Google Reader To Close On 1 July

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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RSS feed reader is the latest high profile casualty of Google’s spring cleaning

Google Reader is to shut down on 1 July after becoming the latest victim of Google’s spring cleaning, which has seen 70 features and services shut down since 2011.

News of the popular RSS feed reader’s execution was sandwiched in a blog post which detailed the closure of seven other Google services that will be shut down in the next six months.

The search giant claims that use of Google Reader has declined in recent years and that by closing it, along with the other condemned services, it can focus on other, more important projects.

RIP Google Reader

Google Reader“We’re living in a new kind of computing environment. Everyone has a device, sometimes multiple devices,” said Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of Technical Infrastructure and Google Fellow. “. It’s been a long time since we have had this rate of change—it probably hasn’t happened since the birth of personal computing 40 years ago. To make the most of these opportunities, we need to focus—otherwise we spread ourselves too thin and lack impact.”

“We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favourite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined,” he added. “So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.”

Google attracted criticism in November 2011 when it removed the application’s sharing features, but this latest news has shocked many users, who have flooded to Twitter to voice their displeasure. ‘Google Reader’ was the number one trending topic on the social network at the time of writing, while a petition to stop the closure of the service has so far attracted more than 11,000 signatures.

Google the executioner

Google Building Maker, which lets users make 3D buildings for Google Earth and Google Maps, will be shut down on 1 June, while Google Cloud Connect, a Windows plug-in that automatically saved Microsoft Office files to Google Drive, will close on 30 April in favour of Google Drive for desktop.

Google will not support the Google Voice App for BlackBerry from next week, and it will no longer sell or provide updates to Snapseed Desktop for Mac and Windows.

The Google Shopping API will no longer be available to developers, while the CallDAV API will only be accessible to a number of whitelisted developers from 16 September.

Google has not been afraid to wield the axe on a number of its high profile offerings during its spring cleaning programme, with its personalised homepage service iGoogle due to shut down on 1 November.

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