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GoogleApps_April02_CGoogle first launched as a search engine and has since grown to an Internet juggernaut with apps and services filling nearly every need. Anyone with a wide range of products knows that it’s hard to maintain them. To better manage their product portfolio, Google tends to shut down programs that are less popular or are deemed to be no longer useful. Some of the more recently announced retirements may be apps that you use on a daily basis.

There are two services that Google will be closing in the coming months.

Google Reader
Google Reader is a Google app that allows users to keep track of their favorite websites, blogs and online magazines from one central location. This is made possible through the use of RSS (Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication) feeds – a way publishers can quickly and easily distribute their content on the Internet.

While this may not be big news for the average Internet user, those who need to keep track of numerous news sources will feel the hit. It is true that RSS feeds and readers (programs that turn the feed into something we can read) aren’t as popular as they used to be, but it’s still the main way many websites, this one included, display and distribute content.

What this means for Reader fans is that you’re going to have to find another service – maybe Google Currents, if you want to stay in the Googleplex. If you have another feed reader, you can export the feed using Google Takeout.

You can do this by logging into Takeout, clicking on Choose Services and selecting Reader. Press Archive followed by Download. This will zip the files and download them to your hard drive. You can then open it and upload them to any other RSS feed reader. Be sure to do this before Google pulls the plug on this service on July 1, 2013.

Google Cloud Connect
This plugin allows Microsoft Office users to sync Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents with Google Drive. It also allows users to create, edit, sync and backup these files in real-time.

When installed on a user’s computer, each document is given its own URL enabling easy sharing through email or instant messaging. This also enables storing previous versions of documents which makes it easy to see your revision history.

Google announced that they plan to shut this service down on April 30, 2012, so if you use this plugin at work, it would be a good idea to look into an alternative. The easiest would be Google Drive which allows users to upload, edit and share Office documents, not to mention the fact that it has its own suite of office productivity apps that many businesses will find useful.

If you use either of these services and are looking for a replacement, give us a call today. We may have the perfect one for you.

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