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Google is shutting down Area 120’s popular ‘Rivet’ kids reading app

Google’s Area 120 incubator launched an app called Rivet in beta in 2018 as a “fun and supportive reading app for kids.” It finally exited beta on Android and iOS in May of 2019, and in its time has grown to be one of the most beloved teach-your-kids-to-read apps on the Play Store. Now Google says that it’s shutting the app down.

Not only is the popular (no, really, it’s popular — it has over 10 million installs and 40,000 reviews) reading practice app being shut down (via Artem), it’s being shut down soon. The Rivet mobile and web apps are being shuttered on October 15th, 2020, and all data associated with Rivet will be deleted November 13th.

And it’s really unclear at this point what alternatives parents who have come to depend on the app will have. Google says Rivet is “moving to the Google Assistant”. We’re not sure if there’s going to be a whole new Rivet experience built for Assistant or if this is just a way of telling people “use the “hey google, read a kids story” feature instead”.

What is Google killing here, exactly? Apparently the educational reading joy of lots of children. Read this review on the Play Store written by a kid who uses this app and tell me you don’t feel a little bad.

I love this app so much it helps me read and i can pick a cute character plus you can pick a reading level or a category. This app is so fun and tells me when I mess up and it helps me say the word right and even says how long I have been reading. This is the best reading app I’ve gotten yet

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Avatar for Stephen Hall Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.