As part of its winter cleaning exercise, Google will be bringing some of its features and services to a close. Venkat Panchapakesan, VP, Engineering at Google, shares that the exercise is their 'renewed focus on creating beautiful, useful products that improve millions of people’s lives every day'.
He shares that on January 4, 2013, many of Google Calendar's less popular features will be inaccessbile. These include Appointment slots, which means that post that date users will not be able to create new reservable times on their Calendar. However, the existing Appointment slots will work for another year. Smart Rescheduler and Add a gadget URL are two of the Calendar Labs that'll be shut. As alternatives to Smart Rescheduler, Panchapakesan suggests Find a Time view or Suggested Times. Moving further, the post reveals that starting January 30, 2013, users will not be able to set up new devices using Google Sync, even as existing Google Sync connections continue to function.
Winter cleaning exercise
The feature was introduced to allow users to access Google Mail, Calendar and Contacts via the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol. With the recent launch of CardDAV, Google now offers similar access via IMAP, CalDAV and CardDAV, making it possible to build a seamless sync experience using open protocols. Starting January 30, 2013, consumers won't be able to set up new devices using Google Sync; however, existing Google Sync connections will continue to function. Google Sync will continue to be fully supported for Google Apps for Business, Government and Education. Users of those products are unaffected by this announcement.
In the post, Google adds that with the recent launch of CardDAV, they offer similar access via IMAP, CalDAV and CardDAV, allowing users to build a ‘seamless sync experience using open protocols.’
Google Calendar Sync will be discontinued from December 14, 2012 onwards and on January 30, 2013, the shutters will go down on Google Sync for Nokia S60 as well. Google will also be discontinuing SyncML, which is a contacts sync service used by a small number of older mobile devices, on January 30, 2013. Later next year, on June 14, 2013, Google will also discontinue Issue Tracker Data API. Using this service, client applications could view and update issues on Project Hosting on Google Code in the form of Google Data API feeds.
Another service to be discontinued is the Punchd app that keeps loyalty punch cards on your smartphone. On June 7, 2013, Google will discontinue the Punchd Android and iOS apps, and post that date, merchants will no longer entertain Punchd loyalty cards. Google clears that users will still be able to earn punches and redeem rewards at participating businesses until June 7, 2013.
In September this year, as part of a spring cleaning exercise that started in the fall last year, Google pulled the shutters down on a couple of its services. Among the services that Google closed were — AdSense for Feeds, Classic Plus, Storage, Spreadsheet Gadgets and Places Directory.
Google’s AdSense for Feeds was designed to help publishers earn revenue from their content by placing ads on RSS feeds. Google shares that publishers can continue to use FeedBurner URLs powered by Google. This way they won’t need to redirect subscribers to different URLs.