Google ‘spring cleans’ their API’s and kills off Translate
May 29, 2011
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On Thursday, Google’s APIs Product Manager Adam Feldman made a posting On the GoogleCode blog that as per standard deprecation procedures some older API’s would be closing down. The closed down services would be provided under new API’s. One service however, does not have a replacement API and that is Google Translate. Instead they announced it’s closure by December, without replacing it, and that all use of it will be throttled until then. The only translate options available to people will be through the Google Translate Element and the ability to allow pages to be translated to other languages. As of today, the Translate API page reads:
The Google Translate API has been officially deprecated as of May 26, 2011. Due to the substantial economic burden caused by extensive abuse, the number of requests you may make per day will be limited and the API will be shut off completely on December 1, 2011.
I’m not quite sure what ‘extensive abuse’ means nor what made Google announce this quite so rapidly and underhandedly but something certainly has. Other deprecated APIs are being maintained indefinitely with limits on the rate of requests per user. None of them is being cancelled within six months, and none of them are half as widely used!
There have been over 150 replies to that post so far, almost all about the Translate API cancellation, mostly negative and some calling for a charged API but so far there has been no significant update from Feldman or any mention of the change on the Google Translate blog.
The shutdown of the Google Translate API will kill what has become a cottage industry of iPhone, Android, and other mobile phone and web apps that embed translation services, such as SMS programs that send messages in the recipient’s language.