Google closes more features in 'spring' clean sweep

October 1, 2012 | 12:21

Tags: #android #google-drive

Companies: #google

Advertising giant Google has announced another raft of service closures as it continues to streamline its offerings, with a number of smaller services joining the likes of Google Wave.

In the last year, Google has been dramatically trimming down the number of separate projects it has on the go. Aside from the aforementioned Wave, an unholy cross between Skype, Facebook and Sharepoint that was rejected by users but lives on in part through Google+, the company has closed down translation APIs, severely restricted its mapping APIs, removed the iGoogle homepage customisation feature, and the Google Labs not-quite-ready-for-prime-time test-bed service.

The latest features to hit the chopping board include AdSense for Feeds, a service that allows users to tie adverts to their RSS feeds, the Classic Plus feature to add a custom background to the Google search page, the Gadgets add-ins to Google Spreadsheet, Google News Badges, and the Android Places Directory app.

Additionally, the company has confirmed plans to consolidate storage across all its features: as a result, those who use both image-sharing service Picasa and document collaboration service Drive will find their storage shared between the two: buy a 100GB contract, and it'll be applied to both services. Previously, it was possible to sign up for different plans on different services, or to use free storage on one and paid-for storage on another.

Finally, the company has ditched the Insights for Search functionality in favour of a revamped version of Google Trends which provides access to search trends and comparatives for volume across regions, categories, time-frames and properties.

'Technology offers so many opportunities to help improve users' lives. This means it is really important to focus or we end up doing too much with too little impact,' claimed Google's senior engineering director Yossi Matias in a statement regarding the closures. 'So today we're winding down a bunch more features — bringing the total to nearly 60 since we started our "spring" clean last fall. We want people to have a beautifully simple experience when using Google. These changes will enable us to focus better so that we can do more to help improve the products that millions of people use multiple times a day.'
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