13
Mar
reader

"We're living in a new kind of computing environment," says Urs Hölzle, SVP Technical Infrastructure and Google Fellow in a new post to Google's official blog. The search giant has resolved to make a second sweep at spring cleaning that began two years ago. After this round of cleaning is complete, the total number of features and services Google will have closed will number 70.

In the post, Google announces the closure or deprecation of eight features and services, but buried four items deep is the one that will probably affect the most users: Google Reader.

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Google says Reader will be retired July 1, 2013, ending its eight-year tenure in the Google lineup. For this, Google blames declining usage, and notes that users and developers who want their subscriptions to live on in another service can use Google Takeout to export their data.

This move is certainly a surprise to loyal users of the service, but Google is partially correct – it's been clear in recent times that Google Reader isn't getting a whole lot of attention, perhaps not only from users, but from its own caretakers. That said, the move will have an impact on not just readers, but developers who have invested energy and resources in Google Reader clients for Android (like gReader and Press), iOS, and other platforms.

Also on the chopping block are Google Building Maker, Cloud Connect, Google's Voice app for Blackberry, Search API for Shopping, and its Snapseed Desktop software for Mac and Windows.

Google reassures readers who may be shaken by the latest round of cuts that "these changes are never easy," and reiterating that by cutting certain services, resources can be focused on making bigger impacts with fewer products.

For a full explanation of Google's latest spring cleaning, just hit the link below.

Mini Update: Taking to a post on Quora, Brian Shih (former Product Manager for Reader at Google) gives a brief outline of exactly why, from his perspective, Reader is getting the axe. Read the full comment here.

Source: Google

Thanks, Joshua!

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    It's the end of the world as we know it.
    It's the end of the world as we know it.
    It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.
    - R.E.M.

  • Kokusho

    Funny thing about google reader.

    Sure it didn't got any attention in a long time, but it doesn't need it cause it's f***ing perfect !!!
    It does what you want in the simpliest and fastest way possible! on every device you own ! At the same time !
    God they better find a really good replacement to it......

    • dan

      Simple and fast isn't what most users want. They want "social," transition animations, huge images and high curation. That's why delicious died (apart from yahoo's incompetence). I agree, Google Reader is the most efficient way for me to read the sources I want to follow and nothing else. I'd prefer not to have to turn to the noisy and invasive world of social media to follow all of the sporadically-updated blogs I've amassed over the years.

    • Ant2206

      Yeah that's what I loved about it (past tense already, tear), it was so basic and functional that it didn't really need updates. A spit and polish here and there and that was it. Google Reader is probably my most used website along with Reddit and a couple of social networks.

  • http://twitter.com/TheChrisGlass Chris Glass

    More like we're living in a hellish landscape. I hate this news.

  • Juanjiviris

    I use RSS every single day, several times a day... I will need to find something to substitute it, and I don't know what.

    • http://twitter.com/RvLeshrac RvLeshrac

      I've used every alternative, and they are all *shit*. The sole thing Reader didn't do properly was authenticated feeds, but no one worth an RSS subscription uses them.

      With the alternatives, I was constantly running into sync issues, either between clients or feeds, usage limits, horrible layouts (Can't I just get a sequential feed? Why does it always have to look like a newspaper?), missing/broken media, damaged formatting, etc etc etc.

      • Peter

        Have you used newsblur? Is it any good?

        • http://fashionfaves.tumblr.com/ Charles Kane

          I'm paid up for Newsblur which is fantastic. Also it isn't dependent on the gReader API - it allows a direct import from Google Reader and then you are set. I live in it and prefer it to Reader greatly. (it does however lack search)

        • http://twitter.com/RvLeshrac RvLeshrac

          Go to Newsblur website > Click the "Try It" button > Wait 1+ minutes for 'fetching' (Why in the fuck is this a thing? Don't 'fetch' anything, feed my browser the entire goddamned article from RSS without dicking with it.) > "Oh No! There was an error!", nothing displayed.

  • Perstranger

    It's ironic that I got this sad news on Google Reader.

    • rmkilc

      Same. I read this news in my Google Reader rss reader.

    • http://www.facebook.com/caesarivs César Augusto Ramírez Franco

      I too got it on Google Reader :(

    • NicholasMicallef

      Same here :(

    • casinrm

      Aughh!! This means the GReader Pro I bought is about to go down the tubes isn't it? Maybe Google will be merciful enough to open up the Currents API as a replacement?

