R.I.P.: 9 Google Android apps given the death sentence in 2013

Google's given birth to plenty of new products in 2013 -- but, as is the company's way, it's also killed off a decent number of its existing offerings.

Within the realm of Android, Google delivered the death sentence to nine of its own apps this year. Let's take a moment to remember our fallen comrades:

R.I.P. Google Android Apps

1. Google Reader

R.I.P. Google Reader

Born three years ago this month, the Google Reader Android app was once celebrated by RSS enthusiasts who had long lamented the lack of an official Reader app. Google Reader lived a lonely and often neglected existence in its later years, but we'll remember the app -- and its corresponding service -- for the excitement of its youth and the many productivity-filled hours it brought into our lives.

Google Reader died an untimely death this summer when its parent service became the victim of an unprovoked homicide. Feedly, a long-time frenemy of the Reader clan, has taken over much of the family business left behind in its absence.

2. Google Shopper

R.I.P. Google Shopper

Once heralded as a bold new competitor to the now-forgotten ShopSavvy application, Google Shopper entered the world in February of 2010. The app guided many-a-store-browser through the act of comparison shopping, making it easy to scan products' barcodes and get instant price comparisons from local stores and online retailers.

Shopper's functionality was duplicated at various times by the Google Goggles app, Google Search app, and Google Now service. In July of 2013, Google quietly put Shopper on death row. Its execution occurred at the end of August.

Shopper's bereaved lover, Barcode Scanner, delivered a moving eulogy at a private memorial ceremony in Mountain View.

3. Google Currents

R.I.P. Google Currents

Born with great fanfare, Google Currents promised to change the way we consumed news on our mobile devices. Or something. I'm honestly not sure -- I used it twice in 2012 and then forgot it was on my phone.

Currents is survived by a younger brother, Google Play Newsstand, which bears a strong family resemblance to its fallen sibling. Newsstand is accused of orchestrating the murder of Currents and is expected to go on trial sometime next year.

4. Google Play Magazines

R.I.P. Google Play Magazines

Killed in the same brutal attack that claimed the life of its cousin Currents, Google Play Magazines lived a short and largely irrelevant life. The app entered the Android universe in the summer of 2012 and drew its last breath just before this past Thanksgiving.

Magazines' death is believed to be part of a broader plot that took out Currents and other members of the extended family. The only witness to the murder, a long-abandoned stock Android app named News and Weather, is currently under a federal protection program and is expected to testify at the trial (unless the perpetrators find and kill him first).

5. Google Talk

R.I.P. Google Talk

Google Talk had been an integral part of the core Android family since its inception in 2008. Talk -- also known by the aliases "Google Chat," "GChat," and "GTalk" -- underwent drastic sex reassignment surgery this year and started a new life. S/he now goes by the name "Hangouts" and prefers not to discuss s/his past existence.

Despite its gender change, the app is rumored to be continuing its often-tempestuous on-and-off affair with AOL Instant Messenger, a bad-boy rival from the wrong side of the tracks. Neither Hangouts nor AIM would comment on the status of their relationship.

6. Messaging

R.I.P. Messaging

The Messaging app was never much of a looker, but it lived a long and fruitful life within the Android world. With the newfound confidence of its BFF-turned-backstabber Hangouts, Messaging found itself wandering around aimlessly and questioning its purpose in life. The app is believed to have suffered a mental breakdown and developed dementia.

Messaging is now living out its last days at a retirement community in Montana. Friends of the app request winky-face emoticons in lieu of flowers.

R.I.P. Google Catalogs

7. Google Catalogs

Please observe a moment of silence for the fallen Google Catalogs app, launched in 2011 and killed off this Aug...wait a minute. What? There was an app called Google Catalogs?!

8. Movie Studio

R.I.P. Movie Studio

Movie Studio came into our lives as part of the tablet-centric Honeycomb release and was abandoned by its parents immediately following its birth. The promising but never fully realized app shipped sporadically with Android devices all the way through last year's Nexus 4 flagship phone, but with its absence on both Nexus 7 models and now on the Nexus 5 -- not to mention the fact that it basically hasn't been touched since the arrival of Honeycomb -- this app's almost certainly not long for this world.

9. Cloud Print

R.I.P. Cloud Print

Google's official Cloud Print app launched quietly this past summer, giving those of us who noticed it a simple way to send stuff from Android devices to cloud-connected printers. With the integration of Cloud Print functionality into the Android 4.4 KitKat release, though, the app is suddenly finding itself in a dangerously redundant position.

Sure, it may stick around for a while -- so that users on pre-4.4 devices can continue to use it -- but with the functionality now baked into the OS itself, it seems safe to say the standalone Cloud Print will do little more than gather dust until it's swept away to its inevitable extinction.

2013 also saw the loss of Google Latitude and Google Local, both of which were technically part of the Google Maps app (and consequently don't qualify for official spots on this list). Goodnight, sweet princes; we bid you well.

Android Power Twitter

So there you have it: nine Google Android apps given the death sentence in 2013. Let's pour one out for our fallen friends, shall we? Their spirits shall live on -- mainly in the deserted old Gingerbread phones we all have sitting in our closets.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon