Google is continuing its habit of announcing product closures in bulk with another round of "spring cleaning." The first "spring cleaning" actually happened in the Fall of 2011, when Google axed things that you probably don't even remember at this point - things like Google Desktop, Google Notebook, Sidewiki, and Aardvark.
The point is, Google has been doing this sort of thing for a while now. But this time around, one of Google's decisions to shutter a specific product has people more riled up than we've seen in the past.
As you may have heard, Google is shutting down Google Reader, the RSS feed reader first launched in 2005. Google cites a decline in usage, but some fo the reaction on Twitter and blogs would lead you to believe that there is a sizable contingent that cares deeply about the future of the web's best RSS reader.
Like any other product that Google spring cleans, Reader is being cut so that Google can "focus, otherwise spread themselves too thin and lack impact."
But Google Reader isn't the only product or service getting the ax at this round of cuts.
Google is retiring Building Maker. The app, which let people make 3D models of buildings for Google Earth and Maps, will go dark on June 1st. The company is also shutting down Google Cloud Connect, stating that Google Drive on your desktop "achieves the same thing more effectively."
More closures include Google Voice app for BlackBerry, after which Google suggests users take to their HTML5 app. Google Search API for Shopping is also on the chopping block and will be shut down completely on September 16th.
Apps Script will be deprecating the GUI Builder and five UiApp widgets in order to focus efforts on Html Service. The rest of the Ui Service will not be affected. The GUI Builder will continue to be available until September 16, 2013. For more information see our post on the Google Apps Developer Blog.
CalDAV API will become available for whitelisted developers, and will be shut down for other developers on September 16, 2013. Most developers’ use cases are handled well by Google Calendar API, which we recommend using instead. If you’re a developer and the Calendar API won’t work for you, please fill out this form to tell us about your use case and request access to whitelisted-only CalDAV API.
Beginning today we’ll no longer sell or provide updates for Snapseed Desktop for Macintosh and Windows. 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.
Since spring cleaning began in 2011, Google says that they have shut down 70 features or services.