From Google’s failed attempt at a social media platform to Apple’s wireless charging mat that never saw the light of the day, here is a list of tech products that 2019 did not really favour.
The pace at which technology is rapidly progressing, we get to see a bunch of new and interesting products every single year. These products do not only change the way we look at technology but also help shape the future. But this rise in technology also leads to the downfall of several technology products.
While some of them simply failed to take off, other tech products were just terrible business decisions, to begin with. As we anticipate the coming year, we should also take a good look at some of the most popular technology products that shut down in 2019. Needless to say, a lot of them are products from Google.
Google’s ambitious social media platform Google+ officially shut down this year. In December last year, Google announced that it would kill the consumer version of Google+ in April, four months ahead of the originally planned timeline. Google+ suffered another vulnerability last year, impacting over 50 million users. This is one tech product that failed to impress users and after discovering two vulnerabilities, Google couldn’t take it anymore. Some of the public content shared on Google+ will still remain alive though.
- Inbox by Google
Inbox by Gmail is another popular product Google shut down in April this year, after announcing its plans to kill the popular email app in 2019. Users started receiving a notification in the app, saying Inbox by Gmail will be ‘going away’ in a few days. Users of the app were being redirected to the Gmail app. Google has been adding some of the features from Inbox by Google to the regular Gmail mobile app while promising to add more. Inbox by Gmail was launched back in 2014 as an attempt to offer a more productive app for power email users. Inbox by Gmail co-creator also released a Chrome extension that promised to give Gmail users a cleaner inbox but it didn’t grab a lot of interest.
- iTunes for Mac
At this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple’s Craig Federhigi made it clear that iTunes will soon be history. macOS Catalina split Apple’s bloated, and somewhat terrible, desktop app into separate smaller apps. You now have Music, TV, and Podcasts apps instead of a single app on the Mac. In a competitive streaming market, Apple is trying harder to convince consumers with its music and video streaming services. Sidelining the iTunes app instead of separate music and video apps does sound like a good idea for both consumers and the company.
Microsoft acquired the to-do app Wunderlist back in 2015 and made it clear, since 2017 , that it would eventually shut down the popular app. The company launched its own to-do app simply called To-Do back in 2017 and released a major redesign this year. This month, Microsoft announced that it will shut down Wunderlist on May 6, 2020. Wunderlist users have been aware of Microsoft’s plans for a long time now, but at least now everyone knows when the app will actually stop working. Microsoft has been consistently improving its To Do app to add features from Wunderlist such as groups, steps, file attachments, and more.
- Google Trips
In August this year, Google announced that it was shutting down its Trips app. The company claimed it would simply add the app’s features to its Maps app and Search. Google also added a new Travel page where users can search for ‘my trips’ that were previously available via the Google Trips mobile app. With the shut down of the Trips app, Google wants to focus more on its Travel site while making its existing products more travel-centric.
- Apple Airpower
Apple’s much-anticipated wireless charging mat Airpower wasn’t really a full-blown product since it didn’t really launch for general consumers.
But Apple did announce it, made everyone wait for a formal launch, and then pulled the plug on it. Apple said its Airpower wireless charging mat didn’t meet its high standards. The Airpower was spotted earlier this year on AirPods wireless charging case retail box, but the product didn’t make it for prime time. Apple eventually released a statement saying “we have cancelled the project”.
- Google Clips
Google has a thing for cameras and while we all can agree that the company’s Pixel cameras are great, there aren’t enough buyers for a concept such as the Google Clips camera. Earlier this year, Google quietly removed Clips from its online store. The company will continue to support the product until December 2021 though. Google Clips is a small AI-powered wide-angle camera that can automatically record short videos. Users could set it up anywhere around their house and not worry about manually operating it. The Clips camera comes with a companion app that will also stop working after December 2021.