Google continuously introduces new services and products, and, just as surely, the company discontinues others. Days after disappointing us with news Google Reader is being shut down, a new note-taking app, Google Keep, has surfaced. But we've seen this story before; remember Google Notebook, sunset in 2009? If history has anything to teach us, we shouldn't become too reliant on Google services.
Google Reader is only the latest to fall from Google's regular "spring cleaning," but it's one of the most protested. 500,000 users have fled Google Reader to Feedly and over 100,000 have petitioned Google to keep Google Reader running. (Crossing my fingers, but not holding my breath.)
Lest we forget, though, Google has also discontinued (or replaced) some other useful services, like GOOG-411, Google Health, Google Wave, and iGoogle. Wikipedia offers this list of discontinued Google products and services. Of course Google as a business, rather than a public service, is free to do whatever it deems best for the company, but the decision is vexing because Google Reader drives far more traffic than Google+.
Before Google Reader, I was most disappointed when Google shut down Google Notebook years ago. The simple webpage-clipping app and note-taking tool was unobtrusive but effective. Ever since Google Notebook was discontinued, I've been hopping back and forth between OneNote, Evernote, and Springpad, unsure which home for my notes is best.
One thing I will say, though, is if Google Keep--the note-taking app that was spotted by Android Police before disappearing quickly--does come to light, I won't be using it. I'm too wary now of having all my eggs in one basket.
Judging from the screenshots posted on Android Police, I don't think Evernote, Springpad, or Microsoft have to worry about this competition, despite some tech sites' tantalizing headlines.
The best part of Google Keep--and other Google products--is that it's part of the comprehensive Google ecosystem. That's also the worst part too.
Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.