Google’s Takeout feature isn’t quite what it sounds like, but it’s still useful (albeit less delicious). This service allows you to download all your data from a specific Google service to keep for yourself. Google is now expanding this feature to Gmail and Google Calendar. The Calendar Takeout is available to users right now; Gmail Takeout will be coming to everyone in the next month.
This feature exists for a few reasons. Obviously, someone might want to collect all the data they have put into the cloud, which would make this feature extremely convenient. Also, those who want to switch services could download these archives and import them into a new service. For example, Gmail will output an MBOX format backup, which can be imported into a few different services. Good Guy Google, making it easier for someone to leave its service.
The third option is extremely unlikely, but I like to think it’s possible. Google is leaving the web service game and is giving you the option of collecting the data before these services are shut down. Will this situation play out like Google Reader? I think Apple will open source iOS before that happens, but you never know!
I’m glad Google is putting in features like this, allowing people to collect and transfer their data as they see fit. Do you have any use for such a feature?