Google just put out JAM, for Chrome, which is basically Garage Band for your browser. It’s pretty cool! And after today there’s basically zero chance you’re ever going to think about it again.
That seems to happen to Google a lot; it comes up with some novel ideas, throws a ton of money at them, and then no one ever uses them. And that’s just fine. We’re all for trying new things and innovating seeing what works. It’s just funny how much time and money and effort Google’s thrown down the drain over the years.
Here are some of the biggest wastes of Google’s time and money, the things that may have seemed great at the time, and then fell away into the land of forgotten internet toys.
Do you remember Google Wave? Sure you might. It was going to replace email! It was a better email. And then it was gone.
No one really thought the Nexus Q was going to be groundbreaking when Google announced it, but the streaming device was at the very least supposed to band together all of the Play Store’s content into one, centralised hub in your living room. And whatever you thought of its orb/jellyfish design, lots of money clearly went into designing the thing. And now, you can’t even buy it. RIP, little Google ball.
Pool Party and Disco
Pool party. POOL PARTY. Google made an app called Pool Party. It was for sharing photos of groups, and was made by the Slide team, which also made the Disco messaging and photo sharing app for Google. Google paid $US187 million for Slide, and then whatever else developing these apps cost. And all it got in return was a pool party no one showed up for.
Yes, Google Plus has fallen completely out of the consciousness of anyone but tech nerds. We don’t even get stories about how dead it is now. But at least it’s inarguably necessary. But Google Buzz? Buzz was like an offscreen little brother in the Google show. It wasn’t just worthless, it was a privacy nightmare. A terrifically expensive privacy nightmare that we all woke up from very quickly.
Cinemagraph Event Invitations
You like cinemagraphs, right? They’re fun. Here’s a photo… that kind of moves! Google’s version of that is, basically, “You like scrambled eggs, right? Well how about scrambled eggs… THAT COME WITH LUXURY ITALIAN LOAFERS.” That’s cinemagraph GIFs and event planning. Gilding a lily that nobody wants to pick in the first place.
Google Googles lets you point your camera at landmarks, paintings and other stuff, to reveal all the world’s information about that thing. It’s incredibly advanced, and impressive. It’s goddamn magic. And there’s no way more than a very tiny sliver of the population 1. Knows it exists, and 2. Actually thinks to use it, ever.
What a wonderful project from Google’s famed work-on-anything time! Don’t send drunken emails to your boss or ex or dad. Perfect. You need this. It would make your life better. There’s no chance in hell you have it activated or plan to actually use it in real life. Again, super fun and aggressively forgetten.
Yes, you’re excited about Google Glass. Terminator vision! Iron Man HUD! MY LIFE, RECORDED. Except, uh, no. No, you’re not going to actually wear those in real life. No, they aren’t going to work like you want them to. If these even ever do come to market, the technological hurdles — battery life, or your eyes having problems focusing on information displayed too closely — are too great for this to be anything much more than a glorified Go-Pro for your face.
Google Driverless Cars
The driverless car is a miraculous technological feat. You know what else is? A Segway. And while it’s thrilling to see automobiles scoot around of their own volition, you’ll only ever see one when the USA Men’s Basketball team is riding them around at the Olympics in 2024. We’re glad these exist. But man is it a lot of time, effort and cash down the drain.