      • Abhisshack D

        THOSE BASTARDS WILL KILL CURRENT TOO SOONER OR LATER MARK MY WORD

        • Matthew Fry

          eh. Currents is a toy. Reader is a tool.

          • Abhisshack D

            wateva

          • http://twitter.com/shamus_carter james kendall

            Amen I actually uninstalled currents as it used to much storage and reinstalled reader only to have them kill off reader after i reinstalled it.

  • rmkilc

    Wow I'm not happy about Reader. I use it many times daily. The Android app is great too, and all synchronized. Wow Google, wow.

  • Flaime DeFeo

    This really sucks. I hope I can find a decent alternative.

  • Matthew

    I'm not happy about losing Reader (gReader) I'm hard with my feeds. Hoping this new Pope can show his worth and save Reader!

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

    You can't just kill the world's largest RSS reader. You personally might not use RSS, but every writer at every website you read relies on it to function. Even RSS solutions that aren't Google Reader rely on it for article synchronization.

    All news-based websites will be in serious trouble if a replacement isn't found. AP is kind-of in panic mode over here. I'd imagine most news sites are.

    • dan

      Exactly. My worry is that RSS is a standard that can be used by anyone with the knowledge to implement it on their site and I fear that minimizing the role of a standard like RSS makes the big social media providers into more powerful gate-keepers and takes granularity of control out of the hands of users.

    • Jaymoon

      http://theoldreader.com seems to be a worthy replacement. Not quite at Google Reader level, but pretty close!

      • http://www.facebook.com/rmkattan Rami Kattan

        And what will happen to all those App (Windows, Android, others) that rely on Google Reader?

  • blahmoomoo

    Unlike when they shut down their page2rss equivalent (report page changes in an RSS feed) a while back, they aren't suggesting an alternative this time. Is there any other news aggregator that can be synchronized across multiple devices like Reader is? A quick search doesn't suggest one exists. Either I have to dig deeper or wait for a developer to take advantage of this hole in the market.

  • http://www.facebook.com/l1m0n3s Luis Flores

    they are killing g+ then. if common people like me, share post from greader to g+, why the hell will I still be using g+??????

    • spacekobra

      Because it's more than a network that can share google reader links?

      If all you're doing is sharing links to G+ you aren't using it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504173530 Esteban López Vega

    Damn, this is terrible news :(

  • sri_tech

    I will keep Reader rather than Google glass or google+
    Please Google. Don't shutdown reader.

  • http://komorkomania.pl/author/michal-brzezinski Michal Brzezinski

    http://blog.feedly.com/2013/03/14/google-reader/ It seems Feedly will get many customers...

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    I don't even care about the app, or the web interface - it's all about sync.

    Everything syncs to Google Reader and keeps unread statuses and feed lists synced across multiple devices.

    Unless some sort of a ubiquitous solution comes along that everyone adopts, I am going to continue wanting to stab Google in the balls.

    You have a great product with a huge following on your hands, and instead of making improvements which may have increased usage, you complain about declining usage. After making no updates to the mobile app for months (years?) and web interface for years. What a backwards logic.

    The Internet will rise up about this issue like no other. You think the cellphone unlocking or SOPA were problems? Google Reader going away is going to dwarf those.

    • http://www.jeroenheijster.com/ Jeroen Heijster

      Amen to that.

    • Angel Penabad

      Wouldn't be the same if instead of syncyng to Google Reader it syncs with Google Currents or directly your google account?

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Yes, that would be fine. As long as all the apps I use adjust and continue syncing.

        • http://www.facebook.com/rmkattan Rami Kattan

          Or they can make it an open source project, as they did with Google Wave.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            Open source or not, someone would have to maintain the infrastructure for sync, and that's not something I see happening unless Google keeps it going.
            Moreover, I really don't think the code is in open-sourceable state, and that Google is willing to spend resources to get it to that state. I say that based on my observations of the lifecycle of Reader as a product through the years, before and after the acquisition.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504173530 Esteban López Vega

      I'm going to steal your last phrase, so true!

    • fritish

      Hey Artem,

      Once the dust settles, and before Reader locks the doors, can you guys consider doing a round-up of RSS readers that sync? (Obviously, has to have a good android app)

      There are some companies already saying they'll jump in there (Feedly, The Old Reader...). But I'm sure it will take a little time to see who can support it nicely. I'd want to see a good app, syncable to a web interface (even if it's through a Chrome desktop plugin).

      I know I'm not the only one that wants to see a good alternative. Thanks!

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Yeah, we're considering it, and I'm also talking to Feedly to get more details about their Normandy service for 3rd-party app devs.

