Google is continuing its seemingly neverending string of "cleanups" by shutting down even more features or services few people use or which are too expensive to maintain. The big thing on the list is Google Sync, which is no longer available to paying users.Several Google Calendar features are also on the chopping block and also is Punchd, a loyalty card service Google bought last year.
Google Sync enables users to access Gmail, Calendar and Contacts via Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync.
It is designed to make it possible to already use the protocol and infrastructure to incorporate Google services.
But Google is shutting down the service, as of January 30, 2013, for which it pays a license to Microsoft, for non-paying users of Gmail, Calendar and so on.
Google Apps for Business, Education and Government will continue to support the feature.
Free users will be able to rely on the standard IMAP, CalDAV and CardDAV to sync data between services and apps without the need of ActiveSync.
Google Calendar Sync is also on the go; it has already been shut down, along with Google Sync for Nokia S60 which will be closed on January 30, 2013. Finally, SyncML is closing on the same day.
Speaking of Calendar, the Appointment Slots feature is being discontinued. You won't be able to add new appointment slots, but you can use your existing ones for another year.
Two Calendar Labs experiments are also being removed, Smart Rescheduler and Add Gadget by URL. "Check your calendar via sms" and "Create event via sms," which only work in the US, are being discontinued.
Finally, Punchd, a loyalty card service that Google bought in 2011 is being shut down, as of June 7, 2013. The mobile apps will be removed and merchants won't support the service anymore, but existing users will still accumulate rewards and be able to redeem them up to the closure date.