Apple acquires popular weather app Dark Sky and will shut down the Android version

Image: Dark Sky

Apple has acquired popular weather app Dark Sky and will be shutting down the Dark Sky Android and Wear OS apps in July, Dark Sky announced in a blog post today.

“Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy,” Dark Sky co-founder Adam Grossman writes in the post. “There is no better place to accomplish these goals than at Apple. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to reach far more people, with far more impact, than we ever could alone.”

There aren’t any changes coming to Dark Sky for iOS “at this time,” and you can still buy it on the App Store right now for $3.99. But you won’t be able to download the Android and Wear OS apps anymore, and if you already have them, you’ll only be able to use them until July 1st before they’re entirely shut down. If you still have an active subscription by that date, you’ll receive a refund, according to Grossman.

Dark Sky’s API will continue to function “through the end of 2021,” but Grossman says Dark Sky won’t be accepting new signups to use the API. That means that, eventually, third-party apps won’t be able to use Dark Sky’s weather data in their own apps.

You’ll also only be able to view weather forecasts, maps, and embeds on Dark Sky’s website until July 1st. The website will stay up after that date “in support of API and iOS App customers.”

Dark Sky’s branding on its website has already been updated to “Dark Sky by Apple.”

Comments

Wonder if there’s any potentially interesting use combining this with U1’s room scale precision. I.e you’re out and about and it can send you to the minute rain/snow alerts.

I guess that would more depend on the accuracy of the forecasting models rather than the location accuracy of the phone.

In my experience, whether forecast apps on phones have gotten worse, somehow, over time.

Autocorrect needs a way in system settings to switch from opt-out to opt-in.

Something Something 5G creeping in on the frequencies used by weather satellites

Not sure why they need the U1 for that when there’s GPS already?

GPS can place you in the ballpark but tall buildings in a city center for example can throw it off, using both it could place you with more precision, to exactly where you are, point in a room precision. I don’t know if Dark Sky’s forcasts are precise enough for that to matter, just an idea.

Example of why that might matter: Are you inside a shop or just outside it? If you’re sitting inside you may not want to be bothered, where if you’re out in the open and you’re about to get rained on you might want to know.

That seems like a poor argument. Even if you are inside, the outside information and alert is such as important because you might want to get outside and need that information to plan ahead.
Your use case can be solved with a synchronization with the calendar events to try to alert you only when there is an event that requires you to go outside. Nonetheless, that only changes the notification’s side of the equation

We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to reach far more people, with far more impact, than we ever could alone.

Words, meet actions.

They’re being ironic. Right?!!!

Is it that hard to understand? What’s the number of their current users, and what’s the number of iOS users? They will give up billions of potential users who will never use their app, but will certainly be on 1.5-2 billion devices by default.

Who cares? That doesn’t benefit anyone but Apple themselves. It will definitely not contain all the features of Dark Sky, and the loss of the API is a huge blow as well that is not calculated here.

Apple could have easily just used Dark Sky’s API if they wanted the data for their own weather app. They chose instead to buy it out and restrict it to their platform. This is an anti-competitive decision.

No, it’s not anti-competitive, it’s just business. There are tons of weather apps available.

My god… I’m agreeing with JFitzgerald… Just this once though…

I hope it wasn’t too painful.

Also given the economic disruption that is coming, selling is becoming the best course of action for small tech companies. They are figuratively beating the storm approaching

Oof, pun unintended for a weathering weather tech company?

It’s definitely ‘just’ business, when you have enough money that you’re able to hurt your competition then that’s ‘just business’. But despite being ‘just business’ it is a sign of an unhealthy market, as the only thing Apple gains by buying them is the fact that they are able to hurt the competition. As FastFourier pointed out, the data was available, and if they wanted more data they could have just set up any contract they wanted with them for them to provide it.

So the argument is that Android is hurt by the loss of weather app? Look, I like Dark Sky but Android isn’t ‘hurt’ because Dark Sky isn’t going to be available on the platform. I’ve yet to leave a platform over an app or the loss of one.

Id think it will be the iOS weather apps that will be hurt more than Android.

Sonner or later DarkSky+ios weather app will have hooks that no one else has access to

Maybe Apple will have a WeatherKit? Lol oh well

I think that’s entirely possible — non "Lol" about it, IMO.

I suspect that this might actually be a cost-saving for Apple in the relatively near-term by letting them forego their deal with The Weather Channel (though Dark Sky’s longer-term forecasting isn’t quite as good, IMO) or putting them in a better position to renegotiate those terms (e.g., if they want to extend the deal to cover new applications such as AR-based scenarios or, as you suggest, a generally-available "WeatherKit").

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