Google will officially be retiring the Google+ Local app for iOS on August 7.
While this termination may seem strange from what many would believe is a popular product, it is actually part of a streamlining attempt by Google and an effort to push users to migrate to the Google Maps for mobile app instead.
The Google Maps app already includes all the features in the Google+ Local app, so users won’t be missing any of their favorite features when they transition.
An email from Google notes that users will no longer be able to access the Google+ Local standalone app after August 7, but the app already seems to have been pulled from the App Store, although it isn't clear who removed it. Clicking the link to the local app does redirect users to the Google Maps app now.
On the surface it would seem the Google should continue with the Google+ Local app, simply because of the current user base. However, the user base for the app was extremely small, and was dropping, likely due to people switching to the new Google Maps app.
Fewer than 0.75 percent of iPhone users in the U.S. opened the Google+ Local App at least once in June TechCrunch reported via Onavo Insights. By comparison, that number was nearly 35 percent for the Google Maps app. So you consider that all of the Google+ Local features are in Google Maps, it makes a lot of business sense for Google to support that one.
In another App closure, Google is also retiring their Catalogs app as of August 15 for both Android and iOS, but they do plan to continue maintaining the service for U.S. users as a web-based program. There is no reason given for why they have made this change, just simply a notice given in the Google catalogs app.
Google has closed and streamlines many of their products this year, including the most controversial closure of Google Reader earlier this month, but from which spawned the launch of several similar products from competitors, including AOL.
This article was originally published on Search Engine Watch.
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March 19, 2014