I have always been a big fan, supporter, promoter, etc. of Google. That is until recently and here is why they are starting to work their way off of my radar.
Google is performing what is termed "Spring Cleaning" on several of their products. They shut down services/apps which they do not believe are being supported by users. Two that were announced last year were Google Calendar Sync which basically ended December 14, 2012 and iGoogle which is scheduled to shut down on November 1, 2013.
Personally, I used those two extensively, especially Calendar Sync. Calendar Sync performed an extremely important function for me. It matched up my Outlook calendar at work to my personal Google calendar online. Using this syncing process then allowed me to share my Google calendar with my wife so she could keep up with when I was going on trips, meetings after work, etc. I could also choose to share it with anyone else I chose.
It was a painless process since you set it up once and never look back. It automatically "synced" the two calendars immediately when changes were made. Since the Google calendar is online you can get to it anywhere you have a computer.
It was a very good application for the seven or eight years I had it Google. Of course, they do say if you are currently using it you may continue…on that computer. I conclude that means, "Once you have a new computer Calendar Sync is kaput!"
iGoogle was bad news to many people, too. This was basically a Google home page you could use on your browser. You could arrange "widgets" to show weather, local movie listings, news articles from specific sites, maps/directions, games, etc. It essentially served as a geek’s morning paper where you could get the news you really wanted to read.
Now this week Google made another announcement concerning spring cleaning. Another of my beloved apps and many other peoples’… (According to the uproar online) Google Reader bites the dust. Google Reader will be gone as of July 1, 2013. Gee, Google, thanks for the big advance notice! If you want to sign a petition to keep GR around visit: http://chn.ge/ZeVrkp and cast your vote. You may join the other over 114, 500 people who had signed up within four days after the announcement was made.
Google Reader is and was in my opinion one of the best RSS Feed readers around. We have talked before about RSS (Real Simple Syndication) so I will not belabor it. Nevertheless, here it is in a nutshell. It allows you to link to sites which offer RSS feeds (most sties) and get updates whenever they add comments or any content to the site.
There are many other readers out there which have been recommended to be good replacements for Reader. I have tried numerous quantities of them. I will not mention those which failed my examination totally; however, there are two which are OK. I need to state: they are still not as clean as Google Reader. I would say the first runner-up is "feedly" (feedly.com) and at this point in my research, the closest one is "Newsblur" (newsblur.com). Let me know as you continue the hunt for the best replacement.