December 26, 2019
The end of the road: 7 tech products that died in 2019
Here today, gone tomorrow. With the rapid pace of innovation and competition constantly entering the technology stratosphere, some products don't always last. As 2019 closes out, here are seven notable tech products that shut down this year.
Launched in 2011, Google+ was the tech giant's first attempt at creating a social network, to compete with the likes of Facebook and Twitter. The platform was integrated with Photos, Hangouts and even YouTube. At one point, consumers were required to make an account to leave comments on YouTube videos or sign into Gmail. In 2015, the company announced its disbandment of the requirement.
The platform officially shut down in April, four months ahead of its initially planned timeline after a bug was found in its API in November of 2018. The bug exposed the data of over 50 million users leading Google to cut its ties early.
The discount movie ticket subscription service once granted subscribers access to a movie a day for a monthly fee of only $9.95. The company had been struggling to stay afloat for over a year, tweaking its subscription model numerous times to generate more revenue, but came to an abrupt end in September.
iTunes for Mac
Apple announced at the Worldwide Developer's Conference 2019, the pending shutdown of its 18-year-old music and media management tool, iTunes for the Mac. First launched in 2001, Apple noted it would be replacing the software with three separate, new apps: Apple Music, Apple TV and Apple Podcasts.
The transition rolled out with Apple's latest operating system update, macOS Catalina. Despite the sunset, Mac users with a pre-Catalina OS can still access their old iTunes and the software still resides on millions of Windows machines.
Inbox by Google
This popular email app also faced a shutdown in April of this year. The app was first launched in 2014 to increase email productivity, allowing users to create bundles, snooze emails and set reminders. Users were alerted of the app sunset through notifications saying 'going away soon' within the app. Google redirected users to its regular Gmail app, noting many features from Inbox by Gmail would be added in.
Apple AirPower Wireless Charging Mat
The wireless charging mat, first announced in September 2017, never made it to production. It was expected to be powerful enough to charge multiple Apple products simultaneously. After over a year delay on its release, Apple pulled the plug on the product entirely in March, citing its inability to meet the company's standards.
Bose Noise-masking Sleepbuds
The tiny, wireless, earbuds were originally designed to mask noise by using pre-loaded sounds to help users sleep. The $250 one-of-a-kind product was the first to use Bose noise-masking technology but was soon followed by customer complaints concerning its failure to work or charge. The prototype was first introduced on Indiegogo in 2017 but has now been discontinued due to battery failure issues. Returns of the product will be accepted until Dec. 31.
Samsung Blu-Ray Players
There won't be any new rollouts of Samsung Blu-Ray Players. In response to earlier reports of the shutdown, the company told CNET, "Samsung will no longer introduce new Blu-ray or 4K Blu-ray player models in the US market."
With the rise of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, the need for physical disks have dwindled significantly. Although, no new Blu-Ray players are in the works, many retailers such as BestBuy still have older models available for purchase.
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