Saturday, May 11, 2019

Is the cloud over? (And some related EOL issues.)

I posted the other day how IFTTT has been getting damn iffy lately and services have been changing and going under so I though maybe a list might be in order. At least the ones I know of.

Back on September 18, 2015 I started a Facebook group for the people affected by FitBit deciding to discontinue support for custom trackers and even a couple non custom ones with little notice and no way to export that data. I scrambled and built a scrapper for people to get their data off before they shut down the pages. Fitbit eventually added the custom trackers to their data export a while after they shut them down but everyone that had been using those trackers had to find a new service to use. Generally at a higher cost. 

Since then this what I've seen / dealt with:

Sleep Tracking Startup Zeo Says Goodnight

Awesome device just poorly marketed. Technically they went under in 2013 but people the app still worked and you could still buy them as late as 2016. I got mine from the bankruptcy reseller while there seems a possible comeback. There was some effort buy users to support and enhance the app and make replacement bands. Looks like there might even be a couple bands on eBay yet. Basically dead as a product not though.

Lowes' Iris vapor API and devices that never came 2014

I bought one of the v1 hubs in the home security bundle only to find most of the devices on display in the store and on the website were not actually available. IT also turned out you could not do much of anything without a monthly subscription. The company often talked about the coming API but it never appeared.

Lowes' Iris forced conversion from v1 to v2 2015

A few things that glossed over were:
You had to "upgrade"
You had to give them a credit card and sign up for a subscription to do the upgrade.
A lot of the v1 sensors and devices where not supported by the v2 hub.
And some other things pointed out by users.

Google Drive downsize sort of upgrade 2015

I bought a Chromebook Dec 2014 that came with a TB of Google Drive space. Instead of adding a year of service on they added a second TB of space. I had almost 1 TB of used space on Drive at that point so that was great. Over the next year I added about 500 GB more thinking I could just pay for both after the free year was up. But instead my option was to remove 500+ GB or pay for 10 TB which was alos 10 times the price. So I scrambled to research for the best alternative and then moving ~600 GBs to Amazon. Also about this same time they came out with a new version that you still had to switch back to the older legacy version to use some features.

Safety Recall of all Basis Peak watches 2016

Loved this. You could download temp and heart rate data at 5 minute intervals. But they had a few batteries go bad back before that was such a common thing and they panicked. At least they refunded everyone that sent it back before the service shutdown. I wore mine up about the last day I could. As I recall I kind of made out on this one as I got mine refurbed, wore it a good year before getting more than I paid for it back.

Withings to Nokia and back again. 2016-2018

Nokia acquired Withings in 2016 and then sold it back in 2018 causing ripples in service.

Charter Communications Merges with Time Warner Cable 2016-2019

Being able to log into partnered sites like where messed up for a long time.

Crashplan deciding to ditch the home market. 2017

They suggested people either move to a business plan at a higher cost or go to Carbonite which I left for Crashplan because their app kept resetting before I could get my data up there. Fortunately they honored plans already paid for and I had about 2 years paid ahead at that point so it was not total panic but the Home plan had been unlimited for multiple PCs. The business plan wa my the TB. I had ~ 5 TB on there so my prices was going to go up about 5 times.

Amazon ends its unlimited cloud storage plan 2017

Got Drive files moved to Amazon and notified people of the new locations to find their files (house concert footage of local bands I recorded for them). Since the plan was 
unlimited I started backing up files going to Crashplan there too. Was close to getting about 4 TB up there when they announce they would be switching to 1 TB for the same price unlimited had been. So again I was looking at a 5 X jump to stay.

Google Voice half upgrade ~2017

Around this time they also "upgraded" Google Voice. Again you had to switch back to the old version to do some tasks and still need to now in 2019.

Wunderground devolution 2017-?

