Popular weather app Dark Sky has been acquired by Apple… and as a result, the company notes that it will be pulling the plug on its Android, Wear OS, and web apps.
The Dark Sky API is also going to shut down eventually, but third party apps that make use of the API will be able to continue to do so at least until the end of 2021.
Dark Sky had a reputation for offering “hyperlocal” weather with forecasts precise enough to give you a minute-by-minute breakdown of when rain is expected to start or stop in you immediate area.
It’s not clear what plans Apple has for Dark Sky in the future, but it seems clear those plans aren’t cross-platform.
According to a blog post announcing the acquisition, the Dark Sky iOS app will continue to be available for purchase from the App Store, and “there will be no changes to Dark Sky for iOS at this time.”
But other platforms? Not so much:
- Android — Downloads will no longer be available soon, and service for existing subscribers will end July 1, 2020.
- Wear OS – Downloads will no longer be available soon, and service for existing subscribers will end July 1, 2020.
- Web – Weather forecasts, maps, and embedded will continue working through July 1, 2020. After that the website will just be online to support the API and iOS users.
- API – Dark Sky will continue offering its existing API to current users through the end of next year. But new users cannot sign up to start using the API anymore.
How annoying! No sooner do I find a good weather app but it gets bought out and turned off. “Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible … there is no better place to accomplish these goals than at Apple … The app will no longer be available for download. Service to existing users and subscribers will continue until July 1, 2020, at which point the app will be shut down.”. The major OS companies are conspiracies against efficient, dependable software and should be broken up.
DarkSky started up in 2013 via Kickstarter (see https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:gZeeMKd1JEUJ:https://blog.darksky.net/dark-sky-has-a-new-owner/+&cd=14&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=safari). Kudos to their progress over the years. I loved forecast.io and darksky was good. Let’s hope it doesn’t go south with this change.
And this exemplifies my problem with Apple. They really are a sort of “you’re either WITH us or AGAINST us” mentality. Ok, I get shutting down the android app as it is direct competition, but the web page? That’s like neural territory in the platform wars. That’s REALLY not wanting the POSSIBILITY of an android user using the service to even exist.
Of course they assume that if you’re a Mac user you’ll have an iPhone and iPad so you don’t need to check it on the computer. Ugh
Google bought the excellent Divide mail app a few years ago and shut it down.
Wait – didn’t AccuWeather just acquire it last year?
It doesn’t look like it.
But lets be honest, corporate ownership is just a nasty web of power that’s usually kept out of public sight, that’s so bloated and corrupt that it’s no longer possible to live without supporting evil in some way. So I couldn’t tell you if apple owns accuweather now or if accuweather ever owned dark sky (if they did, they probably didn’t do anything interesting to it). I can tell you accuweather has its own app.
I used to work for a newspaper that used Accuweather. The weather reporters never even looked out the window to see if it was raining or not. LOL!
I used to anchor at a radio station where the booth didn’t have a line of sight to a window. Someone eventually installed a TV that was hooked up to the security camera pointing at the parking lot behind the building so you could tell if it was cloudy or not. Determining if it was actually raining on that 13 inch SD screen was a bit trickier unless it was a torrential downpour.
Any good alternatives? I never heard of it before but after reading this it kinda makes me wish I had (my city is big enough that the weather varies greatly by what region you’re in (it rains more in the South and North West for example while other regions can stay dry).
In related news, Apple has stated the are renaming the service “Dark Side” keeping in step with the behavioral branding of the company.
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