The tech that died in 2020

Even in a 12 months like 2020, one factor did not change within the tech world: Sure units, applied sciences, and providers shut down. The causes differ, as does the extent of remorse. Some issues we’ll miss; some issues we by no means cared about; and others, we’re glad to point out the door. This 12 months, we’re dividing the departed by how a lot we predict most individuals will truly care. Try our listing beneath and wave goodbye or good riddance to:

Tech we’ll truly miss


farmville1 mainbannerimage min Zynga

Few Flash video games hitting finish of life deserve their very own entry, however few video games have ever seized the general public creativeness like Zynga’s FarmVille. The corporate introduced that as of December 31, 2020, FarmVille would drift off into the sunset with the remainder of the Flash-based world.

FarmVille existed on Fb, and for a number of years the social community felt extra like a car for the sport than anything. Between June and October, 2009, 62 million individuals signed as much as play the sport, as reported by The New York Times. On the time that was near one-fifth of Facebook’s global user baseFarmVille was huge, to not point out addicting. It had every part: critics, a Lady Gaga tie-in, business scandals, and one particularly horrific story.

With FarmVille you constructed a farm by rising digital crops and livestock. You had freedom to design your farm as you needed. The extra work you place in, the larger and higher your farm grew. You may velocity up progress with in-game purchases. 

The addictive half was that FarmVille occurred in actual time, no matter whether or not you have been tending to your homestead. That led to quite a few notifications in the course of the course of the day that your crops have been prepared to reap. A FarmViller delayed at their peril, as they risked ruining all their onerous work.

It was a gaming obsession that we actually haven’t seen since. For anybody who misses the digital dwelling on the vary, there’s all the time FarmVille 3.

Google Play Music 

googleplaymusic Google

Almost a decade in the past cloud-based music lockers have been the massive craze from corporations like Amazon, Apple, and Google. However when the mud settles there could be just one (or two, or three). Google determined that 2020 was pretty much as good a time as any to cease duplicating its music efforts (because it’s so busy churning out new messaging apps), and made December 2020 the final death date for Google Play Music.

It was a months-long demise for the service as Google inspired its customers to switch to the brand new hotness: YouTube Music. In August, Google blocked new uploads and downloads via its Music Supervisor app, and the music retailer was closed. In September, streaming music from the cloud began shutting down across the globe, and by the top of December all private music collections have been deleted.

The service changing it, YouTube Music, is free to make use of and presents a premium membership to get ad-free music and to obtain music for offline listening.

Nintendo 3DS 

After 9.5 years and 76 million unit gross sales, Nintendo lastly mentioned goodbye to Nintendo 3DS in 2020. The 3DS handheld gaming system was a revelation when it first got here out in 2011, as a result of it supplied a glasses-free 3D expertise again when the world misplaced its thoughts and thought 3D was superior.

nintendo3ds Evan Amos

We reviewed the 3DS again then, and mentioned it “could also be much less a gaming handheld than a totable multimedia heart, solely considered one of whose actions occurs to be gaming.”

The 3DS was for video games, in fact, however it additionally allow you to join with buddies, take photos, stream movies from quite a lot of providers, report audio, browse the online, and extra. It was a tool that continued to carry the fascination of thousands and thousands for practically a decade, however its time lastly got here in September when Nintendo mentioned it could now not manufacture the 3DS household of programs, as reported by the BBC.


The writing was on the wall in June, 2015, as soon as Microsoft acquired the corporate behind Wunderlist, the favored to-do listing app. Wunderlist has been up for deactivation since 2017 as a part of Microsoft’s plans with its personal To Do app. It took some time to verify this merchandise off the listing, however the firm lastly stopped supporting Wunderlist in Might.

You are still right here?


attlogo AT&T

Farewell, DSL. America’s largest Web service supplier is giving up on phone strains for broadband connections.

When digital subscriber line (DSL) first got here out it was a revelation. As a substitute of dreadfully sluggish dial-up connections, we might use phone strains to get always-on, high-speed broadband Web.

It wasn’t lengthy, nonetheless, till we had even sooner cable connections. Now the brand new purpose is to get blazing-fast fiber connections.

DSL has been sitting on the chopping block for some time now, however it wasn’t till 2020 that AT&T took motion. In October, the corporate mentioned it could cease promoting new DSL connections. “We’re starting to section out outdated providers like DSL and new orders for the service will now not be supported after October 1,” the corporate mentioned. Current subscribers can nonetheless use their DSL, however new customers gained’t be capable of get the service. The change is hardest for individuals in rural areas the place AT&T DSL is the one possibility, as USA Today reported.

Chrome apps

chrome.max 2800x2800 Google

In January Google introduced it could be putting an end to Chrome apps. Not extensions, thoughts you, simply these standalone internet apps that function in their very own home windows like a desktop app, quite than in a browser tab.

That is the second time we’ve heard the dying knell ringing for Chrome apps. Google introduced manner again in 2016 that it could give up on Chrome apps by 2018.

That by no means occurred, however this time it seems to be the actual deal. Google stopped accepting new public Chrome apps to the Chrome Net Retailer in March. By June, 2021, Chrome App assist on Home windows, Mac, and Linux will finish. Chrome OS will hold working Chrome Apps till June, 2022. 

Google said it’s giving up on Chrome Apps as a result of “vital progress of the trendy Net and its skill to ship firstclass consumer experiences for customers.” Chrome Apps make much less sense when Progressive Net Apps (PWAs) ship the same expertise that isn’t essentially tied to Chrome. Plus with Android and Linux apps working on newer Chrome OS bins, Google’s browser apps are now not crucial.

