Your Cheat Sheet to Google’s Shrinking Focus

Over the last six months, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has done its own sort of “spring cleaning” and worked to make changes that would help its users. Here is the list of the changes the company has made:

  • API changes – Google has updated its deprecation policy for all APIs and adopted a one-year deprecation policy for certain APIs and removing the policy for others. Some old APIs with limited usage will be retired. More information can be found on Google’s Developers Blog.
  • Google Flu Vaccine Finder – The service was built by a small team during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic when there was a need for accurate data on vaccination locations and is now being retired. However, Google is passing on the service to HealthMap as they launch their HealthMap Flu Vaccine Finder.
  • Google Related – The experimental browsing assistant will be retiring over the next few weeks because it isn’t proving to be as widely adopted as originally hoped, and so the Related team can work on other products.
  • Google Sync for BlackBerry – Starting June 1, the BlackBerry app will no longer be available for download. Instead, Google encourages users to switch to BlackBerry Internet Service or the Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server, both of which provide syncing of emails, calendar events, and contacts through a single service.
  • Mobile web app for Google Talk – Google is shutting down this service and recommends using the native Google Talk app on Android or other XMPP-compliant apps on other mobile platforms.
  • One Pass – Google’s payment platform for online news publishers has been shut down, and the company is working with existing partners to transition from One Pass to other platforms like Google Consumer Surveys.
  • Patent Search homepage – The old Patent Search homepage will now be directed to google.com to give users a better experience for their patent searches. Updates have also been made to the service, and the new experience loads twice as fast as the old one and includes Google Doodles. The team is hoping to add patents from other countries soon and will be adding additional features to the Patent Search on google.com in the future.
  • Picasa – Google launched a WINE-based version of Picasa for Linux in 2006 as a Google Labs project, and because Picasa enhancements have made it difficult to keep up the Linux version, Picasa for Linux will no longer be updated, though it can continue to be used.
  • Picasa Web Albums Uploader for Mac and Picas Web Albums Plugin for iPhoto – These two services will no longer be available for download and can continue to be used if they are already installed, but they will not be updated. Users are encouraged to download Picasa 3.9 for Mac.

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