Technology That Didn't Survive the Decade
Perhaps this will be the decade where everything in Back to the Future becomes a reality. But before we get excited about the technological possibilities of the 2020s, we should take a moment to pay our respects to the technology that didn't pan out long-term in the 2010s.
From forgotten technologies to old model cell phones to instant messaging services, there is a lot of technology that didn’t make the cut.
Point and Shoot Cameras
Once upon a time, phones and cameras were separate technologies — at least the high-quality ones. Do you remember going on trips and having to hold onto both your camera and phone? Point and shoot cameras gave even amateur photographers expert skills.
Yahoo Messenger was originally Yahoo Chat, a public chat room, until 2012 when it was renamed Yahoo Messenger. It was an accompaniment to the Yahoo Mail. You needed a Yahoo ID to use the IM service that could also be used for other Yahoo services.
Later renamed Windows Live Messenger, MSN Messenger was Microsoft's successful attempt to cash in on the popularity of IM services, which were very common at the time. It could also transfer files and gave users emoticons.
DVDs, an abbreviation for digital video disc or digital versatile disc, were very popular once upon a time. They quickly replaced VCR tapes on the shelves of rental stores but ultimately faced stiff competition from online movie downloads and streaming services.
Ah, internet explorer. One of the OG internet browsers. It came into existence in 1995 and was the default browser on all Microsoft Windows devices, making its usage nearly universal.
Google Plus was Google's fourth attempt at creating a successful social network (the first was Google Buzz, followed by Google Friend Connect and then Orkut). Nonetheless, Google hoped to finally make waves in the social networking game when the platform came out in 2011.
Windows Phones first came into being in 2010 with Windows Phone 7. Since then, Windows has tried to keep up with the times, but with the rise of other smartphone companies, sales have started to decline.
The idea of 3-D TVs started when the 3-D movie Avatar became a huge hit. However, while having a TV with 3-D capabilities in your home sounded awesome, the idea didn't pan out.
Replaceable Batteries on Smartphones
Initially, this was a great idea. You could be out and about with no charger and instantly have a phone with a full battery. However, phone technology got too complex for this kind of battery to work. It simply wasn’t a good enough reason to compromise on other features, such as water and dust resistance.
Portable Media Players
These devices were once a revolutionary product. By making it possible to entertain anyone at any time anywhere, family road trips became easier and waits at the DMV slightly less painful.
Kickass Torrents (KAT)
This pirating website caused a lot of trouble for artists, but it was awesome for people who were able to download content for free. It’s estimated that around one billion dollars worth of pirated content was downloaded from this site.
140 Character Limit on Twitter
After its launch, the 140 character limit was a much talked about part of the app. It wasn’t until 2017 that the character limit was doubled to 280 characters. Funnily enough, most tweets (roughly 88 percent) are still less than 140 characters.
The latest BlackBerry design came out in 2018, but it may very well be the last. BlackBerry phones were huge in 2011, with sales of more than 50 million units. Since then, however, they’ve failed to innovate and offer new features for customers.
As mentioned previously, Google was the creator of this once popular social networking service. Orkut was named after a Google employee: Orkut Büyükkökten. It was especially popular in India and other Asian countries as well as Brazil, as it was one of the first social networking sites in those parts of the world.
CRT Desktop Monitors
The first computer to use a CRT desktop monitor was the U.S. military’s SAGE in the 1950s. Initially, computers were only for data processing, but in the 80s, they started to be designed for entertainment, too. Lots of people remember spending their childhoods playing computer games on a huge, chunky CRT desktop monitor.
Youtube Gaming App
The Youtube gaming app was launched in an attempt to show gamers live and recorded game streaming videos without other Youtube content getting in the way. It was designed specifically with gamers on Youtube in mind. However, it just became a confusing system that didn't pan out.
CD Players in Cars
Before people were passing the aux cord in cars, they insisted on playing their favorite CDs. However, the ability to play CDs in cars at all is becoming rarer and rarer. It can be difficult for older people who prefer to have a physical copy of their music.
Apple iPod Shuffle
This music player debuted in October of 2005 as the Apple version of an MP3 player. It was the first iPod to use flash memory and allowed people to listen to music with convenience and style.
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)
If you had a BlackBerry device in the early 2000s, you definitely had this messaging service. It provided many users with their first taste of instant messaging capability on a phone rather than a computer. computers right on your phone.
Media Player Classic
Media Player Classic was a free video player for Windows users. It was similar to Windows Media Player but had way more features, like a built-in DVD player. It was remastered as Media Player Classic Home Cinema Edition in 2008, which was designed for use in a home cinema.
Youtube Messages was created to let people chat and share Youtube videos more easily. However, it never got the traction it needed to become popular. Moreover, it also got Youtube in more hot water over inappropriate messaging. Youtube was already in trouble for showing inappropriate content to children.
In 2016, VR was all the rage, and big companies were taking huge strides to be a part of the new technology. With a (kind of expensive) eyemask-slash-headset contraption, you were transported into another world where you could see everything in 360-degree views.
In 2016, Apple announced that they would no longer be making new iPhones with headphone jacks. The announcement was met with a lot of upset users, as not everyone was on board with using Bluetooth headphones all the time.
AOL Instant Messenger
One of the first instant messaging systems to exist, AOL Instant Messenger was super popular in the late 90s and early 2000s. It was the first taste of the connections we can make today with smartphones. The "Away Messages" were the OG tweets and status updates.
Although tablets were popular when they first came out, they have since had declining sales. This is even worse for android tablets because of a few reasons. First, unlike android phones, there are not a lot of options in the tablet department. Second, they are terrible at updating the systems.
If you ever want to guarantee that you get lost, use Apple Maps. Since its release, the app has had significant problems directing users to their destinations. Directions frequently lead to rivers, dead-end road, and in one notable instance, the runway of Dulles Airport.
Blockbuster had a rocky life as a company. Its net income rose and dropped dramatically again and again in the 90s and early 2000s.
Nokia and Motorola were once serious contenders in the cell phone industry. Feature phones came with slide-out keyboards and flip abilities which made them fun to fiddle around with. While not entirely dead, declining sales and cheap prices for smartphones suggest they won't survive this decade.
Once the frequent stars of Vine videos, hoverboards are not so popular anymore. Perhaps they fell into decline because when you google "hoverboards," the first results that come back are things like "do hoverboards still catch fire?"