    • Abhisshack D

      to modify A Taylor Swift quote

      "'There's a special place in Hell reserved for Google"

  • nhizzat

    What's the best way to let Google know people need/want it? Who do we reach out to at the Goog?

    Would a White House petition be too much?

  • Hardin H. Hawes

    I also read this using Reader. WTF??? Are there any alternatives? Help?!? What will my wife have to yell at me for if my nose isn't stuck in Reader every spare moment?

  • Mark LaFlamme

    I'm really starting to resent Google. By my count, this is the third product I've become hooked on only to have the G people go all petulant and either yank it or mess it up. I just don't understand the business sense of it. I know I'm going to go with something other than Google from here out because I don't want to risk becoming dependent on another Google product only to have them take it away. They need a new motto: Don't be dicks.

  • http://www.jeroenheijster.com/ Jeroen Heijster

    Google is really losing me. Gmail is not as good as Outlook.com, Google reader is going away, Google + failed, Bing is becoming decent... It seems like Google just wants me to leave..

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      OK, I think you're exaggerating a bit there. IMO Gmail is better than Outlook.com, and Google+ hasn't failed, by far. It's actually really successful if you think about the usage on there and how young it is.

      • http://www.jeroenheijster.com/ Jeroen Heijster

        Well, for me Outlook.com just looks a LOT better. It is a lot cleaner and it feels faster.

        As far as Google+ goes, I only know 2 other people who use it... One is a professional blogger (so he has to) and the other one just uses it because he +1's stuff. The rest of the people I know? Well, they don't use it.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          That's some scientific evidence right there!

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      Are you Steve Ballmer?

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

        hahahahahahahaha

        • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

          But seriously.

      • http://www.jeroenheijster.com/ Jeroen Heijster

        I used to be someone who went all-google. I ditched altavista for google, I went from hotmail to gmail and I dropped my windows mobile 6.5 device for an Android. To be honest,

        Google had been acting like a dick lately, like Microsoft did about 10 years ago. They dropped Activesync support and told Microsoft to piss off, They blocked Google Maps for Windows Phone users and even more bad stuff.

        Why should I believe in a company that stopped doing what they said they'd do? They said "don't be evil".

        They claimed they would never sell out but for example Google Shopping sorts their "relevant" results based on how much the retailer pays them..In 2004 they said "we do not accept payment for search results or for inclusion or more frequent updating"

        When I look at Google Shopping for "heart of the swarm" I see the first listing at $36, the second at $75, the third at $25 (used), the fourth at $39.99. Why? Because the more a retailer pays, the higher they get listed.

        I don't trust any company by default, they have to earn it. Google earned it but they are losing it. Just look at the support Google gives the Android developers. When something goes wrong (with e.g. the payment system) you can't reach them. The same applies when you're a user. With any other platform you can just contact the company. With Google, it takes ages. As a developer I can tell you that when they give you a reply, it's a pre-defined answer. In my case it wasn't even relevant to my question and explaining it again results in getting the same (faulty) answer.

        Now it's time to sleep for me. Good night.

  • Jim Yee

    And here I am just starting in using google reader 2 weeks ago..... I wish they advertised it more...

  • Sven L.

    Damn. Besides Reddit my RSS feed is the best thing ever. I even got this message thanks to my Rssfeed for AP. Can't we stop this?

  • thund3rw0lf

    craziest decision ever !!

  • CrazyPaladin

    No no no no no no and nooooo! What were they thinking? Like what's next? Gmail? Google search?

    • http://www.facebook.com/rmkattan Rami Kattan

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, I LOVE gReader

  • Kelvin Davis

    Admittedly, Google has some realization that Reader is really big for Writers and Websites so maybe they will have an alternative available before it goes kaput.

    • Abhisshack D

      I'M NOT HOLD MY BREATH AND NOT CROSSING MY FINGERS :(

    • Thomas’

      They think that "Currents" is a valid alternativ.

      However, it is utterly useless crap for our purpose of quick reading and syncing.

  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    OMG not google reader!!! We should petition against it.

  • http://twitter.com/Sheshnag77 Sheshnag

    This is rubbish. Reader is the only Google app I use regularly! There is no popular alternative to it so why shut it down. With recent experience I have had with Google I think it is pressing a self distruct button.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/thedeusexmakina [J. B. cyruz]

    WHAT? No! It's the best one out there, wtf? Terrible news...

