Google’s “Spring Cleaning” mission continues as the company announces eight products and features that will no longer be in service or updated over the next few months.

Out with the Old

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The "spring cleaning" started in 2011 and will be an ongoing process. As technology changes Google believes its focus should be shifted to specific products and it should remove those that aren't as useful as they once were. This list now includes 70 different products and services.

These changes are never easy,” said the blog post. "But by focusing our efforts, we can concentrate on building great products that really help in their lives.”

The following features will be removed or altered in the coming months:

  • Apps Script: Google will be removing the GUI and five of the UiApp widgets from Apps Script in order to put more focus on its HTML service. GUI builder will be available until September 13.
  • CalDAV API: Starting September 16th, this service will only be available to white-listed developers (since Google has found that most other developers are using the Google Calendar API).
  • Google Building Maker: This tool was designed to make three-dimensional building models for Google Earth and Google Maps. It will be retired on June 1, but users will still be able to access their models in the 3D warehouse and add building information to Google Maps.
  • Google Cloud Connect: A plug-in tool that that automatically saves Microsoft Office files in Google Drive, Google Cloud Connect will be removed from service on April 30. As a replacement, Google recommends that users install Google Drive on their desktop.
  • Google Voice App for Blackberry: Next week, Google will stop support for this feature. If Blackberry users want to continue to use Google Voice however, the company recommends they use their HTML5 app (available for version six and higher).
  • Search API for Shopping: Although the service has helped many developers create shopping ads based on product search data, it will be completely shutdown by September 16, as Google wants to concentrate on creating a different shopping experience with Google Shopping.
  • Snapseed Desktop: While this Snapseed will still be available for Macs, PCs and in app form for iOS and Android devices, Google is no longer developing updates for the product.

While all of these products have been an important part of the Google experience, the retirement of Google Reader is certainly gaining the most attention.

Goodbye Google Reader

Launched in 2005, for many websites Google Reader is used to manage their RSS Feeds. Google reports that the amount of people using Google Reader has declined within the past few years. So on July 1 the service will be removed, something that has not been well-accepted by those who have remained loyal to it.

The writing has been on the wall for RSS clients in general, as Twitter and other social networks have grown better at delivering the news,” said Casey Chan of Gizmodo. “the die hards who were still using Google Reader every day … will have to figure out a brand new Internet reading routine come July.”

In addition to this, Google Reader is a trending topic on Twitter as users have been micro blogging their thoughts since the news broke with many users trying to find an alternative product to use. An online petition has also been launched asking Google to change their mind about discontinuing the service.

Google has recommended that those looking for a replacement should consider Google Takeout which can export reader data in an xml file, although there are other alternatives available.

Image courtesy of gorillaimages (Shutterstock)