Google to shut down Google Sync ActiveSync support for new consumer devices, Calendar features, and more

Google-cleaningGoogle announced on its official blog today that it would do some “winter cleaning” by discontinuing a number of services in the near future. Among the services shutting down as of Jan. 30 is Google Sync, which allowed users to get access to Gmail, Calendar, and Contacts using the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol. As an alternative, Google recommended IMAP for mail and the recently launched CardDAV and CalDAV protocols. Google also confirmed it would continue offering the service to existing consumers and Google Apps for Business, Government, and Education customers.

Google also said it would shut down some of its less-popular Calendar features starting Jan. 4:

You’ll be unable to create new reservable times on your Calendar through Appointment slots, but existing Appointment slots will continue working for one year. In addition, we’ll discontinue two Calendar Labs—Smart Rescheduler (we recommend Find a time view or Suggested times as alternatives) and Add gadget by URL. Finally, Check your calendar via smsand Create event via sms (GVENT)—U.S.-only features for creating and checking meetings by texting information to Google—will be discontinued today, as most users prefer mobile Calendar apps.

Another victim of the winter cleaning is the Punchd app for Android and iOS that will officially shut down on June 7, 2013. At that time, retailers will no longer accept the service’s loyalty cards. Google’s full list of apps and features on the way out is below: Read more

Google’s Cultural Institute brings history to life with online series of narrative exhibitions (Video)

The Google Cultural Institute just launched an online series of narrative exhibitions that feature links to archival content stitched together to unearth different perspectives and stories of historical and life-changing events.

The official Google blog elaborated:

Today you can discover 42 new online historical exhibitions telling the stories behind major events of the last century, including Apartheid, D-Day and the Holocaust. The stories have been put together by 17 partners including museums and cultural foundations who have drawn on their archives of letters, manuscripts, first-hand video testimonials and much more. Much of the material is very moving—and some is on the Internet for the first time.

The Google Cultural Institute is essentially a team of dedicated Google engineers that creates tools to “tell the stories of our diverse cultural heritage and make them accessible worldwide.” A few of the exhibitions in its latest project include a tragic love story at Auschwitz, details and personal letters from D-Day, and color photographs of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Visit the Google Cultural Institute’s website for the full catalog of new additions.

More details are available in the video below. 

Read more