2021 was a challenging year. On one hand, the COVID-19 vaccines eventually became a reality and we saw glimpses of normalcy in the second half of the year, but unfortunately, they still did not manage to end the pandemic, at least not yet. This year has been a mixed one for the tech industry. While the biggest tech giants like Apple and Samsung launched their flagship phones and Facebook changed its name to ‘meta’, many players abandoned it, shutting down key features and services in 2021.
Here’s a quick list of the major apps, hardware, features, and services that had their last stop in 2021.
Sad demise of House Party
Back in September this year, Epic Games announced that it would be pulling the plug on its video chat app called Houseparty in October 2021. We certainly didn’t expect this to happen so soon, as it was one of the most popular video calling apps in 2020. When people were imprisoned in their homes due to the pandemic. Notably, the app was acquired by Epic Games in 2019. According to the company, Houseparty is “working on creating new ways to have meaningful and authentic social interactions at the Metaverse scale in the Epic Games family.”
Minecraft Earth has died, all thanks to the pandemic
The very popular AR mobile game was discontinued on 30th June this year. Why are you asking? Well, Microsoft designed the game around free movement and collaborative play – two things that could not have been possible due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from crippling us physically and emotionally, COVID-19 also took away one of the major sports of this year.
Apple killed its original HomePod
Four years after launch, Apple discontinued its first-gen HomePod speaker. The reason the tech giant announced that it’s killing off the premium smart speaker is to focus on the smaller version, the HomePod Mini. The original HomePod couldn’t (especially) garner much attention due to the expensive price tag and cheaper competitors of Amazon and Google. Before going off the shelves, the smart speaker was priced at Rs 19,900 in India.
LG throws the towel on its struggling phone business
Even after coming up with quirky ideas for smartphones like the LG Wing, LG V50 ThinQ 5G Dual Screen and more, LG felt its back was against the wall. So, decided to close my mobile shop. The tech company was unable to keep up with major rivals in the industry such as Samsung, Apple, or capture the attention of consumers. In a statement, it announced that going forward, it will focus on “electric vehicle components, connected devices, smart homes, robotics, artificial intelligence and business-to-business solutions as well as platforms and services.”
The Twitter Fleet Went Away (Nobody’s Complaining!)
Like Instagram Stories, Twitter also introduced the Fleet feature on its platform. Users can upload videos, text and more to Fleet which will be automatically deleted after 24 hours. Well, this apparently did not work for the microblogging platform and hence it ended its short-lived disappearing story feature in August 2021. The company admitted that it was not smart enough for them to roll out the feature on Twitter. In the tweet where she announced the removal of the feature, she wrote, “We’re sorry or you’re welcome”.
Post Trip Down the Memory Lane: The Tech We Had to Say Goodbye to 2021 appears for the first time on BGR India.