By now, you’ve probably heard the news that Google will shut down Google Reader in July.
This is extremely sad for me, since Reader is an essential tool that I use several times a day to keep up with hundreds of items. I’m not joking or exaggerating; I scan hundreds of items on a (mostly) daily basis. Reader makes this manageable, and I will miss it.
When I read the news on Reader, I took to Twitter to join the hand-wringing and fist-shaking movement. That’s a double irony, reading the news on Reader and using a service that has surely hastened its demise to complain about it.
I’m not surprised by the out-pouring of sentiment. Reader has been on life-support since its neutering in late 2011. Google has given plenty of notice that Google+ is its future for social activities, and the related-but-not news of Andy Rubin’s departure shows that Google continues to narrow its focus.
Anyway, if you’d like to petition Google to save Reader, there are several you can sign over on Change.org. This one has the most signatures.
It’s actually for the best that Reader will be killed, since it was dying a slow death anyway. I think we all knew this was coming. Think about this: how awesome would it be to see Google sell Reader to its users, like I proposed years ago for Flickr?
Win-win for everyone. I would pay to keep it as-is.
So, now what? I’ll be collecting replacement options over the next three months, and they’re pretty easy to find.
Some of the more interesting or funny to me options:
- Crowdfunded RSS.GD
- Digg, yes Digg, you read that right
- The Old Reader, h/t John (@jpiwowar) and J-P (@lawduck) for that one
- Flipboard, duh
Lost in all the weeping for Reader was a possibly bigger deal, h/t to Bill (@btaroli):
CalDAV API will become available for whitelisted developers, and will be shut down for other developers on September 16, 2013. Most developers’ use cases are handled well by Google Calendar API, which we recommend using instead. If you’re a developer and the Calendar API won’t work for you, please fill out this form to tell us about your use case and request access to whitelisted-only CalDAV API.
It’s very murky, but this seems to be a Google-Microsoft tiff. Details are missing, but if Google doesn’t whitelist Apple or Mozilla, Google Calendar becomes orphaned because its users won’t be able to use their preferred clients.
Stay tuned for details.
So, cry about Reader in the comments, but this is a wake, so let’s remember Reader at its best.