Google to phase out Sync, other services

The winter cleaning will end support for old or less-used services

Google will begin to phase out its Sync service for consumers and discontinue several other services in early January.

The shuttering of the services, described as "winter cleaning" by the company, was announced in a post on its official blog.

"Last January, we renewed our resolution to focus on creating beautiful, useful products that improve millions of people's lives every day. To make the most impact, we need to make some difficult decisions," the company said.

Google Sync allows access to mail, calendar and contacts via Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. Google said it will continue to offer the same functionality through the IMAP and CardDAV protocols.

Consumers won't be able to set up new devices using Sync from Jan. 30, but existing Sync connections will continue to function.

But, Google said Sync will continue to be supported for users of its Apps for Business, Government and Education platform.

Google Calendar Sync will be shut down Friday and Google Sync for Nokia S60 will end on Jan. 30.

For Google Calendar users, the company is also phasing out appointment slots and two Calendar Labs projects: smart rescheduler and "add gadget by URL." U.S.-only features that allow calendar checking and scheduling via SMS will also be discontinued as of Friday.

The SyncML contacts service, which Google said is used by a small number of older devices, will also be ended on the same day. Issue Tracker API will end on June 14, and Punchd, a loyalty card service, will end on June 7. Android and iOS apps for Punchd will be discontinued and merchants will no longer accept the Punchd cards after that date.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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