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Google Programming

Google Will Block Access To Its Autocomplete API On August 10 59

An anonymous reader writes with news reported by VentureBeat that Google will be discontinuing developer access to its unofficial Autocomplete API, as of August 10 of this year. A snippet from the article: Google currently supports more than 80 APIs that developers can use to integrate Google services and data into their applications. The company also has unsupported and unpublished APIs which people outside the company have discovered and leveraged. One of those is the Autocomplete API. The company says it is making this move "in the interest of maintaining the integrity of autocomplete as part of Search," that it wants to "ensure that users experience autocomplete as it was designed to be used," and finally that "this provides the best user experience for both services." I'm sure many will disagree.
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Google Will Block Access To Its Autocomplete API On August 10

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  • wants to "ensure that users experience autocomplete as it was designed to be used,... That is, solely and exclusively for the profit of google. I suspect too many others were making a profit on the API, pulling those dollars away from google.

    At the rate that google pulls working software out of production and mothballs it, I am surprised that anyone relies on any product that google has.

    There does not appear to be any such thing as a long-term supported google product.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by QuietLagoon ( 813062 )
      Looks like I hit a nerve....
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This isn't a Google "product", dumbass. If Google ever intended anyone to use it, then it wouldn't be an unpublished API. Complaining about Google pulling actual published APIs a applications is one thing, but Google is 100% within its rights to block access to people using their services in ways that they never authorised or intended.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        To be fair, Google is still 100% within its rights to block access to their published and supported APIs too. Even if it would be a dick move.

      • > This isn't a Google "product", dumbass

        WTF is this? Reddit? Behave, please. And shame on you all who upmodded flames like this.

    • Like the previous response said, this particular thing isn't a product. But you are right. Long term is not in Google's lexicon. That is 19th century thinking to all the new money flying over our heads. Their products last about as the bubbles in boiling mud. BUT! Mail is still up. Despite all my ISP's ownership changes, I can keep the same email. Actually for long term, AOL is the way to go. I have a 25 year old account, but can't remember the damn password.

    • by Octorian ( 14086 ) on Saturday July 25, 2015 @02:14PM (#50181677) Homepage

      The problem is that because Google does it first and/or best and/or "sufficiently free for adoption", there tend to not be any well known competing products. As such, everyone ends up relying on Google offerings "by default" and doesn't scramble to create replacements until their hands are forced.

      Of course maybe this means that its a good investment to build alternatives to all of Google's offerings, just waiting to take an onrush of new business the moment Google loses interest in them. Then again, that's probably far easier in theory than practice.

      • A real example: PICASA. Before Google bought it, there was a healthy market for local Image|Media Management Software. Picasa was free (and decent) there were better ones though ---- or at least software that had actual options --- All of them died and are gone, except for a couple majors.

        Or Email clients. There was Opera's M2 - dead. And I found "PostBox" last year, but well f' them. It's based on Firefox with "free updates between major versions". Bought in September 2014 - and not a single update was
        • by NetCow ( 117556 )
          There are tons of awesome image management apps and tons of awesome mail clients, most of which are free. Unfortunately (for you), few of these are available on Windows. The problem, as I see it, is your choice of operating systems: the one you're using limits your options. That doesn't mean it's a bad choice for you (for all I know, you're stuck with it due to software otherwise unavailable), but it does mean that, like all of us, you have to make trade-offs in life.
          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            Thunderbird, for email, is actually pretty good now. It is a lot like Outlook Express was and, honestly, OE was a fantastic application. Sadly it was slaughtered by Microsoft. I would love a Linux port of OE. It would be awesome. I should look into seeing if it can be run in Wine but I doubt it - it had a lot of dependencies.

            I do not do a lot of image management (and little to no image manipulation beyond cutting and resizing). I do not have a Linux recommendation. On Windows systems I have been a very happ

            • by Geeky ( 90998 )

              Er. Me. I use ImageMagick - a command line image manipulation tool - for batch resizing and conversion. It works under Windows, Linux and OS X, so I've been using the same scripts for years, even though I use Photoshop now for the heavy duty editing. Although Photoshop has batch conversion options, I've never felt the need to investigate them. The scripts I built around ImageMagick commands years ago still do the job perfectly.

              • by KGIII ( 973947 )

                Heh... I knew there would be at lest one of you. ;) I can see it being valuable for other folks but I do not do that much management or manipulation. I also do not organize stuff well so automating with scripts or customizing scripts would not help me much. However, I was reasonably sure there was at least one of you out there.

              • Image and Media manipulation is not an issue. IrfanView works just fine - along with all of it's commands being available from the command line. ImageMagick's command-line is fine, we use it on the servers --- it could be a bit less convoluted though.

