Today Google announced the end of Google Labs, the virtual workshop where users can tinker with prototypes of early Google developments. They attribute the closure to wanting to spend more time on "product efforts," according to this statement on their official blog,
Last week we explained that we’re prioritizing our product efforts. As part of that process, we’ve decided to wind down Google Labs. While we’ve learned a huge amount by launching very early prototypes in Labs, we believe that greater focus is crucial if we’re to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities ahead.
In many cases, this will mean ending Labs experiments—in others we’ll incorporate Labs products and technologies into different product areas.
Many of your Google Labs favorites will still exist, and of course Google will keep innovating. But the transparent department for product development at Google will soon cease to exist. Any future projects will happen in their respective divisions.
We don't know what our Internet lives will look like post Google labs, but we can't imagine a Web without some of the projects that have come out of Google Labs. A look back reveals some gems that came out of Google's experiment hub.
- Google Art Project, where you can look at the work of world-renowned artists from your office deskchair
- Google Body, where science lovers and physicians come together to study virtual human anatomy.
- Google Books Ngram Viewer, the most fun you'll ever have tracking the evolution of words over time
- Gmail Unsend Mail Feature, for the rashest of e-mailers. This feature allows you to "unsend" your bad ideas--i.e., actually delays sending for a few minutes so you have time to reconsider.
What are some of your favorites? Let us know down below.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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