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Giancarlo-Tambone/1101427371 Giancarlo Tambone

    I'd really like Flipboard, Press, and Newsify to not become completely useless.

  • Lord_Data

    Put me down as another poor fool who got this on Reader... I love it because it provides a simple, functional way of having feeds synced between all of my devices, backed by the stability of Google.

  • http://twitter.com/naysayer1111 naysayer

    I think we all saw this coming. Google barely retrofited Reader for the new look. I'm still a daily user, though. Where's the replacement?

  • Angel Penabad

    Google Currents, that's all you need to know. It's pretty and also allows RSS feed so...

    • Abhisshack D

      bastard Google will kill current sooner or later you just wait

    • Bill

      We don't want fucking pretty. We want efficient.

  • Alm0s

    So what the hell people use nowadays to track news sites? I'm pretty sure Google Reader was the most popular RSS reader, so if it's going out of business there must be something I'm missing. I have over a hundred subscriptions in Google Reader, I can't just visit those sites by hand every day. I'm honestly asking, what is the alternative?? And don't tell me that "if it's important people will talk about it on Twitter" is the new model...

  • Qin-Root

    there's a petition with already 1750 votes, so if you like and need reader please sign here: https://www.change.org/petitions/google-keep-google-reader-running
    thanks :-)

  • Daniel Padgett

    This just sucks. Reader was one of my favorite services from Google. I hate currents but it send like the only viable replacement.

    • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

      But isn't Currents curated? I mean, you can't just throw an RSS address there, can you?

      Besides, there's no web interface for that! =(

    • Abhisshack D

      bastard Google will kill current sooner or later you just wait AND WATCH

  • Androidium

    This is not funny

  • Chris Brown

    This [terrible] decision is completely contrarian to Google's own self-defined mission statement:
    Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

  • Brian Knapp

    Been using Reader for as long as I can remember. I use it multiple times daily! I hope they change their minds! I signed the petition.

  • tym0

    Well I guess you guys will have to switch to pulse...

  • armin00as

    This sucks! Has Google finally become insane? How can you kill Reader without any real alternatives being available? I've tried/purchased lots of "news readers" over the years, but they all stink in comparison. Not because Google Reader is so exceptional (it's a plain vanilla app, but very good in what it is supposed to do... primarily), but because all the other ones suck for multiple reasons. Such as presentation, gesture options, awful color combinations, lag etc. - Google, you guys are idiots if you really shut this app down, and it will bite you in the butt eventually. Kill some other, useless app instead; there are many "better choices" than Reader!

  • nukeblitz

    I'm panicking.A lot. I'm no writer but I have like 60 feeds. It is my own curated feed of news. I've been using it for years.

    Here's a request. As a major publication, you guys might have a bit more luck getting info out of google.

    1. Will google merge functionality into something else? Like currents or plus?
    2. Or does google have an alternative method for users to create an equivalent feed?
    3. I'll be fine if reader is meeged into plus, personally.
    4. If not, online petition needed! Start one please.

    This will kill my daily routine. I go to google reader all day long to keep track of news using a zillion devices

  • armin00as

    Pulse and Currents suck big-time!
    I suddenly feel the urge to by an iPhone... strange! (.. or is it?)

    • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

      Currents doesn't even have a desktop or web-based equivalent, so I don't use it.

      • Sergio

        It doesn't... Yet...

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504173530 Esteban López Vega

    I bought Press a couple of days ago :(

  • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

    After the preliminary reactions to this news, I have to wonder how or if Google will respond.

    I would also like to know what kind of usage targets Google was looking for (if any), and why actual usage was found not to be high enough. It sounds like sort of a cop-out to me.

  • Abhigyan

    Feedly apparently was anticipating this move and already has a clone of the Google Reader API in place. According to their blog, users of Google Reader, who are signed into feedly with their Google account, will be seamlessly transitioned to Feedly's new backend. Hope this helps all of you who're shitting their pants just like I am.

  • Abhisshack D

    FUCK YOU MOTHER FUCKING BASTARD GOOGLE

  • wxfreak

    I love Google reader and use D7 reader to sync when mobile, but it's a free service, no guarantees in life I guess.

  • Cherokee4Life

    ahhh Google you got me! April's Fools..... oh wait... shit!

  • Mike

    Wow.. I use Google Reader every day. I used it to access this article, and just about every AP article since I downloaded it about 4 or 5 months ago.

