On the heels of last week’s announcement that Apps is no longer free, there are additional and surprising changes to the Google products line. Some products or features are getting the ax. This effort is a continuation of their phasing out products while simplifying and creating new beautiful (their words not ours) ones. So what are some of the more important Google products getting tossed during this end-of-year cleaning spree:
Say Bye-Bye to these Google Products
- Appointment Slots in Google Calendar. If you’ve ever wanted to reserve specific times on your calendar for potential meetings, you’ve probably used this feature. Two of their Calendar labs are also shutting down: Smart Scheduler and GVENT. If this is a feature you just can’t live without, Google is recommending Find a Time and Suggested Times. In the gift-giving spirit of the holidays, we have another suggestion for trying to schedule meetings across multiple calendars. We use TimeBridge, a free service. It let’s you reserve up to 5 time slots and uses an automated feature to manage responses. We’ve experienced some hiccups to the service, but hey… it’s free and has pretty good uptime overall.
- Google Sync. Starting January 30, 2013 you won’t be able to set up new devices via Google Sync (designed to enable access to your gmail, calendar and contacts via Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol). It will be supported for Google Apps for Business, Government and Education. So, what’s the alternative? CardDAV. Say goodbye to Google Calendar Sync as well.
- Loyalty Punchcards. If you used your smartphone to keep track of loyalty punch cards, it too is going away. You can still earn and redeem rewards at participating businesses until June 7, 2013.
- Issue Track Data API. If you need to ask what this is, you most likely weren’t using it. If you are using it, prepare for the June 14, 2013 shut down.
Got an alternative to Google Calendar Appointment Slots? Let us know as we are always on the lookout for apps that simplify work life.
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