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Google Nixes Some Calendar Features and Other Software Offerings 235

Posted by timothy
from the this-cloud-is-certainly-substantial dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google on Friday announced it is shutting down a slew of features and services as part of its winter cleaning. Google Calendar will be losing a few features, Google Sync will be axed (on the consumer side), as will Google Calendar Sync, SyncML, the Issue Tracker Data API, and the Punchd app."
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Google Nixes Some Calendar Features and Other Software Offerings

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  • Who cares (Score:4, Informative)

    by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:19PM (#42296927) Homepage
    I prefer to use rackspace. For $3 a month I can get quality email and mobile syncing of calendars, contacts, etc and without the data snooping and surprises of shit just disappearing when Google feels like it.

    Yes it costs money but if you can't afford $3 a month then stick with the data snoop or consider getting a job.
  • Re:Carddav/caldav? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Qwavel (733416) on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:29PM (#42297031)

    Whether they are better yet, I'm not sure, but Yes, they have indicated that they want people using CardDAV/CalDav instead of Exchange.

    Not too surprising, given that they have to pay MS for Exchange licensing, but I don't think these open protocols have the push support that Exchange had.

  • Re:Carddav/caldav? (Score:4, Informative)

    by LordLucless (582312) on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:37PM (#42297123)

    That's one of the biggest things that I've preferred iOS to Android. That, and the stupid way applications are stored on the system partition so you 'run out of free space' despite having gigabytes free.

    That was changed with the release of ICS.

  • Re:Calendar sync? (Score:5, Informative)

    by LordLucless (582312) on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:43PM (#42297171)

    Not unless you're using Exchange to do it:

    Google Sync was designed to allow access to Gmail, Google Calendar, and Contacts via the Microsoft® Exchange ActiveSync® protocol. With the recent launch of CardDAV, Google now offers similar access via IMAP, CalDAV, and CardDAV, making it possible to build a seamless sync experience using open protocols.

    GoogleSync and GoogleCalendarSync are Google's implementation of ActiveSync; they're not used to describe the general syncing features Google offers. This announcement is basically saying they're retiring a proprietary protocol in favour of open standards.

  • Re:Calendar sync? (Score:5, Informative)

    by broken_chaos (1188549) on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:54PM (#42297257)
    The summary was pretty terribly worded -- it didn't get across the fact that, essentially, this is stuff you're horridly unlikely to be using. The actual article was much clearer and more matter-of-fact about it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @08:21PM (#42297521)

    1) They are not 'killing EAS'. Google Sync was for accessing Google products via MS protocols -- which is ridiculous.
    2) IMAP has a push [wikipedia.org], it's just not enabled/provided by most IMAP providers
    3) Gmail has push in their own app for iOS and Android.
    4) If you're using WP8.... well, that's your own damn fault :P

  • Re:Calendar sync? (Score:5, Informative)

    by LordLucless (582312) on Friday December 14, 2012 @08:31PM (#42297595)

    Well, you're ignorant enough not to know what CalDAV is, yet still consider yourself knowledgeable enough to comment on the field, so I'd say that you're the natural target audience for trollish, flamebait headlines.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CalDAV#Implementations [wikipedia.org]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CardDAV#Implementations [wikipedia.org]

    http://www.microsoft.com/about/legal/en/us/IntellectualProperty/IPLicensing/Programs/ExchangeActiveSyncProtocol.aspx [microsoft.com]

    Also note that ActiveSync requires an MS license to implement. Now that's lock-in.

  • by i.r.id10t (595143) on Friday December 14, 2012 @09:00PM (#42297835)

    "If it doesn't cost you money, then you are the product being sold"

    Or something like that... forget where I saw it though...

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Friday December 14, 2012 @11:11PM (#42298639)

    IMAP has had push since before Gmail existed, and I've been using it since then ... and GMail supports IMAP NOTIFY (the IDLE command).

  • by icebike (68054) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @02:09AM (#42299441)

    wrong. Push email still requires a constant connection to the server to create the network link; it's just that it doesn't need to go through the pull protocol handshake every time, but your antenna is still turned on for push - how else do you expect data to reach you?

    Antenna turned on? Antennas are just a chunk of wire.

    Imap IDLED support works exactly like ActiveSync. They both open a socket to the mail server, try to read that socket, and when nothing arrives, put the radio receiver in an extremely low power listening state. (You can even shut the receiver off for fairly long periods of time without notifying the TCP Stack.) It uses almost zero power this way.

    When the read succeeds either because the server sent something, or the socket times out (anywhere from 12 to 18 minutes later) the TCP stack briefly wakes up and re-establishes the socket and tries to read it again, acts on what it received, or puts the radio in low power state(sleep) again.

