updated 05:50 pm EST, Fri January 20, 2012
Google trims again with Picnik shutdown
Google in an update gave notice that it was pruning more of its services, this time more directly affecting mobile and creative use. The company now planned to scrap its cloud photo editing service Picnik as of April 19. It had bought out Picnik in 2010 and wanted to keep the team's focus on the image editing it had already added to Google+ and other services.
The company's astronomy app, Sky Map, would also be going away. The Android showcase app is being open-sourced and will see its development shifted to student projects rather than full-scale updates.
Other elements going away include Google Message Continuity, a recovery system for Exchange e-mail; data management service Needlebase; the slow-moving Social Graph API; and an early acquisition, web analytics app and Google Analytics' main foundation Urchin.
The cuts were partly expected. Ever since co-founder Larry Page assumed the CEO position in April of last year, Google has been pruning features and services in an attempt to streamline and focus on Android, search, and social. It may help reduce instances of Google missing fiscal targets, but critics have argued that it has hurt the exploratory spirit that led to some of Google's earlier advances.