2017 Tech in Memoriam: Pour One Out for AIM, Vine, GChat, and the Rest


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All good issues come to an finish. This 12 months, we watched as a few of our favourite devices discovered a brand new house in a casket crammed with the expertise of yesteryear. Refill a glass and prepare to pour one out for the tech casualties of 2017.


On December 15, AOL On the spot Messenger posted its remaining away message. Its days of being the hip technique to keep in contact with all of your faculty mates are lengthy gone, however AIM is the place a complete era solid their on-line identities. Now, all these embarrassing display screen names are six ft below together with the remainder of the previous net.

iPod Nano and Shuffle

Apple lastly gave its flagship music participant the boot this 12 months by killing off the iPods Nano and Shuffle. Positive, you’ve streaming all of your tunes with Spotify or Apple Music by now, however that doesn’t imply we gained’t miss the iPod. It sparked the fashionable panorama for music, and it’s the place many people construct the playlists that outlined our youth.


Earlier than the lauded Pivot to Video, there was Vine. It had canines jammin’ out on the cowbell, raps about Liam Neeson, siblings ruining vape methods, and mystifying methods of trash cans turning into whiteboard drawings. Twitter gave it the axe late final 12 months, however stored it on life assist till January. With its departure goes one other experimental platform the place individuals could possibly be just a bit weirder with their creations. Rattling, Daniel.


MS Paint

It in all probability didn’t come as a shock when Microsoft dropped Paint from its checklist of supported options, but it surely’ll be missed. Paint was the birthplace of poorly drawn memes, and even when its instruments weren’t probably the most sturdy, and even that good, it made for some nice laughs.

The 140 Character Restrict

As if tweets weren’t already dangerous sufficient, this 12 months Twitter determined one of many community’s greatest points wasn’t harassment or rogue workers, it was that tweets merely weren’t lengthy sufficient. So, whereas threats of nuclear conflict and hate speech ran rampant, Twitter’s Huge Enchancment to the platform this 12 months was doubling its character restrict to 280. At the very least now we are able to publish extra Smash Mouth lyrics, proper?


Whereas Twitter futzed round with its algorithms and gave us longer tweets, its distant open supply cousin, App.web, closed its doorways. It promised to be an ad-free microblogging platform, a mannequin that proved unsuccessful in the long term. Whereas it by no means hit the mainstream, it’s one other reminder that it isn’t altruism, however a consistently altering set of unsolicited options options that wins within the social sport.

Twitter Egg

The web hate mob received rather less ludicrous this 12 months when Twitter axed the infamous Profile Egg for accounts that by no means uploaded a profile image. In its wake hatched a brand new masks of anonymity: a plain ol’ profile of an ambiguous human physique. It didn’t reduce on harassment, but it surely’s simpler to be mad at a human than it’s an egg.


It’s exhausting to maintain up with all of Google’s messaging apps: Allo, Google+, Hangouts, Duo. (Does anybody use these things?) Chat was one of many originals. Now, it’s been changed by Hangouts, which is able to ultimately get replaced by the subsequent bonkers messaging app Google dishes out.

The MP3

The mp3 sparked a change in the way in which we listened to music. It allow us to toss our favourite songs onto iPods and its knockoffs, however most of us in all probability snagged our tunes from Limewire. If you happen to have been fortunate, you may need even been bamboozled into downloading a spoof of Invoice Clinton telling you to hit up a sketchy web site. The mp3’s license ran out this 12 months, and its creators are pushing the AAC format to take its place — however AAC participant simply doesn’t have the identical ring to it, huh?


Remix OS

There’s lengthy been guarantees of cell computing merging with desktop computing. Microsoft’s Continuum promised to show one machine, like a telephone, into all of your units with a easy dock and some peripherals. Chromebooks can now run Android apps so that you’ve received all of the software program you want wherever you’re at. In the meantime, Remix OS was a fork of Android that could possibly be put in on any PC to carry all of your favourite apps to the large display screen. It labored nice, but it surely was by no means going to make it to the large leagues.

Home windows Film Maker

Not each video wants Adobe Premiere or Last Lower Professional X to make its technique to YouTube or your loved ones’s large display screen. From 2012 to its demise this 12 months, Home windows Film Maker gave aspiring creatives and proud dad and mom the power to make barebones movies or trip slideshows in a pinch, and it methods completely free! The title wasn’t flashy sufficient for immediately’s hip gadget lovers, so Microsoft gave it the boot and changed it with Story Remix, which does a lot of the similar issues with a recent coat of paint.

Yik Yak

School college students throughout the online wept as Yik Yak, the nameless social networking app the place confessions flowed all through campuses, was shut down. All through its life, youths used it to admit all the things from stealing their roommate’s Cheetos to exhibiting as much as class drunk.


If you happen to had a query within the early days of the online, you in all probability went to About.com for the solutions. It had how-to’s and explainers aplenty, however sadly it didn’t know a lot about sustain with the ever-changing panorama of immediately’s web.


Microsoft’s motion-tracking ’s remaining gesture to the world was a wave goodbye. The Kinect wasn’t the game-changing peripheral Microsoft wished it to be, and for a lot of avid gamers it merely wasn’t value the price.



Nintendo made waves this 12 months with the Swap, one in every of our favourite devices of 2017. However to make a killer console, the corporate needed to kill a few of its darlings. MiiVerse, Nintendo’s oddly charming social community the place followers shared their finest (and worst) drawings, turned the sufferer and closed its doorways in November.

Membership Penguin

Membership Penguin was a social community the place children might masquerade as penguins clad in wizard gear or an apple costume. (Do not ask us to elucidate.) Principally, although, it was recognized for the memes it sparked when trolls began making an attempt to get banned for kicks. Disney shut down the community earlier this 12 months—the last word ban.

Netflix’s Star Score system

Your favourite reveals in all probability felt rather less love this 12 months when Netflix nixed its five-star score system for an easier, much less informative thumbs up/down metric. The brand new system coincides with a share match that’ll inform you how positive Netflix is that you simply’ll like a given present or film, however sadly there’s no technique to give Netflix’s choices a thumbs down in case you’re not a fan.

Microsoft Groove Music

The music streaming enterprise is tough. Microsoft killed its Spotify-competitor earlier this 12 months after failing to compete with the streaming giants, giving it the identical destiny because the Microsoft Zune.

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