It seems to have started a bit after IBM acquired The Weather Channel who had acquired Wunderground in 2012.  They started redesigning the site. It seems after a while they decided to start dropping features instead of rewriting them. My first personal issue was not being able to get my Netatmo station linked to my account. Things really went downhill when they tried to shutdown webcam support. The backlash was so intense they changed their mind on that one at the last minute. Since then though they seem to be pushing nightly builds without any testing as bugs will appear, go away and then come back. And features seem to keep going away. The latest announced feature drop, as of this writing, is dropping the free tier version of API key. This really impacted the home automation communities.

G+ shutdown 2018

After jamming G+ into all their apps then ignoring it they decided to rip it back out which required creating profiles in some apps and other issues like circles going away in Voice. Not to mention needing to convert all the posts there to a new platform or lose them.

SmartThings / Samsung merger mess 2018-?

Samsung decided to merge SmartThings account with their by making them convert to Samsung accounts and new apps. This after SmartThings had already required people to start over when "upgrading" from a version 1 hub to a version 2. No migration plan like other hub.

LinkedIn did similar after buying merging users basically by having the Lynda users match up and link their private LinkedIn accounts to the company provided accounts or creating public LinkedIn profiles to use

Amazon Wand 2018

While technically still alive and even for sale but these were never supported all that well and it is a rare day now they can even get a connection to a server.

Facebook stops automated posting 2018

Affected IFTTT applets made the news but it also hit other third party integrations.

Gmail / IFTTT split 2019

IFTTT being able to trigger on an email was how a lot of things worked so while it was just a subset of features in terms of usage it was major.

Beddit Cloud shutdown 2018

Mine actually died shortly before this so it was not as big a deal but still needed to scramble yet again to save what data I could. On the plus side Withings came out with a similar but better device recently that works pretty good.

Scanadu to shut down support for its Scout device per FDA regulation and customers are mad 2016

Not a great device but had promise. Unfortunately they basic just dumped it on customers then moved on to the next thing without ever collecting any feedback or anything.

Microsoft HealthVault service to end November 20, 2019

Google said it would kill its Works with Nest program 2019

Google acquired Nest back in 2014. Tried to sell it off in 2016. And now appears to be trying to boost their Google Home Hub by make it THE Nest gateway.

Near misses

Things I thought about investing time and or money in but did not really get the chance.

Nest is permanently disabling the Revolv smart home hub 2016 

Fortunately I did not add this one to the hubs I tried.

Jawbone 2017

Mine died fairly quickly so I'd already returned it for refund so dodged this one.

Lighthouse cam 2018

At least they offered refunds

Lowes' Iris v2 shutdown 2019

Since I'd already given up on Iris at this point it made little difference to me personally.

Jibo 2019

Again at least they offered refunds
Was just starting with this one to see if could replace IFTTT when they announced it was shutting down.

HealBe soon

Still sort of around though after Globe 1 shocking people and them dying left and right the company is all but dead. Surprisingly they have a third version supposedly coming out but reviews are not great for V2 and V3

And then there also is

The above of course does not include all the crowd funded things that either never shipped or shipped something late and basically non functional. Though I did originally get some of them via crowd funded projects. 
And all the price hikes. Streaming services spring to mind. Hulu dropping the free (commercial supported) tier for example.


Dakota Alert discontinues the 2500 series Jan 19th 2019

They replaced it with a 4000 series that while having a bit more range of course will work with any older sensors and does not have a relay per channel like the 2500 receiver did. I have a whole post on this one.

5/28/2019, Automatic forcing users to get new hardware that requires $5/month or $50/year subscription service by August 31, 2019. 

Also requires new app, works with direct cell service connection instead of your phone and it appears does not support interaction with other apps quite yet. Technically you can use it up to 3 years for free but with virtually no features other than as an OBD2 reader. Reviews of the new model appear to be awful. The one bright spot is that they are cheaper and Automatic seems to be giving a discount to upgrade directly through them. Per emails going out you can get the new model for $60. $40 off the MSRP but just $20 off the Amazon price. ($26.59 if you include taxes in my case.) If you compare the subscription fee to other services like Hulu or G-Suite for example it seem a bit steep for what you get. Sadly compared to similar products it is actually on the cheap side. Of course if you live outside the city limits like me where cell service much less LTE service is spotty any of the cell connect only models may be of limited value. So I'm going to break down like I'm sure so many other will and get one at the "upgrade" to at least try before possible having to scramble in August to find something else. 

