Saturday, December 15, 2012

Google performing 'winter cleaning', many sync methods to get the boot

Google announced on their official blog yesterday that they are performing "winter cleaning", which means that basically they are shedding some more products or services to make more room for more useful products, etc. Yesterday it was noticed by many that some sync protocols are being removed for new users, and instead open alternatives have been added.

One of the most noticed points in the post is the dropping of Microsoft's ActiveSync technology. For those that don't know what that means, it is basically the proprietary protocol that Microsoft uses to sync mail, settings, and calendar data. Starting January 30, 2013, customers won't be able to use Google Sync (Google's way for integrating with ActiveSync). It should be noted that existing connections will continue to function as they should.  Google Sync will continue to be fully supported for Google Apps for Business, Government and Education. Users of those products are unaffected by their announcement. They have instead added support for the CalDAV and CardDAV protocols for syncing your calendar and mail. These are open standards and Google hopes that companies adapt this.

In addition to this, they are shedding other items.

They are shedding their Issue Tracker API. This will be shut down on June 14, 2013

They are shedding their Punchd app. Punchd is an app that keeps loyalty punch cards on your smartphone. On June 7, 2013, they will discontinue the Punchd Android and iOS apps, and merchants will no longer honor Punchd loyalty cards. They say users can continue to earn punches and redeem rewards at participating businesses until June 7, 2013. They say they will remain focused in developing products that are useful to merchants and consumers and help them connect in special ways.

You can find out more info about Google's plans to shed services and products by looking at their blog post. This move comes just a few days after they dropped the free version of Google apps for new users.