Tech we lost in 2020: Farmville, Flash and Segway top list

Tech we lost in 2020: Farmville, Flash and Segway top list

Jefferson Graham
 
| USA TODAY
It’s a new year, and some of the most popular apps, software and hardware of the past years is now dead and defunct for 2021. Missing in action. Adobe FlashThe Adobe Flash software, which was used to animate cartoons back in the day and bring video to life on so many websites, is no longer supported by Adobe, which in 2017 announced that it would disappear by the end of 2020. The problem: the software didn’t play well with mobile phones (Apple’s Steve Jobs wrote an open letter to consumers explaining why he wouldn’t let Flash on iPhones back in 2010) and had security issues. So what to do if you’re a Flash user? Adobe suggests that all consumers should delete the program from their computers now. While support has ended, Adobe will block Flash content from running in Flash Player beginning January 12, so you better get busy. Adobe says Windows and Apple users will get notifications urging them to delete Flash, with steps on how to do it. FarmVilleThe popular game, which millions played for hours on Facebook since 2009, is now defunct on Facebook, a victim of Flash’s demise. The social network is no longer supporting games built in the Flash format. The game goes back to early days of social networking, where we built our farms with in-app currency of tools and more land, and nudged friends to visit. The Flash-based game created by Zynga, designed to be played within Facebook, shut down on Thursday — yes, there were people still playing it — though its sequels that can be played through mobile apps will survive. If you spent money buying in-app additions of land and the like, maker Zynga says sorry, no refunds. To continue the Farmville experience, Zynga is sending players elsewhere, to different versions of the Farmville game, Farmville 2: Tropic Escape and Farmville 2: Country Escape. It says a mobile version of Farmville 3 is coming soon. ToshibaMany of us grew up using Toshiba laptops in the 1980s, 1990, 2000s and 2010s. But in 2020, Toshiba sold its laptop division, to another Japanese competitor, Sharp, ending a three and a half-decade run. Toshiba made the first move in 2018 when it sold 80 percent of its PC business to Sharp, but went all the way in 2020. Toshiba was also a popular name in TVs, and still is, selling a popular Amazon-branded Fire TV Edition that’s sold heavily at Best Buy. But Toshiba no longer makes the TVs. It sold TV naming rights to Chinese firm Hisense in 2017.  Segway PTThe oddball Segway PT (Personal Mover) saw production cease in July, as the company said it wanted to focus instead on scooters. The two-wheeled stand-up vehicle is probably best known as being used by police forces and Kevin James in the movie Paul Blaart: Mall Cop.Segway is ending production of its two-wheeled personal transporter vehicle that gained popularity among tourists and some police forces, but found itself embroiled in mishaps with famous personalities.Launched nearly two decades ago, the company will stop manufacturing the Segway PT starting July 15 as it shifts focus to other units such as its shared scooter business, it said on Tuesday. The model accounted for less than 1.5% of the Bedford, New Hampshire-based company.QuibiJeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, formerly of Disney and eBay, had this idea for a new video service that would offer high-profile Hollywood talent in short videos that people would pay $4.95 to watch. They didn’t. And the service went bust in December. Essential PhoneAndy Rubin, who created Google’s successful Android software, choose as his next act to introduce a new phone to take on the iPhone, Galaxy and Pixel, called Essential. Consumers didn’t agree that it was indeed worth much, and the company shut down in February.Google Play MusicFor years, music fans using the Android phone system were encouraged to pay $10 monthly to listen to songs on the Google Play Music app. Or, they were asked to pay $10 to get to watch YouTube without ads, and if they ordered, they’d get Google Play Music for free. But then Google did some corporate shuffling, and decided that since YouTube was so popular, it should be promoting its music service as “YouTube Music,” and it built a new music service under the YouTube that wasn’t very different from Google Play Music.Still, in the end Google decided it didn’t need two music services, so announced it was killing Google Play Music, effective in December. So long Google Play Music, hello YouTube!Follow USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter


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