                My choice of "home" OS, hardly affects my choice of software. Most of the Linux stuff runs just fine - if you want to bother with no documentation and limited support. Yet I'm not going to install Java for ANY software. Period. Nor is a PHP/Perl/Python script
        • Picasa was free (and decent) there were better ones though ---- or at least software that had actual options --- All of them died and are gone, except for a couple majors.


          Paid; less than $70:
 [] (admittedly subscription)

          There is no shortage of local photo management and editing applications available for Windows.

          Or Email clients

          I won't spend a huge amount of time posting more links; this page is pretty comprehensive:
          http://alternativeto. []

          • You are posting as if I haven't tried almost all of those. AftershotPro I haven't heard of. Ashampoo? Really? Look at their offerings, it comes across as a scam company that breaks down individual "features" into separate products. ArcSoft - photoediting. The only half-decent thing in your list is ACDSEE. There certainly are a shitload of shitty products. My desktop is offline atm, but there's at least 40+ so-called-managers that I've downloaded and tested over the last 5+ years. Along with these handful on
  • by pellik ( 193063 )
    Google is a bunch of
  • undocumented (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 25, 2015 @01:28PM (#50181439)

    If you use undocumented calls you are all going to have a bad time mmm kay.

    It seems every 'generation' of programmers gets to re-learn this lesson.

  • And the moral of the story is to never rely on anything Google offers to the public as it may disappear one day with minimal warning.
    • by QuasiSteve ( 2042606 ) on Saturday July 25, 2015 @01:37PM (#50181499)

      While the general sentiment of your statement is correct - given the plurality of services they have discontinued in the past - do note that this autocomplete API wasn't particularly "offered to the public"; it was never official or particularly supported.

      Relying on undocumented / unofficial APIs always carries such a risk.

      • Using Google service carries such a risk, whether publish, or undocumented, actived, core or non core.... Google will pull the plug at any minute. Their technology is ideal if you want built in obsolescence you are delivering to a customer.

        Use Google API/service
        Deploy at customer
        Wait until it gets cancelled.
        Redo with something else

    • by chill ( 34294 ) on Saturday July 25, 2015 @01:39PM (#50181509) Journal

      Except Google didn't offer it to the public. It is an unpublished API that is and was unsupported for external use.

      I don't see the problem here. Don't rely on undocumented APIs.

      • by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Saturday July 25, 2015 @02:12PM (#50181659)

        Except Google didn't offer it to the public. It is an unpublished API that is and was unsupported for external use.

        I don't see the problem here.

        Actually, they did offer it to the public. This was an undocumented API. However, like the undocumented maps API, it was exposed to the public. As such, it was offered, just not documented.

        Don't rely on undocumented APIs

        Google actually encourages people to experiment with their public but undocumented APIs as part of their strategy. However, however experimenting with and releasing a product based on it are two different things. Google has a tendency to throw things against the wall and see what sticks. Maps, definitely stuck and they could even monetize it. Likely, this API also stuck, or it wouldn't be news. However, it probably was being used in ways that they couldn't monetize. Which, is why double-speeak of trying to protect the integrity of what it was originally designed for (aka Google Search).

        Of course, it is their API and nobody was charged anything to use it, so Google is free to do as they wish with it.

      • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

        Except Google didn't offer it to the public. It is an unpublished API that is and was unsupported for external use.

        Is this the same API that Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc. use for autocompleting search queries in their search boxes? If so, and if they disable it, there are going to be a lot of unhappy people, and by a lot, I mean literally every human being who uses a web browser.

        • by chill ( 34294 )

          Google is blocking 3rd-party developer use of this API -- not use by Google products. When using Google APIs you embed a Client ID that identifies you as a developer / licensee. Google can simply restrict access to this API to approved, internal Client IDs.

  • The "haters" of Google on this and other Google "negative" stories recently remind me of the Life of Brian scene:

    What have the Romans ever done for us? []

    • The reason people hate the "new" Google is because they actually liked the OLD Google, that is pre IPO.

      The old Google was like this mad scientist company full of engineers just throwing out all these cool ideas and seeing what people liked, the "new" Google cares only about the stock price and I have zero doubt is no longer being run by engineers but by MBAs (Masters of Being Assholes) who show each other PPTs and say things like "our data shows that the crucial 19-35 demographic currently enjoys X", see how they tried to ram G+ down our throats because their data showed kids like Facebook. The old Google would have never done that, hell you used to have to fight for an INVITE to get to play with the newest Google stuff and people did, because it was nearly always cool and innovative takes on some idea, now its just another Charmin, a large corp cranking out products based on marketing data and that makes a lot of us sad pandas :-(

  • Google has an amazing (and free, up to a pretty generous rate limit) geocoder (turns text strings into GPS coordinates). Only problem: you're not allowed to use it to do geocoding. The ONLY thing you're allowed to use it for is to build a Google Map. (For those looking for a free and high-quality alternative, I recommend OpenCage [])

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.