The tech that died in 2020

Even in a yr like 2020, one factor did not change within the tech world: Sure units, applied sciences, and companies 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 yr, we’re dividing the departed by how a lot we predict most individuals will really care. Take a look at our record under and wave goodbye or good riddance to:

Tech we’ll really miss



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 sundown with the remainder of the Flash-based world.

FarmVille existed on Fb, and for just a few 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 Occasions. On the time that was near one-fifth of Fb’s international person base. FarmVille was big, to not point out addicting. It had every little thing: critics, a Girl Gaga tie-in, enterprise scandals, and one notably 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 can pace up progress with in-game purchases. 

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

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

Google Play Music 


Practically a decade in the past cloud-based music lockers had been the large craze from firms like Amazon, Apple, and Google. However when the mud settles there might be just one (or two, or three). Google determined that 2020 was nearly 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 ultimate loss of life 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 by means of 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 tip of December all private music collections had been deleted.

The service changing it, YouTube Music, is free to make use of and provides 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 gadget was a revelation when it first got here out in 2011, as a result of it offered a glasses-free 3D expertise again when the world misplaced its thoughts and thought 3D was superior.

Evan Amos

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

The 3DS was for video games, in fact, but it surely additionally allow you to join with mates, take footage, stream movies from quite a lot of companies, document 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 might not manufacture the 3DS household of methods, 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 record 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 examine this merchandise off the record, however the firm lastly stopped supporting Wunderlist in Might.

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Farewell, DSL. America’s largest Web service supplier is giving up on phone traces 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 may use phone traces to get always-on, high-speed broadband Web.

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

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

Chrome apps


In January Google introduced it might be placing an finish to Chrome apps. Not extensions, thoughts you, simply these standalone net apps that function in their very own home windows like a desktop app, fairly than in a browser tab.

That is the second time we’ve heard the loss of life knell ringing for Chrome apps. Google introduced manner again in 2016 that it might surrender 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 Internet Retailer in March. By June, 2021, Chrome App assist on Home windows, Mac, and Linux will finish. Chrome OS will maintain working Chrome Apps till June, 2022. 

Google mentioned it’s giving up on Chrome Apps on account of “vital progress of the trendy Internet and its skill to ship top quality person experiences for customers.” Chrome Apps make much less sense when Progressive Internet Apps (PWAs) ship an analogous expertise that isn’t essentially tied to Chrome. Plus with Android and Linux apps working on newer Chrome OS packing containers, Google’s browser apps are 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 got here out in 2016 it was meant to focus on not solely PCs however tablets and Home windows telephones (keep in mind these?).


The debut model of Fb for Home windows 10.

The Fb app did have some benefits, as a result of it may use Home windows 10’s built-in notifications and assist Dwell Tiles. However 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. The truth is, Microsoft appears to be setting the stage to surrender on UWP within the not-too-distant future. Microsoft shut down its advert monetization platform for UWP in June. This adopted a 2019 choice to convey conventional Win32 video games to the Home windows 10 App Retailer, in obvious give up to developer and person preferences. UWP apps are nonetheless kicking, however until there’s a giant change the platform appears marked for irrelevance.



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 a substitute.

Mixer was a stay online game broadcasting service identical to Twitch, however Microsoft’s Twitch-style desires had been by no means that well-liked. Microsoft first acquired 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 similar to Ninja and Shroud. However it wasn’t sufficient to spice up the viewer base, and by the summer time of 2020 all former Mixer streamers had been free to move to other platforms.

VR follies 


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 consequence actually occurred. VR retains on trucking with newer units just like the Oculus Quest 2 that don’t require tethering to an costly 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 facet, Google’s Daydream VR platform for cellphones gave up the ghost. Google mentioned within the fall it might not assist Daydream VR software program, 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 tip 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


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 net video games, each main leisure web site used Flash, and let’s not neglect about all these Flash-powered advertisements.

Flash was a unbelievable instrument for its time, but it surely had safety points and energy effectivity issues on laptops, amongst different drawbacks. In order the trendy net developed, Flash’s doom was inevitable.

Flash really held on far longer than anybody anticipated, contemplating Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs fired the primary shot at Flash manner again in 2010 together with his well-known open letter. Its decline began formally in 2017 when Adobe mentioned it might kill assist for Flash by the tip of 2020. Browser makers additionally began to limit Flash, and finally blocked it solely.

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 Web Archive emulates Flash animations, video games, and toys in its software program assortment, letting you celebration prefer it’s 1999.

Amazon Echo Look


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

After we reviewed the Look again in 2018 we thought it was enjoyable for taking selfies, however the vogue recommendation left so much 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 methods are so broadly used they’ve a number of deaths to arrange customers for the inevitable. These embody the tip of retail gross sales, finish of function assist, and the tip of safety updates. The latter is the ultimate nail within the coffin, and Home windows 7’s finish of life hit in January, 2020. PCs rocking Home windows 7 can nonetheless function, in fact, and like Home windows XP followers earlier than them Home windows 7 customers will probably maintain logging time on the outdated OS whatever the lack of safety updates.

pan xiaozhen modified by IDG Comm. / Microsoft (CC0)

Home windows 7 was a welcome follow-up to Home windows Vista, in line with the Microsoftian custom of 1 unhealthy OS launch adopted by a great 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 unbelievable OS, however should you’re utilizing a Home windows 7 PC it truly is time to maneuver on. Most Home windows 7 PCs ought to be capable to run Home windows 10, and whereas the interface isn’t the identical it’s a unbelievable working system in its personal proper.

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