Apple acquires Dark Sky weather app, and that’s bad news for Android users

Apple acquires Dark Sky weather app, and that’s bad news for Android users

  • An example of Dark Sky’s maps from the desktop Web version.

  • Here’s a precipitation heatmap from the iOS version.

  • This is the main view in the iOS app.

    Dark Sky

  • And here’s the multi-day forecast in the app.

    Dark Sky

  • This push notification went out to iOS users today.

Popular weather app and data-collection service Dark Sky has been acquired by Apple for an undisclosed sum, a blog post from the Dark Sky team announced. The post claims that Dark Sky will now “reach far more people, with far more impact, than we ever could alone.”

The iOS app will not see any changes “at this time,” and it will continue to be listed on the App Store. Android and Wear OS are a different story, though. The Android app will no longer be available for download, and “service to existing users and subscribers will continue until July 1, 2020, at which point the app will be shut down.” Active subscribers will get a refund.

As for the website, which is also popular:

Weather forecasts, maps, and embeds will continue until July 1, 2020. The website will remain active beyond that time in support of API and iOS App customers.

A lot seems to be up in the air about where this will go in the long term, though. Dark Sky is notable in part for its big data-driven Dark Sky Forecast API, which provides customers with hyper-local weather data for use in their own apps or services. That API will no longer accept new signups, though “service for existing customers is not changing today.” The API will function for existing customers through the end of 2021.

That API and the related data operation may be the main reason Apple was interested in Dark Sky; the service is known for providing smart notifications and highly localized data about precipitation, among other things, in much more detail than Apple’s own Weather app.

The blog post also notes that Dark Sky will now be subject to Apple’s privacy policy, and the app’s developer is already listed as “Apple” in the App Store.

Listing image by Dark Sky


via Ars Technica

March 31, 2020 at 03:37PM