When Google (News - Alert) announced that it was retiring Google Reader last week, the news wasn't taken too well by those who still actively use the RSS feed aggregator. Well, those upset by that news likely won't take today's news — that a related Chrome extension enabling the browser to handle RSS feeds is also being retired — very well either.
However, while Google Reader won't be officially retired until July 1, the RSS Chrome extension, which would detect Websites' feeds and help people use various RSS readers to subscribe to those feeds, has already been withdrawn from the Chrome Web Store.
Fortunately, there exists a very similar option aptly named the RSS Subscription Extension that RSS enthusiasts can still turn to. Best of all, it is based on Google's RSS extension and operates almost identically to it.
While many have placed the blame on Google for the decline of RSS, a technology that makes it easier to subscribe to regular updates posted on websites, due to lack of Google Reader development over the last couple years, the situation is a bit more complicated. The fact is that the average consumer just isn't interested in what RSS has to offer and, like any consumer-facing company, Google is going to put its best efforts into maintaining services the majority of consumers will use.
However, there is obviously still a sizable number of people using RSS, based on the outcry in response to Google Reader's retirement, while the user bases of other feed aggregators have expanded by the hundreds of thousands over the last week.
Google Reader's retirement was part of another batch of "spring cleaning," which also included the Google Voice app for BlackBerry (News - Alert), Google Cloud Connect and Snapseed Desktop.
However, while some products have been eliminated, others have been enhanced, particularly Google Translate, which received a new personalized phrasebook feature last week.
Edited by Brooke Neuman