Saturday, March 16, 2013

The ending of Google Reader and it's implications for my use of Google

Lots of folks have posted on this, but I wanted to get my  2 cents in (or call it whining),  Google killing it's reader product is going to make it more difficult to be platform agnostic.  Google Reader made it possible to keep up on my news and sites I frequent no matter what device or ecosystem I was using.  I originally switched to GMail, Google Calender, and Reader in my old Windows Mobile days and when I switched over to an iPhone.  At the time, it was great for syncing my calendar and contacts, and having a push like experience for my email.  When I switched back to Windows Mobile with a Touch Pro 2 and then an HD2, Google was like a security blanket knowing my calendar,  contacts an email were always there.
i even added my podcast subscriptions to Google Reader as I discovered that Beyondpod could import my subscriptions and could sync my read subscriptions over.  This meant if I ever switched devices, or flashed a new ROM onto my device, I didn't have to go through the pain or resubscribing to everything, and redownloading all my podcasts.  As I transitioned over to Android on my HD2, Google again was awesome.    The calender, contacts, email, reader subscriptions, and podcasts were all there.  I was very efficient going between a computer and my phone and keeping up with my news, podcasts, and my calendar.  I finally transitioned from using a computer for most things when I delved into smartphones.  I used a computer even less when I got my first Android tablet, an Acer Iconia Tab a500, that again synced everything I cared about back and forth between my Android powered HD2 and my tablet all via Google services.  When I decided to try the new Windows Phone reboot on an HTC Radar, I took comfort again that everything (minus apps) crossed over.  Calendar, contacts, email, and subscriptions.  Ultimately, Windows Phone 7.x didn't work out for me, and I came back fully to Android when I purchased an unlocked Galaxy Nexus.  My latest change was buying a Windows 8 tablet, an Asus Vivotab, with a Clover Trail atom processor.  I ended up buying this instead of another Android tablet due to trying to avoid being  locked down with media into one of the ecosystems today, Google Play, Itunes, Amazon, etc.  I like having the option of all of them instead of just one.  I like plugging my tablet into the TV to stream Hulu via my desktop browser, watching Youtube, or my recorded TV shows via Windows Media Center on my old desktop in my room.  Google is starting to be a lot less of a security blanket.  I can live with IMAP for my email on my tablet.  But losing Contact and Calender sync sucks, but I manage on my GNex.  Microsoft's metro apps for Google Reader do not work well for me, but I could still browse via the web and download my video podcasts, and sift through my RSS feeds starring the ones I wish to read later, and marking as read the ones I don't wish to read.  It was nice to still go back and forth between my Win8 tablet and my phone.  Now that Google is killing Reader, it has created a bigger void than I imagined.  I have exported my subscriptions from Reader, and now use different things on my phone and my tablet.  I still use Beyondpod on my phone for podcasts, and now my news subscriptions, and I use SimpliRSS for my news on the tablet.  Gone are the starring capabilities and the syncing back and forth between phone and tablet.  I am using Itunes on my tablet to download my video podcasts.  Holy fractured Bat Man!  Google, I would have been willing to pay a monthly fee to keep Reader going, but that was never an option.  Google, you have pulled the wool from my eyes.  You are no longer my security blanket.  How long can I rely on you for calendar and contacts before you decide to pull that?  Looks like I will eventually have to look elsewhere for my cross platform needs.  I may not stay on Android forever.  I may be enticed someday back to an iPhone, or back over to Microsoft on the phone side.  But now, you have made it a little bit more difficult to platform and device hop.  I can't trust your services to be there much longer.  I love what you do Google, but I don't trust you anymore to be my security blanket anymore.

Update, I have moved on to Feedly for my RSS needs.  For now, it syncs with Google Reader, but they will still support after Reader shuts down.  As for my syncing needs, I still rely on Google.  Wondering if there be support for Contacts and Calander with Google in Windows 8 after Blue.

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