Thursday, March 14, 2013

Google axing Reader on July 31st

Google has announced another round of spring cleaning, the routine axing of Google services that are either obsolete, no longer used, or demand has dropped. This time around, one of the most significant services being axed is Google Reader, a web app that allows users to subscribe to RSS feeds and view them with their web browser.

Google has decided to shut down the service after a decline in its usage, but still acknowledges that people still use the service, and use it a lot. However, Google said that axing this and other services will allow them to focus more on their mainline products, such as Gmail.

I personally don't like the gutting of Reader. I use it a lot with a Ubuntu desktop app called Lightread. Lightread depends on Google Reader as its "back end". Google Reader does all of the technical work, such as storing the feeds. Lightread is a front end displaying agent, that is lighter then the Google Reader web app in the browser. Without Google Reader, Lightread is a basically useless app unless the developers either made the app independent of a reader provider (such as Google), or switch to a different service. Either way, it's going to make it harder for I and many others to use RSS now, as basically a favorite RSS reader service will be phased out soon.