Yesterday I stopped using Google Reader, a couple of days ahead of Google shutting down the service. Like many other people, I’ve been very upset about the demise of Google Reader. Before Google Reader opened, I was happily paying a monthly sub to Newsgator for their superior RSS aggregation service. Once Google Reader appeared for free, Newsgator cancelled their service – Google effectively destroyed the market for RSS aggregation overnight. I was quite shocked when I discovered that Google Reader didn’t allow authenticated RSS subscriptions, as Newsgator had, but I learned to live with it. Now Google have killed Reader with only a few months’ warning and left us all in the lurch.

I’ve switched to Feedbin. I like the website design, the feeds seem to update quickly, and it syncs with my preferred client software (Reeder). I don’t grudge the $2/month fee at all. RSS aggregation is an essential part of my toolset: without it, I would not be able to do my job.

But now I’ve discovered another Google-related problem. I recently had to reset the content of my iPhone. When I recreated my Gmail account on the phone, I discovered that I could no longer set it up for push email. Worse still, I’m forced to use IMAP which doesn’t work over the firewall at the office. The reason is that Google no longer allow non-Google Apps accounts to use “Activesync” to synchronise content.

Now, I would happily pay the $5/month for Google Apps, purely in order to get my syncing back, but that is not possible either: when you setup a Google Apps account, you have to also create and use a new domain name. It is effectively a totally separate account. Google have made it impossible for me to buy syncing which will work with my existing account.

So I think I’m going to give up. I’ve been using Gmail since day one, and advocated it to all and sundry, but Google are making it impossible for me to continue using their service. The thought of having to change email address is terrifying – the account is linked to so many other things. But what else can I do? I need something that works quickly and works whether I’m in the office or at home.