Fb’s Home windows 10 App 

“Fb had an app within the Home windows Retailer?” Sure, it did, and no, it by no means made a lot sense. When the app came out in 2016 it was meant to focus on not solely PCs however tablets and Home windows telephones (keep in mind these?).

facebookwin10 100658376 large Fb

The debut model of Fb for Home windows 10.

The Fb app did have some benefits, as a result of it might use Home windows 10’s built-in notifications and assist Stay Tiles. Nevertheless it by no means made a lot sense on PC as a result of the web site was Fb’s focus for the desktop. With telephones gone, and Home windows tablets ready to make use of the web site, it wasn’t that shocking when Fb put an finish to its Home windows 10 app in February, as MSPoweruser reported.

Fb isn’t the one firm to discard its UWP app. In reality, Microsoft appears to be setting the stage to surrender on UWP within the not-too-distant future. Microsoft shut down its ad monetization platform for UWP in June. This adopted a 2019 choice to bring traditional Win32 games to the Windows 10 App Store, in obvious give up to developer and consumer preferences. UWP apps are nonetheless kicking, however until there’s an enormous change the platform appears marked for irrelevance.


mixer website logo Microsoft

Microsoft’s dream of making a Twitch competitor died on July 22, 2020. That’s the day that Mixer shut down and Microsoft partnered with Fb Gaming as an alternative.

Mixer was a reside online game broadcasting service identical to Twitch, however Microsoft’s Twitch-style goals have been by no means that fashionable. Microsoft first bought into the enterprise after it acquired the “interactive livestreaming service,” Beam, in 2016. By 2017 it was reimagined as Mixer. In a push to extend the service’s recognition Microsoft made multi-million greenback offers in 2019 with well-known streamers resembling Ninja and Shroud. Nevertheless it wasn’t sufficient to spice up the viewer base, and by the summer season of 2020 all former Mixer streamers have been free to move to other platforms.

VR follies 

oculus go Oculus

At one level many anticipated digital actuality headsets to both conquer the world or go the way in which of 3D TVs and cell phone VR. Neither final result actually occurred. VR retains on trucking with newer units just like the Oculus Quest 2 that don’t require tethering to an expensive gaming PC. Nonetheless, some VR platforms and units mentioned goodbye in 2020, together with the Oculus Go and Oculus Rift S headsets.

On the cellular aspect, Google’s Daydream VR platform for cell phones gave up the ghost. Google mentioned within the fall it could no longer support Daydream VR software, and that gadgets just like the Daydream VR app wouldn’t work correctly on Android 11.

Previous to Google’s choice, Samsung killed its XR digital actuality service on September 30, 2020. The end of the XR platform got here after Samsung’s earlier choice to surrender on its Gear VR headsets.

Lastly, Steam determined to focus its VR efforts PCs and gave up on Steam VR for Mac.

Good riddance!

Adobe Flash Participant

flash player 11 icon rgb Adobe

Within the 90s, Adobe Flash wasn’t only a part you used on the internet; it just about was the online. Flash was how we performed internet video games, each main leisure web site used Flash, and let’s not overlook about all these Flash-powered advertisements.

Flash was a improbable instrument for its time, however it had security issues and power efficiency problems on laptops, amongst different drawbacks. In order the trendy internet developed, Flash’s doom was inevitable.

Flash truly held on far longer than anybody anticipated, contemplating Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs fired the first shot at Flash manner again in 2010 along with his well-known open letter. Its decline began formally in 2017 when Adobe mentioned it could kill support for Flash by the end of 2020. Browser makers additionally began to restrict Flash, and finally blocked it entirely.

Now the time has come for Flash to fade away. As of December 31, Adobe ends assist for Flash. The corporate will block content material from working in Flash Participant starting January 12, 2021.

That is excellent news for the online’s progress. Do you have to really feel a pang of nostalgia, the Internet Archive emulates Flash animations, video games, and toys in its software program assortment, letting you occasion prefer it’s 1999.

Amazon Echo Look

echo look primary 2 Amazon

On this planet of the Web of issues corporations provide you with some wacky concepts. One such was Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo Look digital camera. This was a selfie digital camera that may supply vogue recommendation based mostly on what you have been sporting. The style recommendation was a mash-up of machine studying and “vogue specialists” that may choose your look based mostly on shade, form, match, and, in fact, footwear.

When we reviewed the Look back in 2018 we thought it was enjoyable for taking selfies, however the vogue recommendation left quite a bit to be desired. Customers apparently thought so too as this $200 doohickey by no means caught on. The Look and its companion app ceased to work on July 24.

Amazon hasn’t given up on doling out vogue recommendation, nonetheless, as that function is now a part of the Amazon Procuring app and different Alexa-enabled units.

Home windows 7 

Variations of the Home windows working programs are so extensively used they’ve a number of deaths to arrange customers for the inevitable. These embrace the top of retail gross sales, finish of function assist, and the top of safety updates. The latter is the ultimate nail within the coffin, and Windows 7’s end of life hit in January, 2020. PCs rocking Home windows 7 can nonetheless function, in fact, and like Windows XP fans before them Home windows 7 customers will possible keep logging time on the old OS whatever the lack of safety updates.

windows 7 logo in the rear view mirror pan xiaozhen modified by IDG Comm. / Microsoft (CC0)

Home windows 7 was a welcome follow-up to Home windows Vista, consistent with the Microsoftian custom of 1 dangerous OS launch adopted by a superb one. Home windows 7 constructed on a few of Vista’s sturdy foundations whereas eradicating its annoyances and producing a usually higher expertise.

It was a improbable OS, however in the event you’re utilizing a Home windows 7 PC it truly is time to maneuver on. Most Home windows 7 PCs ought to be capable of run Home windows 10, and whereas the interface isn’t the identical it’s a improbable working system in its personal proper.

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