Google continues to drop support for one free service after another. Last week they closed signup for the free Google Apps edition, today the company announced that Google Sync will be no longer available for Gmail and free Google Apps users, although existing connections will continue to work. Google Sync will continue to be fully supported for paying customers of Google Apps for Business, Government and Education.
Google Sync was designed to allow access to Google Mail, Calendar and Contacts via the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol. It allows users to synchronize their Google Apps mail, contacts, and calendars to their mobile devices. They can also set up alerts (sound or vibration) for incoming messages and upcoming meetings.
Starting January 30, 2013, consumers won’t be able to set up new devices using Google Sync; however, existing Google Sync connections will continue to function. Google Sync will be replaced by CardDAV, a new protocol that Google launched last September. CardDAV along with IMAP and CalDAV enables third party developers to build a seamless sync experience using open protocols alone.
Several other services will be no longer available.
- Google Calendar Sync will retire on December 14, 2012
- Google Sync for Nokia S60 will retire on January 30, 2013.
- SyncML, a contacts sync service used by a small number of older mobile devices will retire on January 30, 2013.
- Appointment slots for Google Calendar will be discontinued on January 4, 2013, but existing Appointment slots will continue working for one year.
- Smart Rescheduler and Add gadget by URL for Google Calendar will also be discontinued. Google suggests Find a time view or Suggested times as alternatives.
- Check your calendar via SMS and Create event via SMS – features available to the U.S. for creating and checking meetings by texting information to Google will be discontinued today.
- The Issue Tracker Data API that allows client applications to view and update issues on Project Hosting on Google Code in the form of Google Data API feeds will be shut down on June 14, 2013.
- Punchd Android and iOS apps will be discontinued and merchants will no longer honor loyalty cards on June 7, 2013.
Wow. Does Google care about *any* of its users anymore???