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Google's 'spring cleaning' hits features in search, news

The company announces it will no longer support lesser-used features in a variety of products.

Fall may have started, but Google's year-old "spring cleaning" is still ongoing. 

That's the euphemism Google uses for products that it no longer plans to support. 

Most of the changes announced today are minor, but a handful are of note to a wide swath of users: 

  • Storage in Picasa and Drive will be consolidated so that free users have a combined 5GB across both services. And if you pay, you won't get the 5GB in addition to the amount you paid for. (In other words: pay for 100GB of storage, and 100GB is all you get.) 
  • AdSense for Feeds, a way publishers could monetize RSS feeds by inserting ads into the feed, will be "retired" starting in October. Publishers can continue to use the feed URLs, though. 
  • Classic Plus, a search feature that let people select their own background images on, will no longer be available as of Oct. 16. 

Google is also eliminating spreadsheet gadgets, Google News badges, and the Places Directory app for Android. For more information, check out the full blog post.