The difference between the Analog/Digital switch being that it was a government mandated change. Everyone knew about it for a very long time and there was a legitimate reason for the change (to free up a scarce public resource). In Australia at least, the government even offered coupons for Digital TV tuners so that existing TV's could still be used.
In this case, Google just can't be bothered supporting their old API any more. (I wouldn't be surprised if their new API forces the collection of more data or something like that).