Google announced Wednesday that it plans to shutter its Labs department in an effort to focus more on its products.

For years, Google Labs has been, to quote the company, “a playground where our more adventurous users can play around with prototypes of some of our wild and crazy ideas and offer feedback directly to the engineers who developed them.” That playground has birthed the likes of the Google Reader and Google Goggles — to name a very few.

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Google announced the loss of Labs via its blog, stating: “While we’ve learned a huge amount by launching very early prototypes in Labs, we believe that greater focus is crucial if we’re to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities ahead.”

Many Labs experiments will end, Google says, and other products will be folded into different areas. Android apps in the Lab phase, however, will still be largely available in the Android Market.

Image courtesy of Google

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