Google has dropped a number of services in the past six month period. From Google Sky Map and Picnik, Google Buzz or Knol and Gears. Yesterday's announcement marks the beginning of the fourth wave of service and product retirements in that period. The post at the official Google Blog highlights the services that will be discontinued by the company.
Among the products is Picasa for Linux, as well as Picasa Web Albums Uploader for Mac and iPhoto. Google notes that the programs will continue to work for the time being, but will not receive any more updates in the future. The company further suggests that Mac users download and install Picasa for Mac instead, which includes upload and iPhoto import features.
Google Sync for BlackBerry devices will be discontinued on June 1, 2012. BlackBerry owners with the app installed on their devices can continue to use it, but won't receive updates anymore for it. The app will also not be available for download after that date. BlackBerry users who want synchronization features are encouraged to switch to BlackBerry Internet Service or the Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
When it comes to services, Google notes that they are moving the Patent Search homepage to the Google homepage instead where the same functionality is available.
Google furthermore has shut down One Pass, a payment platform for online news publishers, Google Flu Vaccine Finder (which has been moved to the third party service HealthMap), and the mobile web app for Google Talk.
Web developers should also head over to the Google Developers blog as the company has announced that they would retire several old APIs, and change the deprecation period for several existing ones. Retired APIs include the Moderator and Legacy Portable Contacts API, part of the Account Authentication APIs, Google Chart Tools. The company also announced that they have added shutdown dates for the Finance API and Feedburner Administrative API.
Seems that Google is still weeding through all of their services, removing those with lacking traction or promise. What's your take on this new round of service closures?