When Google made its infamous decision to kill off Google Reader, it didn't offer much in the way of reasoning, saying only that the RSS aggregator's usage was in decline and the company had made a conscious decision to focus on fewer products. That explanation failed to quell a massive backlash from passionate users who continue to plead with Google to keep Reader alive. As the July 1st cutoff approaches, Google is showing no signs of a change of heart, but it is trying to better explain the unpopular move.
"As a culture we have moved into a realm where the consumption of news is a near-constant process," Richard Gringras, Google's senior director of news and social products, told Wired. "Users with smartphones and tablets are consuming news in bits and bites throughout the course of the day — replacing the old standard behaviors of news consumption over breakfast along with a leisurely read at the end of the day." Grangras said Google is looking into new ways of delivering news to users through its other services with one goal: you'll receive "the right information at the right time." That sounds awfully close to Google Now's motto, one potential avenue for delivering news, with the refreshed Google+ serving as another path for a more social news-sharing experience. Regardless of where Google chooses to go, ultimately the takeaway here is that yes, Reader is dying, and your smartphone is the leading culprit. Thankfully for those who don't share Google's philosophy, there are plenty of alternatives.