Google discontinues a series of “unnecessary” services, including Google Listen


Google didn’t grow to be the biggest tech company in the world by releasing only successful products and services. In fact, many of their projects end up failing, only to be sent down the gutter later on. It is important to know when to move on, and Google has decided to discontinue some services that are no longer necessary or simply aren’t worth the effort anymore.

Today’s flurry of discontinued services includes Google Listen. For those unrelated to the subject, Google Listen is an Android application that allows users to search for, and listen to podcasts. The app was very clean and simple back then, but now there are many options available in the Google Play Store. Making this application no longer relevant, in Google’s eyes.

This comes to prove that while Google does compete against other apps and services in the Play Store, it can also move aside for third-party developers when the time is right. After all, other developers can sometimes do a better job.

With a bit of melancholy, we must say that this is one of the apps that was no longer being used. We have many other good options, and Google’s focus is simply more necessary in other departments. Those that have the app can continue to use it, but the search function will be disabled starting November 1st. So get ready to eventually let go. But just out of curiosity, what app/product/service do you use for finding and listening to podcasts?

For those interested in the other discontinued services, simply read on for Google’s explanations. These happen to be unrelated to Android, but the news might still be of interest to you.

We introduced Google Apps for Teams in 2008 to allow people with a verified business or school email address to collaborate using non-email applications from Google like Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Talk. Over time, we realized that Google Apps for Teams was not as useful for people as we originally anticipated. Beginning September 4, 2012, we’ll start converting existing Google Apps for Teams accounts into personal Google Accounts, and shutting down Google Apps for Teams. This change does not affect other editions of Google Apps.

We launched Google Listen through Google Labs in August 2009, to give people a way to discover and listen to podcasts. However, with Google Play, people now have access to a wider variety of podcast apps, so we’ve discontinued Listen. People who have already installed the app can still use it, but after November 1, podcast search won’t function. You can access your podcast subscriptions in Google Reader in the “Listen Subscriptions” folder and download them from the Import/Export tab.

Google Video for Business is a video hosting and sharing solution that allowed Google Apps for Business and Google Apps for Education customers to use video for internal communication. Starting this fall, we’ll migrate all videos hosted on Google Video for Business over to Google Drive, which has similar storage and sharing capabilities. All migrated videos will be stored for free and will not count against a user’s Google Drive storage quota.

Finally, Google maintains 150+ blogs and other communications channels about our products and services, and so over time we’ll also be closing a number of Google-created blogs that are either updated infrequently, or are redundant with other blogs. This doesn’t mean that we’ll be sharing any less information—we’ll just be posting our updates on our more popular channels.

[Source: Google]

Edgar Cervantes

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  1. This bummed me out big time as I’ve used Listen every day since my Nexus One… I wish they would have done the proper thing and released the source code :(

  2. Google is actually showing leadership here. It puts out products that showcase what can be done. If they take off, great. If they take off because the community takes over, even better. If they fail…cull them and move on.

    Other companies would be more likely to take over developer-created apps to steal the market.

    1. lol, spoken like a true fanboy

      1. No, it’s the difference between trying to build an ecosystem and trying to control one. Google is content to let the user/developer community do a lot of the work (open source). Compare that to Microsoft of a few years back who created their own versions of just about every popular program and then bundled them with windows. Apple lets users create content only so long as it’s “Apple’s Way”.

  3. :-/
    I use google listen…

    1. Me Too.. Daily.. I find its sooooo easy to set up podcast feeds using Google Reader and then send them to my Listen.. Guess I might start looking to find a replacement that works as slick as Listen does.. Soooooo Sad.. I might have to take a day off of work to mourn my loss.. :P

  4. I used Google Listen for a while on my original Motorola Droid, but I remember the program had a lot of bugs. I got very annoyed with it, and it seemed like Google was not interested in updating it, so I eventually removed it.

  5. Sigh. Understandable, but I’d love to know what I’m supposed to use instead. Listen wasn’t great, but it was simple and got the job done. Any suggestions?

    1. I’d recommend Doggcatcher. I started using it when a bug froze Listen a long while back… it lacks the simplicity of Listen, but it’s a really good app. It’s $5 bucks, but you’re supporting an active, responsive developer.

    2. I use beyondpod. Loads of really good features for both podcasts and RSS feeds, keeps being developed and nice interface. Give it a look, there’s a trial version and a paid version with a few more features

  6. Never even heard of Google listen

  7. Sad, but I kinda saw this coming. I’ve used Google Listen for years, and I must say Google dropped the ball on development of the app. In the years I used it, there was only one or two updates to it, but I didn’t mind because it did what it aimed to do (podcasts) well. Hopefully it will still work reasonably well without search functionality.

  8. When’s the plug being pulled on the failure that is google +

  9. anyone else expecting a Google Play Podcasts to be released soon?

  10. Uh google isn’t the biggest tech company lol

  11. I have used listen probably from when it came out, was good, simple very functional. After a lot of research n testing have settled with double twist..the interface on this one is the least confusing n simply beautiful. I have also got doggcatcher as its probably the best but just a bit too much for me.

  12. I listen to listen daily, was easy to use by just subscribing to podcast with Google reader on the computer and then they’d be here on my phone ready to go.

  13. >Google didn’t grow to be the biggest tech company in the world by releasing only successful products and services.
    Implying Google is the biggest tech company in the world.

  14. I use Google Listen everyday but always thought the search function was useless in the app. Google needs to integrate Google Listen into Play Music.

    I have never understood why Google doesn’t have a podcast directory in Google Play. How many times do you see or hear, “Find our podcast in iTunes” It would be nice if Google Play got that free advertising in every podcast too.

  15. Personally Dogg catcher blows away Google Listen but when options where low back in Android infancy these apps filled a void until other options came out for me Dogg Catcher. Been with it ever since. Way more options and updated for frequently then Google Listen.

  16. Not sure what podcast to use now that listen is discontinued, but you can use google current if you want to stick with official google app. It’s meant for magazines and website subscription, but you can add a podcast RSS feeds in it and it will work just the same. It just wont have all the pretty pictures and nice layouts like the ones with digital magazines and such. But does the job fine. Its even an upgrade from the crappy listen layout.

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