Google does some ‘winter cleaning’, retires features and services you may or may not miss


Google is doing some winter cleaning, according to its official blog, but instead of snow, we have features and services being swept. Perhaps the most notable casualty of the bunch being shut down is Google Sync, a service that allowed users to sync Google’s Mail, Contacts and Calendar through Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync protocol. iPhone users in particular use this feature to sync their mail to iOS’s native mail app, and interested users should take notice. Google probably doesn’t mind so much, as they would probably prefer that you download their newly redesigned Gmail app anyway. You will no longer be able to sign up for new accounts beginning January 30 of next year, but existing users along with Google Apps for Business, Education and Government users should be in the clear.

The rest of the shutdowns involve some very specific and likely obscure calendar-related features, such as setting up events through SMS. Punchd, an app that allows you to keep loyalty punchcards on your phone is also on the chopping block.

One thing I have to say about these changes is that as long as Google Reader isn’t being touched, I’m happy. Because the day its part of Google’s ‘winter cleaning’ is the day I leave the Internet!

Are any of you affected by these changes? Let us know in the comments!

[via Official Google Blog, image via Rex Roof]

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