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Google shreds Reader in new round of 'spring cleaning'

Petition under way, 'Downfall' vid too

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Update Google is killing off Reader, its web-based RSS reading service, as part of its latest round of culling little-used or unprofitable products. A spring clean, if you will.

The service will disappear on July 1st, 2013.

Google’s reason for the termination, revealed in a blog post, follows:

“There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.”

Software Engineer Alan Green penned the post and added that “We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We’re sad too.”

Happily, users can extract their RSS subscriptions and use them in another reader using Google Takeout.

Other products and services set for the axe, as detailed here, include:

  • The GUI Builder and five UiApp widgets in its AppScript service, “to focus efforts on Html Service” as of September 16th.
  • The CalDAV API “will become available for whitelisted developers, and will be shut down for other developers on September 16, 2013.” The Google Calendar API is expected to pick up the slack.
  • Google Building Maker goes on June 1, but users will “still able to access and export their models from the 3D Warehouse”.
  • Google Cloud Connect is gone, superseded by Google Drive. The plugin to Microsoft Office popped files into Google Drive automatically, but left Word even less stable.
  • The Google Voice App for Blackberry will interpret its last utterance next week, replaced by an HTML5 site with similar functions.
  • Search API for Shopping goes, replaced by Google Shopping.
  • Snapseed Desktop for Macintosh and Windows won’t be sold or updated any more, but “Existing customers will continue to be able to download the software and can contact us for support. We’ll continue to offer the Snapseed mobile app on iOS and Android for free.”

Users don't seem very happy with some of these decisions, with this MetaFilter thread containing some rather irate (and NSFW) comments on the demise of Reader.

Google seems ready to cop those hits, with Urs Hölzle, a Chocolate Factory fellow and senior veep for technical infrastructure, blogging: "These changes are never easy. But by focusing our efforts, we can concentrate on building great products that really help in their lives."

Update

Google's decision to dump Reader has enraged many. A change.org petition sailed past 10,000 signatures in hours.

Another sign the Internet is mad as hell is that the 'Downfall' meme has quickly been pressed into (NSFW) service, as you'll see below. ®

Watch Video

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