Like every year, the year 2022 too saw several technologies as well as products getting ‘killed’ or sunsetting. The list includes some tech products that ruled for over a decade and some that were seen as huge bets when they were launched. Here are 20 such tech products that went into sunset this year from Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Facebook and others.
Since its introduction over 20 years ago, iPod has captivated users all over the world. In May this year, Apple announced that the iPhone-iPod hybrid device will no longer be available after all its supplies run out. The move marked an end not just for the handheld device but also an end to the iPod product line. The announcement also marked an end to one of the most popular and influential devices from the tech industry.
Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE)
After 25+ years Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) officially retired and went out of support in June this year. “But the web has evolved and so have browsers. Incremental improvements to Internet Explorer couldn’t match the general improvements to the web at large, so we started fresh. Microsoft Edge is a faster, more secure and modern browser—the best browser for Windows—designed for today’s internet,” the company said, explaining the demise.
Apple iCloud Documents and Data service
Introduced in 2014, iCloud Documents and Data was a system that automatically sync data from different apps and made them available across devices. Earlier this year, Apple discontinued this service and it is now part of iCloud Drive. As the company explains, “iCloud Drive allows you to easily store, access, and share files with friends and family. Documents that you store in iCloud Drive stay up to date across all of your devices, and you can access them from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC.”
YouTube Go app
YouTube Go is shut in August this year. The lightweight Android app first launched in 2016 and featured offline viewing and nearby sharing. Like other apps designed for emerging markets, YouTube Go included a suite of features that focused on data cost, poor signal strength and the prevalent use of SD cards on Android devices. YouTube Go first launched in India and later became available in more than 130 countries worldwide.
Google pulled the plug on its cloud gaming service Stadia. The service will remain live for players till January 18, 2023. Google will be refunding all Stadia hardware purchased through the Google Store as well as all the games and add-on content purchased from the Stadia store. “A few years ago, we also launched a consumer gaming service, Stadia,” Stadia vice president and GM Phil Harrison said in a blog post. “And while Stadia’s approach to streaming games for consumers was built on a strong technology foundation, it hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected so we’ve made the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service,” it added.
Google Hangouts, the text, video and voice chat app built into Gmail, is finally shut down this year. Google moved Hangouts users over to Google Chat, the company’s Slack-like instant messaging app for businesses. Starting November 1, the Google Hangouts web app is no longer available. Hangouts kinda has a slow death, with Google allowing users to migrate over to Chat in 2021.
Amazon Food India
Amazon announced that it is shutting down its food delivery business in India this year. The company moved out of the $20 billion vertical it entered less than three years ago. Amazon launched Food in India in May 2020 in parts of Bengaluru. The company later expanded the service across the city, tying up with additional restaurants, but it never heavily promoted or marketed the platform.
Just over two years after its launch, Facebook shut down the Facebook Gaming app in October 2022. The app is no longer available on the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. “Despite this news, our mission to connect players, fans and creators with the games they love hasn’t changed, and you’ll still be able to find your games, streamers and groups when you visit Gaming in the Facebook app,” the company said. “We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of you for everything that you’ve done to build a thriving community for gamers and fans since this app first launched.”
Meta Portal Smart Displays
Meta stopped all development on its smart displays and fledgling smartwatch project this year. The company’s executives reportedly told employees in a townhall meeting that it would end work on Portal. Meta used to sell Portal to consumers, and the device did get some uptick in sales during the height of the pandemic. However, the company changed strategies in June and decided to sell them to businesses instead, a move which reportedly failed. Chief Technology Officer Andrew Bosworth reportedly told employees during the meeting: “It was just going to take so long, and take so much investment to get into the enterprise segment, it felt like the wrong way to invest your time and money.”
Facebook Live Shopping
Facebook shut down its live shopping feature on October 1 to shift its focus to Reels, the company announced in a blog post. After this date, you will no longer be able to host any new or scheduled live shopping events on Facebook, the company said. The social media network notes that you will still be able to use Facebook Live to broadcast live events, but you won’t be able to create product playlists or tag products in your Facebook Live videos. The feature was designed to give creators a platform to sell items, connect with viewers and potentially gain new customers. Facebook is now shifting away from live video shopping to focus on Reels.
Instagram ended support for its standalone app for IGTV this year. In a blog post, the company explained that the change is part of its efforts to make video as simple as possible to discover and create. Instagram says it will now focus on having all video on its main app and that it will continue to simplify and improve video in the main Instagram app over the coming months.
Instagram Hyperlapse and Boomerang apps
Instagram pulled two of its old apps from the app stores. This includes its timelapse video app Hyperlapse, first launched in 2014, and looping video app Boomerang, launched in 2015.
BlackBerry OS devices
It was finally sunset time for BlackBerry OS devices. Not surprising as they have been on the decline for more than a decade.
Google announced that it’ll shut down Currents, which was introduced in 2019 as a replacement for Google Plus for G Suite. In a blog post, the company said that it’s “planning to wind down” Currents, and that it’ll push the people who were using it to Spaces, which is sort of like Google Chat’s version of a Slack channel or Discord room. It added that it is making the change so that users won’t have to work in a “separate, siloed destination” — instead, they’ll be using Chat and Spaces, which will soon be prominently integrated into Gmail.
Android Auto for phone screen
Google said goodbye to the Android Auto for Phone Screens this year. “Google Assistant driving mode is our next evolution of the mobile driving experience. For the people who use Android Auto in supported vehicles, that experience isn’t going away. For those who use the on phone experience (Android Auto mobile app), they will be transitioned to Google Assistant driving mode. Starting with Android 12, Google Assistant driving mode will be the built-in mobile driving experience. We have no further details to share at this time,” Google said.
Xbox services on Windows Phone
For those few still playing Xbox games on a Windows Phone in 2022, the fun came to an end in May this year.
Amazon decided to close many of its brick-and-mortar retail stores and pop-up shops. The company plans to call it a day at all 68 branded stores in the US and UK, and turn its attention instead to grocery and department stores.
Intel Optane memory
Intel announced that it plans to cease future development of its Optane products. “While we believe Optane is a superb technology, it has become impractical to deliver products at the necessary scale as a single-source supplier of Optane technology,” Intel announced. The company, however, added that it is committed to supporting Optane customers and ecosystem partners through the transition of our existing memory and storage product lines through end-of-life. We continue to sell existing Optane products, and support and the 5-year warranty terms from date of sale remain unchanged.
Amazon Cloud Cam
As Amazon turned its attention toward newer acquisitions like Ring and Blink, the company pulled the plug on its five-year-old Cloud Cam.
Google Duplex on the Web
A web-based offshoot of the mobile-based product that uses AI to make phone calls for you, Google Duplex on the Web used the same tech to do things like buying movie tickets. Little doubt that it did not succeed much.