  • sixty-four

    This sucks. I remember half-heartedly setting up Google Reader a couple of years ago to see if RSS feeds would work for me. At the time, I had an HTC Droid Inc that wasn't the quickest so I rarely used it. Fast forward to today and I've got a 4G S3 and use gReader Pro at least a dozen times a day. It's the perfect way to get a quick look at things that interest me and sure beats trying to hit a dozen or so bookmarked sites to figure out what's new. If I see something that interests me that I want to read more about later, I just star it and check it out on my desktop when I get a chance. The way Google Reader and various clients sync and the ubiquitousness of RSS feeds make Reader such a handy app. I'm surprised that Google has decided to give it the axe. It took me a couple of hours to setup and organize my feeds to my liking but it was time well spent. I guess in this age of instant gratification, asking users to spend a couple of hours tweaking an app is asking too much.

    • PopeFrancis

      Love gReader Pro.. Hope they can figure something out to keep it working with feeds.

  • Carlos del Valle

    Nooooo! Take me instead! I use Reader more often than any other app except whatsapp and mail :-(

  • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

    If Google assume I will post interesting news on my Google+, they probably forgot that most of stuff I find comes from subscriptions in Google Reader.

    I wasn't that active on Google+, now I'm going to be a lurker on there.

    I'll probably rely on Google+ pages from other sites (AP is there), but it's definitely not as quick to read through all those news. At least I could track which article I did/didn't read in my Google Reader inbox.

  • MeCampbell30

    Meh. I used google reader, like, 3 years ago. Using currents now and it works for me. I don't need to be notified of the thousands of RSS posts I have unread.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rmkattan Rami Kattan

    Just to see how much do we use Google Reader, what are your statistics with it? (Goto the Trends menu on the left).

    Mine says: Since November 18, 2005 you have read a total of 154,418 items.

  • Angry Doug

    I cant believe this I use this service every day I agree 100% with Artems view that it is all about Sync I read a few stories on my phone just after i wake up in the morning then read a few more on my computer at home then a few more during my lunch break at work then a few more in the evening, Thats at least 3 different devices and i also have it on my tablet for when im out and about on weekends. They HAVE to reverse this decision Im 100% in the google ecosystem but if they start ripping out services i use every day maybe i need to revisit this strategy.

  • Edward Ricketts

    So will the closing of Cloud Connect mean that I'll no longer be able to access MS originated items stored on Drive?

  • Thomas’

    So i guess we have to wait for another company to accept the takeout data as an 1:1 import.
    If Google doesn't want us, i'm pretty sure another company will.

    Hey MS, how about a RSS reader?

  • Mars Mountain

    It's OK, I'll just paste those feeds on my iGoogle page.

    ...
    No, it's NOT OK.

  • http://twitter.com/ionas_alexandru Ionas Alexandru

    Feedly is a good alternative, i use it on my nexus 7, and works with the extension in chrome as well, and looks quite good actually, but one problem here, what about windows phone?

  • Dipish

    So what are the alternatives for us now?

  • Horse

    Social media is the worst thing that happened to the internet.

  • IncCo

    WTF !!!!

  • Andrew

    This really doesn't make any sense to me at all. Even if they don't want to spend any money to develop it further, can't they just leave it as it is? It's a lot more important than they seem to realise (which can't be the case, but they're treating it in a very strange way).

  • Owen Finn

    I wonder what the numbers are comparing Google Reader users to Google+ users?

  • Comboman

    What a horrible way to pay respect to Aaron Swartz's legacy.

    http://harvardmagazine.com/2013/01/rss-creator-aaron-swartz-dead-at-26

  • Ken

    I can understand why people are in panic but I tried my hand at reader and clients that use reader a number of times and after hours of struggling I could never get all the feeds I wanted or they wouldn't display correctly or some other nonsense. I wish it wasn't going away for everybody else's sake but I'm happy that I'm a pulse and currents user right now

  • Matthew Fry

    BOO!

  • http://twitter.com/trlovejoy trlovejoy

    On the plus side I've never seen so much stink when Google has closed down a service. Maybe they will take notice.

  • Bill

    Google Plus, Currents, Pulse, etc. is fine and dandy for someone who has a few subscriptions and just wants to keep up with whatever the media has decided is news for today. They're all inefficient and unusable for a guy with 468 feeds...

  • Adriano
  • woj_tek

    if you are 'unhappy' with closing of Google Reader then show bigG middle finger by closing google+ and advocate same for friends and your buddies... already started on my end. Google doesn't percieve that google reader users are the pushing force...

  • br_hermon

    Is there any chance that Google could unload this like they did the Android App Inventor? Maybe someone else could take over operation?