Google Podcasts, basic Gmail, and more! – Ars Technica


Google is looking quite shabby these days.
in great shape , Google is looking quite shabby these days.

orich lawson

Google has been discontinuing so many products lately, we needed to do a roundup otherwise we wouldn’t be able to do anything else today. First on the docket is the inevitable death of Google Podcasts. We’ve been keeping an eye on Google Podcasts since Google New The podcast platform, YouTube Podcasts, launched in April. YouTube is slowly consuming all of Google’s media properties, and podcasts complete the trinity with video (both amateur and scripted Hollywood content) and music.

Google doesn’t need two podcast apps, so Google Podcasts should die out. it was announced But The official YouTube blog, if there are any questions about the party responsible. Google Podcasts is shutting down “later in 2024,” but before then, we’ll see the expansion of YouTube Podcasts, which is currently only available in the US. YouTube says its Podcasts platform (which is built into the YouTube Music app) will be available “globally” before the end of the year.

Google Podcasts App.
in great shape , Google Podcasts App.

Google

Google Podcasts was Google’s third podcasting service, following the Google Reader-powered Google Listen (2009–2012) and Google Play Music Podcasts (2016–2020). Google Podcasts technically started in 2016 as a quirky podcast player that was only accessible through mobile Google Search. Searching for podcasts in the Google app would show a play button next to episode search results, but there was no way to subscribe to a podcast. Android Google Podcasts finally gets podcast-defining subscription support after two years, but you can’t really call the service viable until the iOS app finally launches in 2020.

In 2024, Google Podcasts will clock out at 8 years old, if you want to count from the weird Google search beginning, but only the podcast service has had a minimal feature set for four years. With a startup process like this, it’s no surprise that Google Podcasts isn’t very popular, with YouTube saying, “According to Edison, about 23% of weekly podcast users in the US say YouTube is their most used podcast.” is the go-to service, while only 4% for Google Podcasts.”

YouTube Premium Lite is moving towards darkness

Staying with Team YouTube, the next door Google’s Grim Reaper is knocking on is YouTube Premium Lite. While YouTube Premium gives you access to ad-free YouTube and YouTube Music, the “Lite” version was a Europe-only budget plan that reduced the feature set to ad-free YouTube videos only. The cost was 6.99 euros/month, which was a good discount from the then current price of 11.99 euros per month. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s because it’s only received a very small rollout in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.

You can put this shutdown in the “Google price hike” pile this year. The price of regular YouTube Premium rose to $13.99/13.24 euros in July, and locking out the lower tier is a way to raise the price for everyone else. All current YouTube Premium Lite subscribers received an email stating that their current subscription will expire on October 25, 2023, and if they want to watch ad-free YouTube, now is the time to pay full price.

Gmail’s “Basic HTML” client gets archived

Now submitting ticket #003: Gmail’s native HTML view! The default Gmail web client is so complex and heavy that it doesn’t always work well with the world’s browsers. To ensure that Gmail remains accessible to everyone, a very simple “Basic HTML” Gmail client has been around for almost as long as Gmail itself. If there is ever a problem loading the default client, you will be booted into native HTML mode as an escape hatch.

The days of browser compatibility concerns are apparently over, as native HTML Gmail is retiring in early January 2024. Google sent a notice to several Workspace administrators (including this writer) last week.

Basic HTML Gmail has managed to trick Everyone Gmail’s redesign over the years, so today, it serves as a wonderful time capsule that shows what email was like before Google’s designers became obsessed with JavaScript and white space. It also lacks the myriad features that have been developed over the years, such as label colors, offline support, encrypted email, and scheduled sending. Even the “tips” below have not been updated. I got a message saying “Try http://mail.google.com in your phone’s browser!” that is gmail mobile WebsiteNot an app, and it is recommended to use unencrypted “http”.

The desktop version is still available here, while the mobile version is at this link. The mobile version feels like it was made for the original iPhone, when Web apps were the only way to exist on phones, and the App Store was a mere gleam in Steve Jobs’ eye. Mobile still has the option to view mail “from your circles” – this is your long-discontinued Google+ friends list – and for me, it showed a bunch of mail from 2017.

According to Chrome’s network tracker, today, full-fat Gmail loads about 14.4 MB (much of it cached for future visits), while the native HTML version is an impossibly small 143 KB. Today, you can probably overcome that with a single JavaScript framework!

There is some concern about what this means for accessibility. The native HTML version is popular among visually impaired users due to its compatibility with screen readers. To Google’s credit, its email to administrators included a link to a huge document detailing how well the current Gmail works with screen readers. Email is email, there’s always the option to load a third-party client instead.

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