Recently Google announced that the free storage of high quality images in their Google Photos service is coming to an end. The free storage of “unlimited” photos has been going for five years, so as you can imaging this announcement has upset some people.
Personally, I’m not surprised by this move. I am surprised that it took five years to get here. Storage isn’t cheap so it’s pretty cool that it’s been as long as it has. Rather, what has me concerned is the fact that this change once again reminds me that Google has a very long history of just killing off apps.
Most recently, the highest profile app they killed off was Google Play Music. While I didn’t subscribe to Play Music, the ability to upload all my personal music to the cloud and then stream it (or, more often, just download those albums I felt like listening to) via my phone was brilliant. While it had its shortcomings, it was pretty easy to use and it did exactly what I wanted it to; gave me easy access to my music.
When the migration to YouTube Music happened, I tried it out.
All the music playlists I’d made were mixed in with YouTube playlists. It took me ages to find the music I wanted as I’d have to wade through a sea of YouTube suggestions. No, YouTube, I do not want to listen to Taylor Swift, I want that weird synth/Turkish mysticism fusion band I love.
Needless to say, I dropped YouTube Music pretty quick. Now I just use MusicBee to organise my music on my laptop then import whatever I want onto my phone. Sure, it’s a few more clicks but it’s a lot easier than navigating the mess of YouTube Music.
Of course Play Music is far from the only service Google has sent from this mortal coil. A few years back they killed Google Reader, which was an amazing service. They knocked out Google + in 2019. Also that year they shut down Indox which was set to change the way email was used. They also shut down popular services such as their URL shortener, Chromecast Audio, Picasa and many, many more. So many in fact that there is a whole website dedicated to mourning lost Google apps and projects.
Now, obviously technology moves on and services are replaced by other, better…