With the imminent launch of Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch, fans are really excited about what the company has to offer this time. Google is known for working on a ton of new products and services, some of which prove extremely popular and successful while others are canceled or slowly disappearing.
Sometimes a product doesn’t work because of inherent issues in execution, while sometimes the idea is just ahead of its time.
10/10 Pixel Slate
Pixel Slate was Google’s attempt to compete with the iPad. It was launched in 2018 when the Android tablet market was in a slump. It was a detachable tablet running Google’s Chrome operating system, very similar to Microsoft’s Surface Pro.
When it launched, the Pixel Slate was riddled with bugs and failed to gain a foothold in the market. Meanwhile, Samsung was making progress with its Galaxy Tab series, which further damaged Slate’s attempt to gather all the steam. For $600, the product offered nothing above the iPad.
9/10 Nexus Q
Nexus Q was launched at the Google I/O developer conference in 2012 and went on sale soon after. The product was described as a media player capable of receiving audio and video content from other services. At the time, it was one of the most unique things Android phones could do.
One of the main reasons for its failure was its limited functionality. Although Nexus Q was similar to modern streaming boxes, its functionality was very limited. It could only be streamed from Google services and used with Google devices. It did not have its own browserable operating system and relied solely on other Android devices. On top of that, it cost $300.
8/10 google glasses
Google Glass could be one of Google’s biggest public failures. While the concept is interesting, the lack of execution has ruined what could have been the future of computing.
Google Glass was launched at a price of $1500 and came with a wide range of issues, including privacy issues for people registered without being aware of it. The glasses looked clunky and had very limited functionality, especially with the technology present at the time.
7/10 Google Tango
Tango was Google’s first attempt to bring augmented reality to mobile headsets. While the concept was there, the technology lacked the execution, and it can also be argued that it was ahead of its time. Tango required specific camera hardware to operate and mesh 3D spaces. Android fans often argue that they got AR before iPhones.
The additional camera hardware was not only expensive, but also clunky and very slow and full of bugs. All of the apps available at the time lacked major features, and all of the compelling apps felt half-baked.
Google+ was the attempted response to Facebook at the time. Google aimed for the service to be the next Facebook. Although the service had the social media features like Hangouts, Photos, Circles, Streams, etc., there was no “Breakout” feature to attract people from other social media platforms.
Google+ also failed to grow and finally shut down in 2019 after a seven-year stint. The service also suffered two data leaks which further damaged its attempts to gain steam.
5/10 Project Macaw
Project Ara was quite a brilliant idea, a modular smartphone whose internals could be upgraded and swapped out depending on the user’s needs. It was compared to a Lego smartphone at the time, and fans were really looking forward to playing with it. Thanks to this, users can choose to have an amazing camera on an affordable phone if they prefer the particular feature over others.
Google had promised to send dev units in the fall of 2016, but did not and instead shut down the entire dev unit. It’s unclear why it was dropped, but it could have been a very interesting take on the smartphone market.
Google Answers was an attempted service where users could pay experts in the field to answer their questions. Users had the option of paying between $2 and $200. Although the service remained in place for a few years, it never caught on.
There has been a lot of public reaction to this service. Google is known for providing information for free to anyone anywhere. The concept that users had to pay for correct information did not bode well for the public.
3/10 Google Video
Google Video was the company’s answer to YouTube (before it owned it). With YouTube’s growing popularity in 2005, Google responded with its own service where users could upload home videos, and the company also aimed to have professional TV-like content uploaded to the platform.
Google Video simply couldn’t compete with YouTube, and the acquisition of YouTube in 2006 marked the demise of their service. Google also tried to merge the video with YouTube, and the service stopped uploads in 2009 and eventually shut down in 2011.
2/10 Google Buzz
Google Buzz was another attempt by the company to compete with Facebook and Twitter. The service was launched on February 9, 2010 and closed on December 15, 2011.
During its short run, the service has been hit with several class action lawsuits for privacy violations. Many users felt that displaying subscribers or the following list shared a Gmail user’s most frequent email contacts without their consent. Google has also been accused of deceptive privacy practices by the FCC. By this time, Buzz had lost all public goodwill and was eventually replaced by Google+.
Daydream was another attempt at VR and AR by Google. It was a more premium version of the cardboard helmet they introduced before that. The headset was draining the phone’s batteries quite a bit.
Although this version was more premium and comfortable, it did not add any new features to the device and could only work with Google Pixel and Moto Z. Besides that, there were no good apps to try. for users. For $79, consumers saw no point in getting the headphones.