"concentrate on building great products that really help in their lives"
I do believe they already built such a product. It was called Google Reader.
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 …
Baffling decision. GR is the best RSS reader out there and the Android App is great too. It saves me so much time and effort, use it for jobs, news sites, all sorts.
Sad. But on the upside Google will own us a bit less and that feels good already.
What RSS reader are we all shifting too ?
I have 350+ feeds and with this, was able to dump mailbox-clogging newsletters while having search access via the web and Android. I don't use Facebook and Twitter, either. This is the way to follow technical blogs, sports updates, etc. Not a complete surprise since they are already pulling the plug on iGoogle, but I am seriously bummed.
I don't use Reader but it's a discontinued product I've actually heard of for a change. And I thought Reader was close to being a standard for RSS so it does seem odd to axe it unless it mysteriously uses a LOT of resources.
Is it a standalone product or integrated with gmail?
My immediate thoughts as well.
When they killed off Exchange Active Sync they told people they're going for open standards and clients should use CalDAV...now they're killing that off as well. Sounds like the walled garden has just added another layer of bricks. Not totally surprising though. They have a habit of open source/standards only when it's convenient.
I'm surprised by the CalDAV thing as well. Given how they were only just shouting recently about how important open standards were to them, as opposed to nasty old Microsoft.
Having just moved from Windows Phone to iPhone, it was interesting to see that GMail is also worse on iPhone without using EAS. I sort of decided then on a project to slowly move away from Google services. As happens I don't use them for calendaring anyway - I just use them for a few things that were convenient. Given how hard to use the UI has become on GMail, I think I might even dump that as my repository of marketing mail and web-sign-ups too.
I wonder how much fuss there would be if Google one day decided to dump Android? Fanciful I admit... But there's no major threat to their search/advertising monopoly, and they make a huge financial loss, so the only big gain is all that lovely location and usage data they gather from all those mobile
data-upload stations handsets. Otherwise Android is a defensive move, plus the hope that they can get into content sales through the Play Store. Given the other things Google do, they're in conflict with the Media industry, as much (if not more) than partnership, which will make it hard to win in that space.
Anyway this post has come out a bit more troll-like than I intended, so I'll stop rambling, shut up and hit post.
Indeed. A more cynical soul might point out that the entire and almost immeadiate "outrage" over Reader disappearing might have been an attempt to smokescreen Google yet again ditching a real open standard after only just a few months ago crowing about how important it was that everyone else adopted it.
Reader has been the one constant piece of s/ware that keeps me up to date and feeds me my El Reg daily fix for ages. It was unobtrusive and just worked. While I haven't looked recently, nothing else did what I wanted with so little effort across Desktop, laptop, tablet & phone.
A pox upon the House of Google.
Google Listen worked fine for me, but I also use BeyondPod mainly for the smart playlists.
However, as with many RSS based applications, BeyondPod can also synchronise with Google Reader, allowing it to keep track of listened podcasts across multiple devices (luckily they've currently got a beta of their own synchronisation method in testing).
I'll miss Reader though, the ability to use desktop or mobile to efficiently read feeds (and easily mark certain entries as unread to come back to them later on the other device, if necessary) is/was very useful to me.
Flipboard and Feedly just don't work as well for me.
I tried a lot of them and they're all terrible, but that's mostly because they use the ios design guidelines. Pocket Casts is less terrible now that it's had an almost-holo redesign, and it syncs across devices too. I stuck with Listen for ages because I could listen to podcasts on my laptop through Reader :-)
It's got a very nice built-in RSS reader app. Shame the Register RSS feed only contains the heading and first paragraph of each article though - most other RSS feeds contain the entire article. Don't suppose there's any chance of The Reg improving their feed to contain full articles?
I honestly can't see how twitter could ever replace RSS for feed aggregation. The twitter stream always inevitably ends up getting horribly polluted with shit and the 140 character limit is just too limited for a news feed model. Does anyone know of any other good web based RSS aggregators that work across multiple platforms and devices? (Windows, linux and android preferably).
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I know, I know, it's free so you don't complain because you are getting more than what you're paying for. With free services you are the product, not the service itself. And all that. First was iGoogle, my home page for the last few years. Now is Reader, the place I visit most frequently from my iGoogle home page.
While Google is perfectly free to kill whatever service they want, and to be honest, they do it in a very gentle way, what with giving you a means of exporting your list of feeds, they need to be aware that what they are killing with each "spring cleaning" is not only a few products and services.
What they are destroying is the trust that I, and I suppose many others, had on Google as a "user first" entity that looked for ways of helping people organizing information, turning a nice profit as a side effect.
