Google Labs Shuts Down, Kills Online Innovations

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Online search giant Google is shutting down its experimental Google Labs division and pulling the plug on several prototype software and service projects.

According to a post on the company’s official blog, the company says it plans to refocus efforts around its core products. Rather than pour time and money into quirky tech toys like Google Goggles, which lets you search the Web using photos, or experiments like the Android App Inventor, it aims to double-down on core services.

Several projects in development will be discontinued as a result, while others are likely candidates for future integration into its new social network, Google+. But all Google Labs creations that have been designed as Android apps will continue to be available going forward from the Android Market.

More experimental testbed for Google engineers’ wacky inventions than font of game-changing innovations, its quirky online creations and oddball apps will nonetheless likely be missed be technophiles with an eye for the esoteric.