Shocking news just came from Google, as the company has announced the second wave of spring cleaning for its various services. This time, the company is going to retire Google Reader RSS aggregator. The service which was launched back in 2005 has been very popular among journalists, bloggers, webmasters and normal users who want to stay updated and follow their favorite blogs. Google is officially going to take down Reader on July 1st, 2013.
Reader has gone through lots of iterations, a typical practice by Google, but it has not received any significant update in a long time. The last time that Google updated Reader was when they integrated Google+ and removed Reader’s own native sharing service.
In addition to killing off Reader, Google is also ending support for the Google Voice app for BlackBerry users, and the company has pointed out such users to use HTML5 web app instead which is more secure and easier to update. The HTML5 site is compatible with users with Blackberry version 6 and newer. Some other apps and services that Google is depreciating are GUI Builder and five UiApp widgets from Apps Script, Google Building Maker, Google Cloud Connect plugin, Search API for Shopping and Snapseed Desktop for Macintosh and Windows.
Among all these services, the biggest blow for users is the shutdown of Reader. Reader has got a fan following and is one of the most popular RSS aggregators around.
We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We’re sad too. 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.
For now, Google is offering users a way to export their Reader content, using Google Takeout. You’ll receive your subscription data in an XML file, and the file will contain list of people that you follow, items you have starred, liked, shared, notes, comments and more.
People on Twitter has also started reacting to this news. In fact, it has become a trending topic on Twitter.
— Felicia Day (@feliciaday) March 14, 2013
“We need to focus. Keep the self-driving cars, magic glasses, laptop, handheld OS, and Brazilian social network. Ditch the feed reader.”
— Pinboard (@Pinboard) March 14, 2013
There are many third-party apps available for mobile devices that rely on Google Reader. Also many desktop apps support logging-in through Google’s account so that the feeds can be viewed from the desktop app, without the need to open the web app. The future of such apps at this point definitely seems to be dull.
All we can say at this time is: RIP Reader, we’ll miss you!