The gods of technology giveth, and they taketh away. Every year, we celebrate the latest and greatest gadgets and gear—but we also bid adieu to the ones we’ll never use again. Below, our heartfelt obituaries to all the tech that died in 2018.
Apple laid to rest the iPhone SE in September, after showcasing three flashy new iPhones. The SE is survived by a series of bigger phones, and we mourn the days when iPhones could fit comfortably in women’s jeans pockets.
Amazon quietly stopped selling the Kindle Voyage, its upscale e-reader with a glass screen, in July. It’s all right, though; we always liked the Paperwhite better.
Remember the olden days of YouTube? You’d be watching your favorite grainy videos and suddenly this ugly black rectangle would pop up, imploring you to “click to subscribe” or click on another link. Those intrusions, called YouTube annotations, were largely phased out this year. Existing ones will officially be erased in January 2019—and not a moment too soon.
Twitter lost a haven of sincerity when @sweden bid the platform hejdå in October. Since 2011, a new Swede has taken over the account each week to tweet dispatches of everyday life in Sweden—including the perspectives of recent Swedish migrants, a prison guard, and a sheep farmer who tweeted photos of lambs.
Apple Music Connect
If you’re wondering, “Sorry, what is Apple Music Connect?” then you’re on the right track. Launched in 2015 as a social feed for artists, the platform never seemed to gain much traction. It played its swan song in December—not that you’d noticed.
The popular RSS and feed reader Digg went asunder in March. Its Reader app allowed users to curate and follow feeds from their favorite site. You still have a feed reader options, like Feedly.
FilmStruck, the film streaming platform beloved by cinephiles for its classic and arthouse selection, went dark in November. Its took with it movies like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and the 1933 King Kong. But not all is lost: There are still other streaming options with robust archives, like MUBI, Kanopy, and Fandor.
Musical.ly isn’t quite dead—more like reincarnated. The lip-syncing app was absorbed into TikTok this year, migrating users’ accounts into the 15-second video social media app.
Nintendo Miitomo Network
Two years after its launch, Nintendo decided to sunset the Miitomo app this May. It brought an end a world where your bubbly, bobble-headed Mii could wander about and communicate with equally adorable, Nintendo-fied friends.
Path is another casualty in the social media space. Founded in 2010 by a former Facebook employee, the more minimalistic and intimate platform flourished briefly, before finally being laid to rest in October.
For the curious, StumbleUpon was a window into the random wonders of the internet. With a single click, the discovery tool allowed users to click and be transported to a site that they might not have ever discovered. After 16 illustrious years, StumbleUpon took its final journey in June.
Why tap on a smartphone keyboard when you could simply swipe across the letters, without lifting a finger? Swype, the original app that popularized the swipe-not-type keyboard interaction, was pulled from the App Store and Google Play in February.
In December, Tumblr announced that it would ban “adult content” from its site, raising heated discussions about the place of sexuality and community on the internet. The transition has been rough: it was found that Tumblr’s AI incorrectly marked items as NSFW. Off Tumblr, porn bloggers have tried to seek refuge for their content on other, smaller blog sites.
Google+, Inbox, URL Shortener, Allo
This year, Google announced that it will be pulling the plug on a number of its services. Messaging app Allo, email app Inbox, and the Google URL shortener will all be sunset in March 2019. In October, Google announced that they will shut down its Google+ social network for consumers, after it was revealed that the data of up to 500,000 users had been compromised for years.
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