This week’s dead Google product is Google Trips, may it rest in peace

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Google’s wild ride of service shutdowns never stops. Next up on the chopping block is Google Trips, a trip organization app that is popular with frequent travelers. Recently Google started notifying users of the pending shutdown directly in the Trips app; a splash screen now pops up before the app starts, saying “We’re saying goodbye to Google Trips Aug 5,” along with a link to a now all-to-familiar Google shutdown support document.

Trips was a well-received app with more than five million downloads on the Play store and a 4.1 rating. Usually when you schedule a trip, a plethora of reservation emails arrive in your inbox for things like the plane flight, hotel, and/or car rental, and Google Trips would automatically suck up all this information and create a basic outline of your trip. From there it leveraged Google Maps information, displaying nearby attractions, things to do, and other planning information. When you needed to quickly reference something, it was a lot easier to open Google Trips than it was to start digging through your email inbox. Trips also had a focus on offline information access, downloading all this reservation information and even prompting you to download your destination area in Google Maps for offline access.

The death of Google Trips is part of Google’s big travel revamp. The company recently launched the Google Travel website, which in addition to most of the Trips information, also serves as (wait for it…) a search engine for hotels, flights, and travel agency-style combo bookings. Google Travel is full of advertisements—the site is probably 50% ads, and these are very poorly labeled and look like the core user interface. Entire UI elements like “Check Availability” and “Select a room” just have “Ads” next to the main title, indicating the entire section or page is an advertisement. The point of interest information seems to be organic information from Google Maps, but I think every actionable item (like booking hotels and flights) eventually leads to a list of exclusively paid ads.

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