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Google Leaves App Inventor In Limbo 114

Posted by samzenpus
from the fare-thee-well dept.
theodp writes "Google took some heat for pulling the plug on App Inventor for Android, but all was good with the announcement that App Inventor would live on at MIT. But try to run the App Inventor Java test today and you'll be told that 'as of December 31, 2011, Google ended support of App Inventor', even though the Google-funded Center for Mobile Learning at the MIT Media Lab won't be able to provide a large scale App Inventor service for general public access until 'sometime in the first quarter of 2012.' Until then, schools offering App Inventor classes and others who desire continued access to the easy-to-use mobile development environment are advised to try to run their own App Inventor Services on Google App Engine using MIT's test JAR files, a seemingly daunting task, especially considering App Inventor's target audience. Any thoughts on why Google would unplug the old system before the new one was ready?"
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Google Leaves App Inventor In Limbo

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  • Relying on Google (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cjcela (1539859) on Monday January 02, 2012 @01:20PM (#38564306)
    Google has been pulling the plug on a lot of their projects lately. This will make me think twice about alternatives when starting new projects on the cloud, especially if they are based on "free" services. There is hidden price there, which can hit you in the less expected moment...
  • Re:Because (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Monday January 02, 2012 @01:25PM (#38564344)

    You get what you pay for.

    No you don't; you get what you have a contract for and can afford the lawyers to enforce* as long as it costs less than paying the penalties in the contract. We've already had one of these stories today, where it was mentioned that Microsoft provides guarantees. That's not entirely true (they provide guarantees for windows; not for some other products; different ones for different people etc. etc); but for the most part most of the serious IT vendors, Microsoft included, do things like:

    • provide end of life announcements at least a year and as much as five years in advance
    • clearly tell you in advance exactly how much warning they will give you and then always give you at least that much
    • seriously take into account the different needs of big and small customers

    If Google and co want to be taken seriously they need to do at least the second thing.

    * provided that you do "due dilligence" to make sure that the company actually can do what they have promised in the first place and that you are reasonably lucky and they don't, for example, go bankrupt from some stupid patent lawsuit.

  • by Animats (122034) on Monday January 02, 2012 @01:42PM (#38564500) Homepage

    Assume that any Google service that doesn't have ads is going away. They've discontinued everything from the Google search API to Google Scholar. Wikipedia has a full list [wikipedia.org], from Google Aardvark to Google Web Accelerator. Most of the no-revenue services are already gone.

    • Likely to go: Google Fusion Tables, Google Refine, Trendalyzer, Correlate, Visigami, Sky Map, Speak to Tweet, Web Fonts, Open Social, and Web Toolkit. Those all have a limited audience.
    • Likely to become a pay service: Google Business Solutions (Google Docs, etc.), Google Voice.

The person who's taking you to lunch has no intention of paying.

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