Google Latitude joins long list of products axed by the Web giant

Google is set to shut down Latitude, a location mobile app, next month, making it the latest in a long list of notable services killed by the search giant.

Latitude, which allows people to let others know where they are through the use of their smartphone’s GPS, will stop functioning Aug. 9.

Google is urging people who want to share their locations to use the company’s Google+ app on Android. The company says the location-sharing feature will be added at some point to the iPhone version of Google+.

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Though there hasn’t been much of an uproar over the killing of Latitude as there was when the company shut down Google Reader this year, the Latitude news is the latest reminder that you never know when Google might decide to shut a service down.

Sometimes Google kills services when it rolls out new products that are very similar. Google+, for example, replaced the failure that was Google Buzz, and more recently the chatting service Google Talk was replaced with Google Hangouts. And Google Video, of course, was replaced by YouTube.

Other times, Google shuts services down simply because they never catch on. Google Wave, a product which launched with much hype, offered users a ton of features, but no one ever quite figured out what to do with it, and so it was put to death.

Other services simply get outdated and Google shuts them down because they are no longer needed. Google Reader was shut down, in part, because many users now get their news from social media, not RSS feeds. And iGoogle, a user-customized Google home page, is set to close this year because many users no longer use such start pages.


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