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It figures. As soon as I learn to love Google Calendar’s appointment slots feature, the company decides it is a “less-popular feature” and discontinues it.
Calendar appointment slots are one of a slew of features that Google is sunsetting today, as part of its “winter cleaning” of less-used or less-than-successful features. Among those features was Punchd, which Google paid $10 million to acquire a little more than a year ago.
Appointment slots was a handy feature that let you set up blocks of time when people could reserve appointments with you — like office hours. It was a little hard to figure out, however, and Google’s user interface didn’t make it any easier to navigate. Plus, it was buried: it always took me five or ten minutes to figure out where to click in order to get to it. So it’s probably no surprise that it’s now gone. (Technically, you can still create appointment slots until Jan. 4, and any slots you’ve created before then will remain open for a year after that.)
Also gone as of Jan. 4: Calendar syncing through Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync. “With the recent launch of CardDAV, Google now offers similar access via IMAP, CalDAV and CardDAV, making it possible to build a seamless sync experience using open protocols,” Google wrote on its blog.
Also, it might have added: Screw you, Microsoft.
Google is also ending a few other sync tools: Google Calendar Sync (another ActiveSync-based tool), sync for Symbian S60, and SyncML support.
The company is also discontinuing Punchd, an app that lets you keep your loyalty cards on a smartphone. Google acquired Punchd for a reported $10 million in July, 2011. Punchd will be removed from the Google Play store on June 7, 2013. This leaves Google without a way to help you keep track of how many free lattes you have earned at the local coffee shop, but it might add loyalty card support to Google Wallet in the future.
VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying email marketing tools.
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