What the Tech: Apps’ short shelf life

Nothing lasts forever, particularly when it comes to mobile apps. My favorite calendar app will die at the end of this month.

Tempo is a calendar app that has features no other app offers. Tempo pulled in all of the appointments I had scheduled in Google, the Apple Cloud and any other calendar app I had used. I could check on an appointment, and Tempo would go through my email inbox and find any messages related to that appointment. 

I used it all the time, but Tempo was purchased by salesforced.com last week, and by the end of the month it will be discontinued. That’s a bummer, but it got me thinking about other popular apps that have died in recent years.

Popular apps like Urban Spoon, which would recommend restaurants near you by choosing how much you wanted to spend and what you were hungry for. If you try to use it now, you’re prompted to download an app called Zomato.

Google Reader was the number one rated feedreader until Google pulled the rug out from under us. Viddy was a hot app worth millions, a video version of Instagram. And Path was a hot social network five years ago.

Blipfoto, an app that encouraged users to save one photo every day, was introduced in January. Now they’re liquidating assets.

So why do these apps die? Most of the time it isn’t because people aren’t using them. They’re purchased by other companies, either to use the technology, or to shut down the competition. 

When a favorite app disappears, there’s usually another one that’s better. Not in the case of the Tempo calendar app. If you use it, you have less than 30 days to find another.

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