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More victims in the Google API Graveyard

Posted by bryan on May 31, 2011 in E-Business, E-Commerce, Web Services with 8 Comments

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On May 26th, Google announced the deprecation and/or shutdown of many of their most popular and widely developed against APIs, leaving many developers and even Google fanboys feeling dumbfounded, betrayed or at the very least neglected.

According to Google, the following APIs are now deprecated but have no scheduled shutdown date:

  1. Code Search API
  2. Diacritize API
  3. Feedburner APIs
  4. Finance API
  5. Power Meter API
  6. Sidewiki API
  7. Wave API
  8. Translate API (v2)

Meanwhile, the following APIs will be both deprecated and shut down (within 6-32 months):

  1. Blog Search API
  2. Books Data API
  3. Books JavaScript API (not new Books API)
  4. Image Search API
  5. News Search API
  6. Patent Search API
  7. Safe Browsing API (v1 only)
  8. Language API
  9. Translate API
  10. Transliterate API
  11. Virtual Keyboard API
  12. Video Search API
  13. Web Search API (deprecated since Nov.1st, 2010, not in this round)

Since most of the negative comments floating around the web are centered on the shocking loss of Google Translate, here are some possible Google Translate alternatives:

Here are some Google Web Search alternatives:

Here are some Google Video Search alternatives:

Here are some Google Image Search alternatives:

Here are some Google News Search alternatives:

Here are some Google Blog Search alternatives:

Here are some Google Finance alternatives:

Of course, they try to redeem themselves with 8 new APIs; however of the new upcoming APIs only the Prediction API sounds interesting, and so far, it seems like an account with Google Storage is required. For me, the Translate API will be sorely missed, a feeling many seem to have, since innovative Google-powered services like NiceTranslator real-time translations and my own BC$ Subtitling Tool may no longer be possible unless one of the alternatives suggested here can prove to provide the speed, simplicity of use and overall quality of translations (as the translations collaboratively created via Google Translate eventually got much much better over time). In the end, I guess that’s the real bitter point, the fact that Google is tossing out the baby with the bath water and not even considering developer and user pleas to charge a fair price for their best APIs, rather than shuttering them altogether.

You’d think that this would be an opportunity for revenue, but maybe not enough of it would be Advertising driven, which is their obvious core business model. We’ll see how this drama plays out over the coming months, and whether the backlash has any effect. Either way, its time to start looking at the alternatives, its a big world wide web out there!

UPDATE (2011-08-04):
Google Labs Is Shutting Down based on comments made by Larry Page and the Bill Coughran (SVP for Research and Systems Infrastructure) post on the official Google blog entitled “More wood behind fewer arrows“.

Yet another frustrating decision for long-time supporters and early adopters of Google’s various initiatives, experiments and beta software releases. In addition, it raises a cloak of invisibility back over the Googleplex and seems to place business policy barriers in between Google’s talented engineers that tend to embrace, contribute to, and in some cases lead the open-source community – and the rest of us developers around the world – who are not only not on the behemoth’s payroll, but can also easily have our hard works commercialized by the giant who will now divulge even less information about what is in development and going on under the hood at Google.