updated 08:20 pm EDT, Wed March 13, 2013
Move part of Google's continuing 'spring cleaning' program
Google, in its annual "spring cleaning" effort, has revealed the impending closure of eight services. Programs and offerings affected over the next few months are the GUI builder for Apps Script, depreciation of the CalDAV API, discontinuation of the Google Building Maker, cessation of Google Cloud Connect, support termination for the Google Voice app for BlackBerry, cancellation of the Search API for Shopping, and no more updates provided for the Snapseed Desktop for Macintosh. Most notably, the widely-used RSS app Google Reader is being retired on July 1 as well.
Google admits the Google Reader product has a "loyal following" on the blog noting the service closures. The search engine recommends that "users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months." Users have taken to the web to react to the discontinuation with harsh criticism of the company.
The blog post does mention other Google services that supplant the discontinued ones in most cases. The CalDAV API has been replaced for most developers by the Google Calendar API. Google Building Maker has had most of its functionality replaced by the Google Map Maker. Google Drive is a cross-platform replacement for the Windows-only Google Cloud Connect. No specific replacements have been named for Google Reader, the Search API for Shopping, the Macintosh Snapseed Desktop, or the GUI Builder for Apps Script.