Unsurprisingly, the excitement around the announcement of Google+ drowned out most other news from the Internet giant. One such nugget was Google Takeout, a service that downloads all of a user’s information on Google’s servers.
Basically, Google users can retrieve all the information stored on Google servers related to Google Buzz, Gmail contacts, the Google+ activity stream, Picasa photo albums and Google profiles. This data is bunched together into a single file that users can unzip and review at their leisure.
This little trick could come in handy if, say, you sign up for Google+ and decide you don't like it. Using Google Takeout, the information you transmitted while on the social network (is it okay to call it that?) won't be a casualty when you leave it.
Note: Downloading the info does not remove it from Google servers.
Learning from the Past
When the Internet giant put the boot to Google Wave, a Multiple Wave Export tool was eventually provided for those who wanted to save their Waves. While Google+ seems to be off to a better start, knowing there won't be a scramble to figure out how to rescue your data in the event that the ship goes under is a small comfort.
The tool is also useful considering the fact that Google+ does not yet work for Google Apps customers. This way, Apps users can employ Takeout to retrieve all of their contacts, photos, etc. and upload them into a separate Google account for Google+ perks.
Further: “We believe that if we make it easy for you to leave Google, we’ll have to work just that much harder to make sure you don’t,” said the company’s “data liberation front” in the following video:
You can check out the service by heading over here. As an added security measure, Google will ask that you enter your password even if you're already signed into your account. And, you'll get a quick glance at the size of the final before downloading: