back to article Google shreds Reader in new round of 'spring cleaning'

Google is killing off Reader, its web-based RSS reading service, as part of its latest round of culling little-used or unprofitable products. A spring clean, if you will. The service will disappear on July 1st, 2013. Google’s reason for the termination, revealed in a blog post, follows: “There are two simple reasons for …


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  1. InsaneLampshade

    "concentrate on building great products that really help in their lives"

    I do believe they already built such a product. It was called Google Reader.

    1. Simon_Sharwood_Reg_APAC_Editor (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: "concentrate on building great products that really help in their lives"

      You're commenting what I'm thinking - I use reader every day. I always wondered why reader had no ads. Would they kill it if it did?

    2. MacRat

      Re: "concentrate on building great products that really help in their lives"

      No kidding.

      I use this service every day between my laptop, iPhone and Android Phone.

      I guess I will have to find a replacement.

    3. Nagy, Balázs András

      Re: "concentrate on building great products that really help in their lives"

      No kidding! As a journalist, Reader was at LEAST 80% of my job. Hell, I'd pay serious money per month to keep it running even now.

    4. Jim 59

      Re: "concentrate on building great products that really help in their lives"

      Baffling decision. GR is the best RSS reader out there and the Android App is great too. It saves me so much time and effort, use it for jobs, news sites, all sorts.

      Sad. But on the upside Google will own us a bit less and that feels good already.

      What RSS reader are we all shifting too ?

      1. Craigness

        Re: "concentrate on building great products that really help in their lives"

        shifting too?

        "too" digg. they're building one in time for the execution.

  2. cs94njw

    Tried out other apps on Android, didn't really like them. Still use Reader on laptop and android phone, as what I've read stays consistent between each :(

    Real bugger :( In my birthday month too - double bugger :( :(

  3. William Boyle
    Thumb Down

    Farking idiots!

    Well, if Google dumps Reader, then I will dump ALL Googly stuff I own, from Android, to gmail (including my business account), to use of Chrome, and anything else Google related (hello Firefox ... again!). I will vote with my wallet!

    1. ratfox Silver badge

      Re: I will vote with my wallet!

      I am sure Google will regret all the money you were paying them…

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I will vote with my wallet!

        Technically speaking you're probably better off buying as many nexus as possible and never use them as they're subsidised.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Farking idiots!

      Cutting off your nose to spite your face, smart move.

    3. Steve Button

      Re: Farking idiots!

      Yeah, right. That's easier said than done isn't it? This has made me realise how strongly I'm glued to Google and if I don't like something they do there's very little I can actually do about it. To move away from the Googleverse would be a huuuuuge upheaval. Fool.

  4. Tom from the States

    This is a product for which I am willing to pay.

    I have 350+ feeds and with this, was able to dump mailbox-clogging newsletters while having search access via the web and Android. I don't use Facebook and Twitter, either. This is the way to follow technical blogs, sports updates, etc. Not a complete surprise since they are already pulling the plug on iGoogle, but I am seriously bummed.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: This is a product for which I am willing to pay.

      I don't use Reader but it's a discontinued product I've actually heard of for a change. And I thought Reader was close to being a standard for RSS so it does seem odd to axe it unless it mysteriously uses a LOT of resources.

      Is it a standalone product or integrated with gmail?

      1. Jim Willsher

        Re: This is a product for which I am willing to pay.

        Likewise. At least I've heard of it now, even if only to hear that it has been chopped.

  5. Zola

    Sod Reader, they've killed CalDAV!

    Now you see the logic behind their ActiveSync killing move, which ostensibly wasn't a problem as you could use CalDAV but now it seems Google are pushing users towards their own proprietary protocols rather than using open standards. This is not good.

    1. fuzzie
      Thumb Up

      Re: Sod Reader, they've killed CalDAV!

      My immediate thoughts as well.

      When they killed off Exchange Active Sync they told people they're going for open standards and clients should use they're killing that off as well. Sounds like the walled garden has just added another layer of bricks. Not totally surprising though. They have a habit of open source/standards only when it's convenient.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They are disconnected from real world

      When I think of google,I imagine guys sitting in Starbucks developing on xcode with 300 Mbps connection.

      They got really big and disconnected from their users/customers just like Redmond.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Sod Reader, they've killed CalDAV!

      I'm surprised by the CalDAV thing as well. Given how they were only just shouting recently about how important open standards were to them, as opposed to nasty old Microsoft.

      Having just moved from Windows Phone to iPhone, it was interesting to see that GMail is also worse on iPhone without using EAS. I sort of decided then on a project to slowly move away from Google services. As happens I don't use them for calendaring anyway - I just use them for a few things that were convenient. Given how hard to use the UI has become on GMail, I think I might even dump that as my repository of marketing mail and web-sign-ups too.

      I wonder how much fuss there would be if Google one day decided to dump Android? Fanciful I admit... But there's no major threat to their search/advertising monopoly, and they make a huge financial loss, so the only big gain is all that lovely location and usage data they gather from all those mobile data-upload stations handsets. Otherwise Android is a defensive move, plus the hope that they can get into content sales through the Play Store. Given the other things Google do, they're in conflict with the Media industry, as much (if not more) than partnership, which will make it hard to win in that space.

      Anyway this post has come out a bit more troll-like than I intended, so I'll stop rambling, shut up and hit post.

    4. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Sod Reader, they've killed CalDAV!

