Google Creates Another Storm By Killing Weather API

Earlier this week, The Next Web reported Google quietly killed it's Weather API (the API is what makes Google's iGoogle Weather gadget work). For most iGoogle users, killing the API was no big deal. Google quietly replaced it in the iGoogle gadget with one from Weather Underground. So what is the big deal?

Even though the API was "private" and Google was "within it's rights" to pull it without notice,  it's an open secret many developers use it in apps that are no longer functioning. The weather widget in Awesome New Tab Page, among the Chrome Apps that Google is counting on to replace iGoogle, was down. And, there's plenty of unhappy comment about it in the twitterverse.  Considering "everything we do in connection with our work at Google will be, and should be, measured against the highest possible standards of ethical business conduct", a little notice would have been the right thing to do. Developers, you may be able to find a suitable replacement API at ProgrammableWeb.

This is another action that gives consumers, developers and enterprise users one more reason to question Google integrity and focus. At SaveiGoogle.org, we know making value judgments are usually a no win situation. But, really? Keeping the Weather API and iGoogle, with uses like those noted in the pictured comment from ianray at "Don't take my iGoogle away!", is less important than developing Google+ Hangouts effects? It may be cute and fun, but how does a Chief Technology Officer explain that "feature" when describing business benefits of Google+ Hangouts?

P.S. We know, we owe you a list of iGoogle alternatives! The list we're evaluating has grown to over 75! Even if the feature list isn't complete, we'll publish a draft by Tuesday.

Posted in News Story, Observation, Rant