Google Podcasts Moves to the Google Dump

David Pierce, writing for The Verge:

Google Podcasts is dead. It has been dying for months, since Google announced last fall that it was killing its dedicated podcast app in order to focus all its podcasting efforts on YouTube Music. This is a bad idea and a big downgrade, and I’d be more mad if only I were more surprised.

The Podcasts app is just the latest product to go through a process I’ve come to call The Google Cycle. It always goes the same way: the company launches a new service with grandiose language about how this fits its mission of organizing and making accessible the world’s information, quickly updates it with a couple of neat features, immediately seems to forget it exists, eventually launches a competitor out of some other part of the company, obviously begins to deprecate it and shift focus to the new competitor, and then, years later, finally shuts it down for real. The Google Graveyard is full of apps like Reader, Duo, Inbox, Allo, Wallet, and countless others that have been through The Google Cycle, and it feels just as bad every time.

The saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” With people who come to rely on new apps from Google, it’s more like “Well, you’ve fooled me a dozen times so far, please don’t do it again with this new thing you made that I like.”

I haven’t been bitten by Google killing an app or service since Google Reader, because I never again trusted them. I suppose this might be a lot more difficult for Android users, but I honestly don’t even remember the last time I added a new Google app or service to the set of tools I rely upon. The only Google services I use are YouTube (and even there, I have complaints), Google Search (and even there, it hasn’t been my default web search for nearly a decade), and Gmail (and even there, I access it via IMAP from Apple Mail and Mimestream). The only Google apps on my iPhone are YT Studio (which, given how infrequently I publish videos to my channel, I probably don’t need), Chrome, and Google Keep. And the only reason I have Chrome and Keep installed is for syncing browser tabs and notes between my iPhone and my burner-device-to-see-how-things-are-on-Android Pixel phone. I wouldn’t be surprised if they shut down Google Keep and started an all new Google-branded notes app soon.

Oh, and the Nest app. I have that because we have (and love) Nest thermostats, but I don’t really think of that as a Google app.

I don’t eschew Google products as any sort of statement. I just don’t like most of what they make, and what I do like, I don’t trust them to keep around. It’s rather glorious living a nearly Google-free digital life.

Tuesday, 2 April 2024