Update Just a year later Automatic shuts down all operations.

6/29/2019 Hue app splits into 2 versions along with v1 hub EOL.

I went into the Hue app last night to check something and found it not longer works with my v1 hubs. Seems last April for some reason they decided that creating a new v1 app was the best way to provide support for v1 hubs till they shutdown support April 30th 2020. So to continue to use my 3 v1 hubs with my phone I have to set them up all over again. And next April they may stop working anyway unless I upgrade them to v2s. I appears there is or was a migration option.  Though that seems to need the phone app to see both v1 and v2 hubs. Then too the v1s were only out 5 years so one has to wonder how long the v2s will be supported. I've ordered a v2 hub to try to see if it makes more sense to migrate now or relink the hubs to the new v1 app and wait for the v3s to come out seeing as how the v2 is 4 years old now. After all if it comes down to having to unpair and repair all my Hue devices to upgrade then might as well wait for the v3s. Especially in this volatile market where so much could change in a year. See more about this and follow up adventure.

9/6/2019 Best Buy is leaving smart home users in the cold, but its Wi-Fi freezer will still mostly work

Fortunately I did not get into the Insignia Connect framework. If you did, you will want to file a compensation claim.

9/20/2019 TiVo Rolling Out Skippable Pre-Roll Ads for Retail DVRs

After announcing not long ago they were going to stop making hardware they seem to be trying to make sure the brand goes away by adding adds to shows you record. Though even more oddly if autoskip is on, it is not supposed to show them. So unclear who would ever see the adds. It seems they have also announced a couple new models as well. The new feature seems to be it might stream to a Roku instead of being able to stream more channels like Roku does.

10/17/2019 Yahoo is deleting all content ever posted to Yahoo Groups

Though I have not really used recently, it use to big with the rescue groups.

10/28/2019 Leeo Smart Alert is shutting down and​ "network will stop working"

Had not heard of them before but from posts I'm seeing some are sad to see them go.

10/29/2019 Sony Interactive Entertainment to Shut Down PlayStation Vue

Heard good things and was thinking about switching my cable to them. Oh well.

12/8/2019 20 VPS providers to shut down on Monday, giving customers two days to save their data

Sounds like this one might have been more of a scam than another legit business shutting down.

12/20/2019 Some Under Armour fitness devices lose their smarts on March 31st

Not only is Under Armour effectively bricking some device it seems some of the data will be lost as well. Thankfully I did not buy any of their stuff.

01/21/2020 Sonos will stop providing software updates for its oldest products in May

Basically they are cutting loose anything made before 2016. Fortunately mine are newer though I mainly use mine for announcements and those are getting more and more errors.
Looks like they might be hearing the screams.

4/29/2020 Belkin killing their web cams. 

Yet another reason to not record to the cloud.

5/29/2020 Amazon Echo Look and Spot No More

11/1/2020 Discontinued access to Amazon Drive through Synology Cloud Sync and Hyper Backup

12/20/2020 Saying goodbye to Flash

As the article points out few sites still use Flash but some popular security camera brands use Flash in their camera web interfaces which are required to make changes to the camera configuration. Reolink for example is still saying coming soon as of 11/15/2020 Note in Reolink's case at least there are Windows and Mac apps you can use instead.
Some are even older school and require ActiveX controls so can only be setup via IE browsers.

Running lists of killed services.

Dying but not quite dead yet

10/25/2019 Wink

While not announcing just yet, it sounds like Wink it about to go down too with reports of employees not getting paid and support calls going unanswered. On 5/6/2020 they announced they were going to a subscription model to cover costs and gave people one week to sign up. On 5/13/2020 they pushed that back a week. On 5/20/2020 they announced they would keep it free for now "because so many had signed up".  Can't be long now till they fold.

And then there are the breaches and accidents

All Data Breaches in 2019 – An Alarming Timeline

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