A new Google Shopping experience that featured a personalized homepage launched in 2019. On Android, Google rebranded the existing Express app to Shopping, but it’s now shutting down the mobile experience in favor of just the web.
Update: The company confirmed to us today that it’s ending support for the Google Shopping apps on Android and iOS. The clients will continue to work through June. It comes as Google has been expanding shopping functionality in Search, Image Search, and YouTube, while increasingly leveraging augmented reality.
“Within the next few weeks, we’ll no longer be supporting the Shopping app. 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.”
Version 59 of Google Shopping is starting to roll out today with a “Something went wrong” message. This screen was first enabled by XDA yesterday, but it’s now appearing to end users after they update the app via the Play Store.
The app is unavailable right now, but you can continue shopping on shopping.google.com.
The Android and web experience is essentially identical, though the former makes use of a bottom bar rather than a navigation drawer. The “Home” feed provides a list of recommended products that you might be interested in, while you can see a list of products that you “Saved.” The “Notifications” tab shows order updates and promotions, while “Cart” lets you start the purchase process. Tapping your profile avatar in the search bar lets you see past “Orders” and quickly reorder. The web and Android app share feature parity, with the latter built using Flutter.
Overall, Google Shopping does not really need to have an app, as most users just visit Search when looking up products and then can filter results with the “Shopping” tab. This change lets Google conserve engineering resources.
The warning message is unfortunately not very explicit about the Android app’s deprecation. We’ve reached out to Google for confirmation, and to ask why they are directing users to the web instead.
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