Google introduced the Helpouts service, a special version of live video Hangouts specifically intended for instruction and guides, back in November of 2013. The Android app followed shortly thereafter, allowing users to access paid and screened experts for a variety of skilled or specialized tutorials. Apparently it hasn't been as popular as Google had hoped: the company has informed users that the service will be shutting down on April 20th.
Twitter killed Twitpic. Now Twitter will save Twitpic. Well, sort of. Not really. Kinda. But it's still dead. Alright, try and follow along here: early in September, the original and independent image hosting site for Twitter, Twitpic, said that it was in danger of shutting down after Twitter (the main one) opposed its trademark application. Then Twitpic said they had found a buyer and would remain open. Then they said they wouldn't, and would shut down October 25th, yesterday.
Remember RedBox Instant, the Netflix competitor from Those Guys Who Are Still Renting DVDs and Verizon? No? Well you're not alone, and a lack of brand awareness seems to have led to the streaming video platform's relatively quick downfall. A short message on the RedBox Instant page notified users that the service will be shut down on Tuesday, October 7th, just before midnight Pacific. That's only one year and ten months after its debut in preview form.
It's a sad day for the 400,000+ active users of note taking service Springpad. After six years of battling the Evernote behemoth, Springpad is calling it quits on June 25th. The website, apps, and sync features will go offline at that time, but the team is working to help you get your data out.
Most people rely on Amazon, Google, Barnes and Noble, or some other all-in-one ebook service for their digital literary fix, but there is a thriving community of users who prefer the flexibility and lack of DRM that comes with independent reading apps. This has led to more than a few excellent choices in the space, including Readmill, an ebook app dedicated to simplicity and readability. Apparently Readmill users aren't the only ones who were impressed: Dropbox has acquired the app (or at least hired the employees who made it) and the service is shutting down.
The big news this week was Google selling off Motorola, but there's a smaller company that won't be getting a second chance. Inq Mobile, creator of the Material and SO.HO apps and the UK-only Inq Cloud Touch smartphone, is shutting down on January 31st after just six years in operation. The company's primary page has been updated with a goodbye message, with only support pages for the Cloud Touch and feature phones remaining.
Remember two years ago when everyone was head-over-heels in love with Turntable.fm? Well, things haven't gone swimmingly since the hype died down. After launching mobile apps and rolling out new features, the team is calling it quits. Instead of continuing with Turntable.fm, they're going to work on a new live concert platform called Turntable Live.
In case you never got swept up in the hype, Turntable.fm is an online community where you can start rooms and play songs for everyone.
If you keep up with American politics, live with someone who does, or work in a place that keeps the television glued to whichever cable news network best fits the politics of the company, then you've probably heard that the federal government shut its doors today. This is the direct result of our politicians failing to cooperate long enough to pass a budget, and now many federal employees have been made to take forced unpaid vacation time.
If you're one of those people who likes to know the full lyrics for every song in your library, prepare for a shock. The TuneWiki service will be shutting down on Friday, June 28th, after nearly five years of dutiful service providing scrolling lyrics for pretty much every song under the sun. The shutdown was announced on TuneWiki's website, with no concrete reason given, aside from members of the company moving on to "new journeys."
TuneWiki has come a long way from its early days, when we pioneered the inclusion of scrolling lyrics with music playback.
The old maxim "change or die" would seem to apply to apps and services left in the wake of Google Reader's upcoming shutdown. Popular RSS client GoodNews is exiting the Play Store, stage right, once Google Reader shuffles off the mortal coil on July 1st. The developer updated the Play Store description and the app's website with the news. Since Google Reader will not be functioning at all, this isn't your normal end-of-life app situation - development will cease, the GoodNews listing will disappear, the fat lady will sing.