We have plenty of other companies out there trying to MBA-maximizing short term profits, cross-leveraging their product portfolio to push people to use their offerings designed to maximize the amount of data they can sell and playing dirty tactics to outflank the competition instead of competing on quality. We don't need another, thank you.
Now, I suppose lots of people are rethinking where are they placing their blog posts, their videos, their photos. Because if they can kill an immense popular service like Reader, what's next? Blogger? Picasa? YouTube?
You've got to wonder about YouTube. By all accounts they make a hefty loss on it, and they haven't managed to turn a profit with more-and-more intrusive advertising, because the bandwidth costs are so high. It also brings them into conflict with the media industry, who they'd like to buddy-up with to sell stuff through Play. Was YouTube one of the reasons they failed to get much content for Google TV?
On the other hand YouTube is one of the most visited sites on the internet, and there would be a great wailing and gnashing of teeth if it went away. Plus it may be they're closer to making a profit (or at least breaking even) than people think.
I'm looking at Feedly at the moment, partly as it offers both a Web interface and an iOS app, but also because it can link up to Google Reader (so hopefully I can lift-and-shift my feeds, etc. over to Feedly with minimal hassle).
Perhaps I'm overlooking it (perhaps to be expected, as I'm new to Feedly), is that I can't find the option to set up a distinct Feedly account, as opposed to "piggybacking" on your Google login. Given that I'm joining Feedly BECAUSE Google is retiring Reader, I don't want my Feedly setup - if I stay with them - to have any dependence on the Chocolate Factory.
Perhaps if I get the Feedly app on my iPhone, it might give me the chance to create an account there?
I now have Feedly running as a Firefox plugin under Windows and as Android apps on tablet and phone. A Chrome plugin and iOS app are also available. It uses my Google login to pull Google Reader feed subscriptions across and as stated above, they are developing their own backend to give a seamless handover when Google kill Reader. Not sure how I'll 'login' when that happens.
Feedly is a bit 'graphic artist' and is full of space between items. There is a 'list' view that seems to work in the FF plugin but I always get the 'magazine' view in the Android app and they seem very keen to put great big photos everywhere. The Google Reader had wonderfully sparse and simple layout and I miss it already, even though it's not dead yet.
Feedly is very nice - better than Reader. Just downloaded it when I read the comments here on my Android - much better in that it opens links directly inside Feedly - no need to navigate back and forth between browser and Reader.
Feedly is definitely a drop-in replacement - it grabbed all my feeds from Reader instantly. I installed it, told it I was a Reader user, and instantly all my feeds were there. Seems to load material faster than Reader as well. Kind of glad this happened - otherwise I wouldn't have found a better reader.
I was annoyed to learn that iGoogle will be withdrawn and now am more annoyed that Reader will go the same way. As for CalDAv, I don't think I use it but I can imagine why people are pissed off. Many commentards here are venting their spleen (and other bodily parts) so, if we're so smart, what can we do about it?
Would it be viable to develop a cloud based service that gives synchronised data/feeds/services using apps across many platforms to replace these lost services? How much would any of you be prepared to pay to subscribe to such a service?
Please, put a business plan together and Kickstart it or something. I'd be interested in subscribing to such a service but I suspect that we'll all develop new ways of working/consuming and get used to whatever new personal arrangements we make.
CalDAV is for the calendar (if you use it). CardDAV is how your iPhone syncs it's contacts with GMail. And then there's IMAP for the emails. As I understand it, since they killed Exchange Active Sync for new users, you now have to set up 2 accounts to connect your iPhone to Google.
The GMail account set-up in the iPhone is set up to sync mail and calendars, so it may be that the Google Calendar API is already used, rather than CalDAV. You then set up the second account to sync contacts by CardDAV.
If you set your iPhone up before January this year, then it can do all 3 using EAS - and the deadline for killing that has been extended (that's how my iPad works). But if you've set up a new iPhone since (as I have) then you have to do it a different way. Messy.
Ah, CardDAV - I was getting mixed up with that. I re-checked the iPhone settings, and I'm pretty sure the setup there is how you described it (GMail for mail/calendars, CardDAV for contacts).
I was nervous that Google might be doing something rash and ill-advised by canning CalDAV - as the Reader announcement shows, it wouldn't be the first time :-(
It's not so much Reader itself going away as the API used by various desktop and mobile apps to sync feeds across multiple devices. Some of those apps will still work, but without the sync (such as NetNewsWire), others seem to have been designed as Google Reader clients (such as Reeder), and seem likely to break horribly...
The long-established FeedDemon won't be developed any further (http://nick.typepad.com/blog/2013/03/the-end-of-feeddemon.html), others may follow.
There's definitely scope for a service to sync RSS - I'd pay for that...