      @Zola, my thoughts too... Plus, I hope they have informed the Microsoft team that is busy adapting Windws Calendar to support CalDAV, now that they have dropped ActiveSync... :

      1. Craigness

        Re: Sod Reader, they've killed CalDAV!

        They've not killed CalDAV, they've whitelisted it. I'm sure you'll still be able to use it in Microsoft products.

    5. El Andy

      Re: Sod Reader, they've killed CalDAV!

      Indeed. A more cynical soul might point out that the entire and almost immeadiate "outrage" over Reader disappearing might have been an attempt to smokescreen Google yet again ditching a real open standard after only just a few months ago crowing about how important it was that everyone else adopted it.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Sod Reader, they've killed CalDAV!

        El Andy,

        You might say that, but I couldn't possibly comment...

        On a serious note, Google's PR is sometimes that slick, other times it's absolutely dreadful. So I tend to default to cock-up theory.

  6. Ken Y-N

    This is just the sort of thing Hitler would do!

    Yes, it's Downfall.

    1. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge

      Re: This is just the sort of thing Hitler would do!

      Godwin's Law struck early in this thread....

  7. Magani
    Thumb Down

    <insert Googly NSFW expression here>

    Reader has been the one constant piece of s/ware that keeps me up to date and feeds me my El Reg daily fix for ages. It was unobtrusive and just worked. While I haven't looked recently, nothing else did what I wanted with so little effort across Desktop, laptop, tablet & phone.

    A pox upon the House of Google.

    1. Jon B

      Re: <insert Googly NSFW expression here>

      Exactly, you should be reading El Reg on the website, and clicking on all those lovely google provided adverts. Killing Reader makes perfect sense.

      1. Craigness
        Thumb Down

        Re: <insert Googly NSFW expression here>

        El Reg can put as much or as little content in their RSS feed as they choose, and that can include adverts. An RSS reader will only show what's in the feed.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FYI there's a petition

    1. Miffo

      Re: FYI there's a petition

      I did sign it but I wonder why. Google must already know how many people use Reader.

    2. Obvious Robert

      Re: FYI there's a petition

      Current total well past 53,000. Killing Reader obviously not a good PR move on Google's part :)

  9. Liam Thom


    They are killing that too. And that is really useful.

    Not going to miss Google Reader - Thunderbird does the same job. Not fair for those that do use it though.

    1. SW

      Re: iGoogle

      Thunderbird and many other desktop software I'm sure are capable.

      But that method doesn't work when you use multiple-devices during the course of the day.

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: iGoogle

      I didn't know Thunderbird does RSS, and it's mostly what I was looking for. Thanks for the tip.

  10. Stumpy Pepys


    I use Reader to manage podcasts in Google Listen (also technically defunct).

    Any ideas for an alternative method for Android?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Boo!

      I use Podcatcher.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Boo!

        I tried Podcatcher, but I went back to Listen... And doesn't Podcatcher use you Reader feed as well? Or can you set it up to use a different feed?

    2. Samuel Penn

      Re: Boo!

      I use BeyondPod for podcasts, I could never get Google Listen to work.

      1. Argh

        Re: Boo!

        Google Listen worked fine for me, but I also use BeyondPod mainly for the smart playlists.

        However, as with many RSS based applications, BeyondPod can also synchronise with Google Reader, allowing it to keep track of listened podcasts across multiple devices (luckily they've currently got a beta of their own synchronisation method in testing).

        I'll miss Reader though, the ability to use desktop or mobile to efficiently read feeds (and easily mark certain entries as unread to come back to them later on the other device, if necessary) is/was very useful to me.

        Flipboard and Feedly just don't work as well for me.

    3. Craigness

      Re: Boo!

      I tried a lot of them and they're all terrible, but that's mostly because they use the ios design guidelines. Pocket Casts is less terrible now that it's had an almost-holo redesign, and it syncs across devices too. I stuck with Listen for ages because I could listen to podcasts on my laptop through Reader :-)

  11. SW


    Subject says it all.

    /Goes to cry into his beer/

  12. Steve Button

    Oh FFS.

    Just read about this... on Google Reader (on my Android phone)

    What are the alternatives please people? Multi devices and keep everything in synch.

  13. Big Al

    Seriously annoyed

    Nuff said.

  14. Google

    a sad day

    That's it, turns out my next device will not be an Android. Voting with my wallet!

    Off to check out the Bing Maps API instead...

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: a sad day

      Is this yours?

  15. Velv Silver badge
    Big Brother

    "If you're not paying for it, you're not the Customer, you're the Product"

    And I guess there isn't enough product on the shelf to attract paying customers. Shame, I like reader. It's how I get El Reg

    1. Zola

      I get feeds on my MeeGo N950 phone

      It's got a very nice built-in RSS reader app. Shame the Register RSS feed only contains the heading and first paragraph of each article though - most other RSS feeds contain the entire article. Don't suppose there's any chance of The Reg improving their feed to contain full articles?

      1. Ol'Peculier

        Re: I get feeds on my MeeGo N950 phone

        Can't see it - that would reduce the clicks to the site and reduce advertising revenue.

        1. Argh

          Re: I get feeds on my MeeGo N950 phone

          Just put an ad in to the RSS article. Some of the feeds I follow already do that.

  16. southpacificpom

    Live by the cloud, die by the cloud...

    Liferia or Newsbeuter rules for me.


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