Google spring cleans Reader out of existence, also trashcans some CalDav, Snapseed for Mac

As part of their "spring cleaning" effort, Google today announced the cancellation of several services, including Google Reader, CalDAV API access (unless you're white listed), Snapseed for Windows and OS X, Search API for Shopping, and more. The trashcannings were announced by Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure on the Google blog:

We’re living in a new kind of computing environment. Everyone has a device, sometimes multiple devices. It’s been a long time since we have had this rate of change—it probably hasn’t happened since the birth of personal computing 40 years ago. To make the most of these opportunities, we need to focus—otherwise we spread ourselves too thin and lack impact. So today we’re announcing some more closures, bringing the total to 70 features or services closed since our spring cleaning began in 2011.

This, of course, has caused wide-spread anger in geek circles, and a more nuanced reaction among the mainstream: "Um, what's Google Reader?" "Dunno, ask a geek!" "You ask them!" "Fine, I'll @{somecelebrity} on TwitterBook for it!"

Apple removed Safari RSS and Mail RSS last year in OS X Mountain Lion. Clearly, people who use and love RSS are not a growth industry, or even a viable target for either company any more. And that makes sense. RSS is the file-system of news, in a post-file system world. It's fantastic infrastructure, but the front end needs to evolve beyond traditional reader apps.

That sucks for those of us who loved the sync capabilities Google Reader provided for iOS newsreader apps like Reeder (pictured above), NetNewsWire, etc. Unless something with Google-level capacity steps up to fill the gap, we likely won't enjoy anything as freely available (in both senses of the word) again. That might also have been part of the problem. Reader was free. It wasn't a product. There was no commercial bond. We got what we paid for.

I'll mourn Google Reader, as I mourned Safari RSS. While RSS will remain -- you can still subscribe to iMore via RSS, and to all the Mobile Nations podcasts -- what does it say when two of the biggest names in tech, and the two biggest names in mobile, shutter their built-in RSS services?

(Ally's going to write up a how-to on exporting Google Reader content, and alternative ways to get RSS, and get your news in general. Keep an eye out for it.)

Source: Google blog

Update 1: Reeder said on Twitter that their app will be fine sans Google Reeder. Whether that means they'll simply abandon sync, find an alternative, or roll their own is unclear.

Update 2: Developer David Smith (Check the Weather) has announced an upcoming, pad service called Feed Wrangler.

Update 3: Developer Marco Arment (Instapaper, The Magazine) argues that the death of Google Reader could bring new life to the RSS market.

Update 4: Flipboard said on Twitter that they have our RSS covered.

Update 5: Dave Winer won't miss Google Reader.

Update 6: Pinboard wins Twitter with:

"We need to focus. Keep the self-driving cars, magic glasses, laptop, handheld OS, and Brazilian social network. Ditch the feed reader."