Google Is Shutting Down More Experimental Projects
Google is shutting down Google Labs, the company's test bed for early experimental projects created by its engineers. Some projects from Labs have become official Google products, like Google Goggles (an Android app that recognizes real-world objects) and Google Listen (an Android app for podcasts and other Web audio). But individual products like Search and Gmail also have their own early test areas, which made Labs kind of redundant. Right now, the Google Labs site has about 50 projects on it, including Swiffy, a Flash-to-HTML5 converter, and Scribe, a way to create quick documents with features like automatic text completion and correction. Some of these projects will become official Google products, while others will be canceled. Aardvark, the social question-and-answer service that Googleacquired last year, is also on the Labs list. However, Google plans to incorporate a similar questions service, perhaps based on Aardvark, into Google+ shortly. The company revealed the change on its corporate blog a few minutes ago, and said it was part of Larry Page's promise to put "more wood behind fewer arrows" -- that is, to reduce the number of products Google is working on so it can concentrate on the really important ones like Google+. Earlier this month, Google shut down Google Health and PowerMeter because they weren't getting enough usage.