    Nothing is traveling across that link while the radio is "sleeping". Only upon the transmission of data from the server, or the closing of the socket does the radio ever become active.

    The assumption that your cellular radio is ever off is simply wrong. The vast majority of the time your radio is not transmitting anything, but it is always listening to the cell tower. So an open socket across which no data is being transmitted costs exactly zero additional battery power, except for a brief spike once every 12 to 18 minutes while the socket is refreshed.

  • by arkhan_jg (618674) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @04:20AM (#42299933)

    There is an open standard for push support for email - IMAP IDLE. GMail implements it, as do most IMAP services, and a lot of IMAP clients. Microsoft's patented ActiveSync, designed for use with exchange/outlook, is also licenced by google both for client devices (android) and their servers, i.e. GMail/google apps, primarily so they can both connect to exchange as client, or serve up activesync for outlook clients. The server side is is now going away on their free personal gmail accounts - presumably because of the licencing fees for a not-often used service on their free version, as outlook also now supports IMAP IDLE.

    Apple supports IMAP IDLE on OSX in Mail, but not iOS. It does support ActiveSync, so iOS can connect to Exchange servers. But Apple not supporting IMAP IDLE is the exception, not the rule. They say it's too power hungry for mobile devices, which is partly true - but activesync works very similarly, and is a similar power drain, and they support that.

    Apple use their own method for iCloud I believe (which is why it fell foul of patent infringement in Germany, and had to turn off iCloud push support there).

    So you have various options. Use the Gmail app, and get push that way (I don't know what method google uses for the App). Forward your google mail to icloud, and use that, if you want to hang onto your gmail address. Use a 3rd party app to implement IMAP IDLE support (for example PushMail on the app store should do it, it's aimed at Sparrow but does support the native Mail app on iOS by the looks of it). Implementing a 3rd party solution on iOS is tricky, as you need it to run in the background since iOS doesn't include IDLE support natively, and that is restricted heavily on iOS, which is why I believe Sparrow never got IDLE support.

    But google was one of the very few services to implement activesync in the first place, apart from Exchange itself of course. If you want push email support, the standard is IMAP IDLE basically everywhere. So your complaint is that Google is dropping a patented, proprietary de-facto Microsoft standard for free accounts while keeping the open standard that Apple doesn't support on iOS, is to complain how evil Google is, and migrate to...?

    A closed proprietary standard by Apple that only works with their software - iCloud? (Let's hope they keep that one going longer than mobile.me or its predecessors)
    Another IMAP provider that provides IMAP IDLE support, but not Microsoft's activesync, leaving you in the same boat?
    A hosted Exchange account? (shudder)

    I'd suggest your actual problem is an insistence on using a client OS device that doesn't support open standards, and makes it very hard for 3rd party apps to do so.

  • by Y-Crate (540566) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:10AM (#42300121)

    Welcome to the sweet world of Cloud. Where everything is cheap and available. Until it is not..
    Lesson learned: If your business depends on specific tools or functionality, set up your own infrastructure.

    Exactly.

    It's the little things that really get to me. Logged into Google Docs not too long ago and discovered that all support for exporting as plain .doc files had been removed. No warning. Just gone.

    "Just use .docx and join us in the 21st century!" I know. But the fact that the feature was taken away without asking, or even being told ahead of time... that's infuriating.

    How many times have you kept a legacy piece of software around for a specific reason? Now imagine having it erased, along with all backup copies. Shitty, huh?

    I use the hell out of Apple and Google products, but I'm really tired of hearing "Just trust us this time. This is the real cloud-based solution! We're not going to pull the rug out from under you again!"

    I use the cloud for matters of convenience, not necessity. And I don't see that changing anytime soon.

  • Re:Carddav/caldav? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:16AM (#42300141)

    There are two apps that deal with this beautifully: carddavsync and caldav sync. Both by Martin Gnadja, both about $3. It's the best money I ever spent - sign up for a calendar/addressbook account at fruux.com and you are totally free of both Apple and Google, syncing data using open protocols. Feels pretty good, actually.

  • by Bert64 (520050) <bert@slaSLACKWAR ... com minus distro> on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:27AM (#42300177) Homepage

    IMAP does have a push system, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMAP_IDLE [wikipedia.org] and there is also something called P-IMAP although that is far less widely supported.

    Activesync works in much the same way, it sends a sleep request and the server then doesn't respond until it has some data to send.

  • by nebular (76369) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @09:24AM (#42301001) Homepage

    You do realize why they don't support Canadian numbers right? They'd have to be classified as a telecommunications company. Then they'd be subject to CRTC regulations, foreign ownership rules, etc..

    They got whatever licences GrandCentral had, but haven't bothered trying to extend them or renew them.

    Entering into the Telecommunications market in Canada can be a scary beast, especially if you're not canadian. Wind learned all about that.

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