I'm giving Feedly a whirl at the moment (as a potential GR replacement), and it looks like it could do the trick, except it bothers me that Feedly appears to "piggyback" on Google's authentication, and I can't find a way to set up a "discrete" (separate) Feedly account.
Any other "cloud-based" RSS aggregators (with or without iOS app) that can import OPML from GReader, but don't depend on it in any other way?
About half my daily desktop web browsing comes from Reader, and almost 100% of my Android phone and tablet browsing comes from articles linked in Reader. Being the only service I know that seamlessly syncs across all devices, I'm going to miss it.
And what of all the news aggregation sites and blogger types who use Reader as their main source of finding stories? Before those stories filter up into the web2.0 world of retweets, Likes and (lol) +1's someone has to find them and get the ball rolling. Reader is one of the most convenient and well-established sources for doing that.
I read the news and was rather pissed off, as someone who is something of a news/information junkie Reader was a nice way to get through lots of feeds quickly and easily at work and home.
Now i'm thinking, why bother, get some time back and just ignore lots of the shit that passes for news these days and do something a little more productive...
I love Reader. I was most upset when they lost the ability to share a select list of posts (outside G+) but could cope with that.
I then used it to help a blogger who had moved (and lost) all their posts - I exported their entire archive for them from Reader, and lo, they managed to import them onto their newly hosted blog.
Don't kill it!
It's Google spring cleaning time again!
As per usual we're killing off our least used products. This time around those are gmail, AdWords, and Search. The Google domain itself will redirect to Starbucks which is were you'll be able to find us all. We hope the minor inconvenience to the customers of our least used services won't affect your overall enjoyment of your Google experience. Ask for a triple frothy cloudy and get a 10% Googly discount!
I've been using Reader for years, probably the third most used Google product after search and mail. Obviously the resources it was consuming is too much and isn't being adequately supported by ad revenue, but the "if it works, don't fix it" mantra should have stepped in.
Not happy at all. It's how I've been consuming my news from tech, local news sites, F1, & all sorts for years. Hell, we've got a decent number of subscribers for our RSS feed that contains new products added to our site.
Truly pathetic how everyone bitches about Google using harvesting all their information blah blah blah, and totally forgetting all the free stuff they get, those same people then go off crying like children when those free services are culled.
It's a give and take relationship with Google. You get lots of free stuff in exchange for a little personal information.
Or did you REALLY expect to give nothing and get lots of free stuff?
Well that's all very well. Except they're killing the free services, while still harvesting the data.
Also if Google do something, and give it away for free, then they could kill or damage existing, and stop new, paid-for services getting to market.
Actually I'm starting to wonder if we should look seriously at banning and/or regulating a lot of free services. It can be very market distorting if companies offer stuff for free, when they're getting their cash from a different-but-related market. Look at 'free' mobile phones on contract for example. Customers end up paying much more for the phones, get locked into long contracts and the features available on phones get dictated by the telcos rather than the customers. It was also bad for the environment as people updated and threw away perfectly good dumb phones each year, just to get the latest shiny that was little different. As happens the market somewhat corrected, as the manufacturers and telcos got a righteous spanking from Apple.
Obviously it's up to Google how they run the their company. I don't believe the shareholders get much of a say, as the executives own disproportionate amounts of voting stock compared to the financial value of their holdings. But if they do an awful lot of stuff for the information or the customer goodwill, and still make almost all their cash from advertising. They probably don't want to get a reputation as behaving completely randomly though. You gain some nice PR from giving things away for free, but you create more bad-feelings from stopping a free service than you created goodwill when you started it. Do that too often and you're basically spending money on anti-marketing...
My main use of Reader is for the Android podcast app Listen. They neutered Listen last year by taking away the search function but it was still easy enough to add podcast feeds manually. Reader now going altogether will sadly make my favourite (non-browser) app totally useless :(
Can Google Currents handle podcasts?
Thanks Andrew, I've got DoggCatcher on my list to try, along with some other names I've picked up: Stitcher, PocketCast, BeyondPod and Podkicker. I basically just want something that's easy to add a custom RSS link to, will download the podcasts automatically and if necessary store them until I get round to catching up on them two months later! I shouldn't be too difficult to please.
And on the question of whether Google Currents will do Podcasts, the answer turns out to be Yes... and No. It's fairly simple to add an RSS feed and listen to a *current* edition of a podcast. From what I can make out, there's no facility to listen to older episodes or store them in any way. The clue is in the name I suppose :/
So last year I spent an age transferring all my RSS stuff over from iGoogle to Reader. Shouldn't have bothered - they're killing this too. Won't be trusting Google any more with any hosted services. Tempted to close our work Postini account too so we can implement a graceful exit strategy before they pull the rug out from under us there.
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