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7 Tech Tools Becoming Obsolete

Still holding onto some of these oldies? It may be time to let go.

June 7, 2022

Technology has an expiration date. New tech quickly pushes out favorite devices from years past. Here are some tech devices you may be able to retire.

  1. Dashboard-mounted GPS devices. The GPS unit may have faded from dashboards, but the technology is still critical to get from point A to point B. But it’s now in both smartphones and vehicles’ consoles.
  2. 3G-connected devices. 5G cellular connectivity is gaining ground, and devices that run on older networks are becoming obsolete. Older tablets, smart watches, fire alarms, and security systems that still rely on 3G network access may soon stop working, which will impede users’ ability to text, make phone calls, or connect to the internet. Check with your wireless provider to see which of your 3G devices may be affected.
  3. BlackBerry. The once-loved Blackberry, with its signature micro QWERTY keypad, went dark on Jan. 4. Devices using BlackBerry’s operating systems and software “will no longer reliably function,” the company stated earlier this year. The old devices won’t be able to send text messages or dial 911 in an emergency, either.
  4. Wired audio devices. The emergence of Bluetooth is quickly bringing an end to connected headphones and speakers. Many popular smartphones no longer have headphone jacks, and as more wireless products pop up, people are ditching their corded devices.
  5. External hard drives. Rethink stockpiling external hard drives or thumb drives for data storage. They’ll likely just end up laying around your house or office collecting dust. Cloud storage of your documents, photos, and videos on platforms like Google Drive, iCloud, or Microsoft OneDrive allows you to access your content from anywhere. Bonus: You don’t have to worry about device crashes or malfunctions.
  6. Point-and-shoot digital cameras. Smartphone cameras have become so advanced that many people are leaving behind their digital cameras in favor of smartphones that can take high-resolution photographs.
  7. Passwords. While the practice won’t vanish immediately, typing in a password is becoming an outdated practice. Some Windows and Macintosh computers, as well as many smartphones and tablets, use biometric recognition to authenticate your identity. Also, the traditional use of passwords will go away as more sites and devices use a verification code sent to your phone or email account.

If you find out-of-date gadgets in your desk drawers, consider recycling them. Not sure how? Check out places like Call2Recycle.org, the Consumer Technology Association’s Recycle Locator, or Earth911’s recycling database.

Burton Kelso

Burton Kelso is the owner and chief technology expert at Integral, an onsite and remote computer and laptop repair service company for consumers and businesses.