Google Shopping app axed - Here's where you'll shop instead

Google is axing its Google Shopping app, with the iOS and Android app expected to disappear within the next few weeks. Intended as a way for Google to serve up retail-specific results – and squeeze some extra advertising revenue from retailers, of course – the Google Shopping app had increasingly been looking pointless given there's a Shopping tab in search results these days.

Now, it seems, Google has decided the same thing. Signs that the app might be facing the end were spotted first by xda-developers, which caught "sunset" in a number of strings in the latest version. It indicated that, when users opened the software after Google threw a server-side switch, a message warning that it would no longer be functional would be shown.

Google subsequently confirmed the decision to 9to5Google. The Google Shopping app for both Android and iOS will continue working through June, the company said, but beyond that it's expected that people will use Google Shopping in search instead.

"Within the next few weeks, we'll no longer be supporting the Shopping app," a spokesperson said. "All of the functionality the app offered users is available on the Shopping tab. We'll continue building features within the Shopping tab and other Google surfaces, including the Google app, that make it easy for people to discover and shop for the products they love."

Though many were unaware of it, the Google Shopping app has been a reasonable success in terms of downloads. More than 1 million installs have been counted for the Android version alone, according to its listing in the Google Play store. Google's pitch has been not only flagging deals across multiple retailers, but support for promotions and discount codes, and free shipping for some orders. It also worked as a shopping research tool.

Still, having a team working on a standalone app, along with the Google Shopping functionality in search, was an unusual duplication. It's unclear just how many people opt to use the Shopping tab in search results through the regular browser, versus installing the Google Shopping app, but it's not hard to imagine that being a much larger number overall.

Meanwhile reviews of the app have been dwindling in positivity. Although it's still rated at 4 out of 5 overall, reviewers this year have criticized its browsing tools, complained that their saved lists have disappeared, and said that they're increasingly getting pointed to the browser-based version.