happy to be wrong in this case because I love the concept. We have seen reports of Stadia’s user numbers and they are actually atrocious, missing the mark by hundreds of thousands. Not only that, but Stadia is losing staff, too. Typically, companies like Google don’t keep products around that are money losers. They have shareholders to think about after all. I don’t suspect it’d be a stretch to think Google announces a Stadia shutdown within the next year or so.

Wear OS is another thing I need to harp on real quick, even though Kellen literally spent his morning trashing it, too. No one should be buying a Wear OS watch right now. All of the watches launching are coming with way outdated silicon, with OEMs seemingly refusing to adopt Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform. We have no idea why this is, but companies are still releasing watches and we have to keep telling people not to even consider them. That has got to be one of the worst things you can do for a line of products. Google’s software support for Wear OS has been so lacking that I’m shocked they haven’t just shut it down and announced that it’ll solely focus on its relatively newly acquired Fitbit business.

In case you weren’t aware, there’s been a dedicated site for all things Killed by Google. It’s actually depressing to scroll through because I can remember many of these products that I really loved. There was Google Play Edition devices, Google Play Music, Inbox, and plenty more. I recommend giving the site a look, even for the sad scroll through memory lane.

Long story short, I’d love to see Google refocus itself a bit when it comes to services and products offered. When the company is continually pushing new things and killing old things, users are getting tossed around and it’s not always a pleasant experience. Take the death of Play Music and the transfer to YouTube Music for example. What the was that all about? It took what felt like years and YouTube Music still isn’t even close to being a solid replacement to Play Music, at least in my book.

What’s your take? Have you been avoiding Google products lately, knowing that they may be shut down or discontinued shortly after you adopt them? I know I can’t be the only one.

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