55-inch Jamboard and app ecosystem tossed into the Google graveyard
Now have a look at these third-party alternatives from our partners, says Chocolate Factory
Customers aren't usually left with a mostly useless 55-inch Android tablet when Google sends another of its many services to the graveyard, but here we are. The Jamboard and its accompanying apps will cease to work in a little more than a year.
Jamboard is a giant touchscreen Android tablet intended for collaborative whiteboarding when it went on sale in 2017. Six years on from its release, Google has decided that first-party hardware and software are too much of a Jamn pain to deal with.
And who suffers when Google makes a decision like this? Not its third-party partners, that's for sure.
"We are integrating whiteboard tools such as FigJam, Lucidspark, and Miro across Google Workspace so you can include them when collaborating in Meet, sharing content in Drive, or scheduling in Calendar," Google said of its plans to not completely deprive Google Workspace customers of an important collaboration tool.
As for hardware, don't worry – a third party has you covered there too. "We're bringing these whiteboard solutions to the Series One Board 65 and Desk 27 devices by Avocor," Google said. Conveniently enough, Avocor's products already have Google Meet branding all over them.
Google said its customers told it whiteboarding tools like the aforementioned "help their teams work better together." As such, "we've decided to leverage our partner ecosystem for whiteboarding in Workspace and focus our efforts on core content collaboration across Docs, Sheets, and Slides."
This move – like the many other products buried into Google's graveyard – is for your benefit, of course.
How to survive whiteboard jamnation
Those who use a Jamboard or the Jamboard app have some time to plan for its dissolution. Google doesn't intend to kill the board itself until October 1, 2024, and the Jamboard app won't head to the guillotine until December 21, 2024.
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That's not to say there won't be a number of changes in the meantime, most occurring in the days running up to October 1, 2024, when full functionality for the app and board will end.
Licenses for Jamboard devices will expire September 30, 2024, and the next day the board will stop getting updates and receiving customer support. "At this time, we will also remove Jamboard device management from the Admin console, leaving the device with limited functionality," Google said.
October 1 will be the day the Jamboard goes into "unlicensed mode," Google said. That means users won't be able to open or save jams or access Google Meet from the board. It can be used offline after that date, but Google warns the board won't be able to save anything to Google Drive or use any features that require internet connectivity.
In other words, get ready to make room on your desk for a really big extended display.
As for the app, it'll go read-only on October 1, 2024, after which date no new jams can be created or edited. Jams can be backed up until the end of December, and anything not saved (Google recommends turning jams into PDFs) will be permanently deleted.
The Jamboard costs $4,999 for Google Workspace for Education customers and comes with a one-timer management and support payment of $600. There was no recurring fee.
Google didn't respond to questions for this story. ®