2021 was a challenging year. On one side, COVID-19 vaccines finally became 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. For tech industry, this year was kind of a mixed bag. While biggest tech giants like Apple and Samsung launched their flagship phones and Facebook changed its name to ‘Meta’, many players called it quits, killed off major features and services in 2021. Also Read - Realme is directing 90% of R&D towards 5G technology and products: Madhav Sheth
Here is a quick rundown of major apps, hardware, features and services that had their last hurrah in 2021. Also Read - Facebook for Android will soon get dark mode and coronavirus tracking feature
The sad demise of HouseParty
Back in September this year, Epic Games announced that it will pull the plug on its video chat app called Houseparty in October 2021. We certainly did not expect that to happen so quickly, as it was one of the most popular video calling apps in 2020 when people were cooped up in their homes due to the pandemic. Notably, the app was acquired by Epic Games in 2019. As per the company, Houseparty is “working on creating new ways to have meaningful and authentic social interactions at metaverse scale across the Epic Games family.” Also Read - Scientists develop soft contact lens that can zoom with a blink
Minecraft Earth died, all thanks to the pandemic
The much-popular AR mobile game was killed off on June 30 this year. Why you ask? Well, Microsoft had designed the game around free movement and collaborative play – two things that could have not been possible due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to crippling us physically and emotionally, COVID-19 also took away one of the major games this year.
Apple killed its original HomePod
After four years of the launch, Apple discontinued its first-gen HomePod speaker. The tech giant announced that the reason why it is killing the premium smart speaker is to focus on the smaller version, HomePod Mini. The original HomePod, couldn’t grab much attention (especially) because of the expensive price tag and cheaper competitors from Amazon and Google. Before going off the shelves, the smart speaker was priced at Rs 19,900 in India.
LG throws in the towel on its struggling phone business
Even after coming up with bizarre ideas for smartphones like LG Wing, LG V50 ThinQ 5G Dual Screen and more, LG realised that its back was against the wall. Hence, decided to close up its mobile shop. The tech company was unable to keep up with major rivals like Samsung, Apple in the industry or gain attention from the 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.”
Twitter Fleets fleeted away (no one is complaining!)
Just like Instagram Stories, Twitter had introduced the Fleets feature on its platform. Users could upload videos, text and more on Fleets that would automatically get deleted after 24 hours. Well, it clearly didn’t work out for the microblogging platform and hence it killed its short-lived disappearing story feature in August 2021. The company acknowledged that it was not very smart of them to roll out this feature on Twitter. In the tweet where it announced the removal of this feature, it wrote, “we’re sorry or you’re welcome”.