Apple buys popular weather app Dark Sky for undisclosed amount

nanoguy

Posts: 458   +4
Staff member

Apple has a track record of buying companies left and right, usually in a low-key fashion. A lot of these acquisitions are made to give the company access to intellectual property and talent that it can then use in its grand strategy.

The Cupertino giant has now acquired popular weather app Dark Sky, who announced the move in a blog post. As a result, the team behind the service will be shutting down the Android and Wear OS apps in July, which have over one million installs. Those of you who have a subscription that should have lasted past that date will receive a refund.

The Dark Sky Forecast API service will continue to work until the end of 2021, but developers won't be able to sign up to use it in new apps. This means that integration in apps like Carrot Weather, Yelp, and search engines like DuckDuckGo will no longer work past that date. The website will remain active, but embeds won't work past July 1 2020.

The iOS app will remain in the App Store (where it is sold for $4) for the time being, probably until Apple figures out a way to integrate it into the default Weather app on iOS. Some speculate the company could instead build the hyperlocal weather forecasting functionality of Dark Sky into an API for both iOS and macOS.

Dark Sky co-founder Adam Grossman noted "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. 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."

The move will no doubt raise some questions about fair competition, which is something that Apple has been criticized for a lot as of late. Some iOS developers are suing the company alleging the App Store is a monopoly, and its search algorithm almost proved them right last year. With Shazam in 2017 and Dark Sky today, at least it's not a case of "Sherlocking" their respective functionalities.

Permalink to story.

 

rrwards

Posts: 138   +211
This makes me sad. I really liked Dark Sky, but now... ugh.

Any suggestions for another weather app?
I've been alternating between Overdrop and Today Weather on Android. Really a shame that they pull this when the Android app has been a yearly subscription. Sure it's only $3 a year, but it seems dumb that they can just cut off access half way through your sub and say "too bad".
 

stewi0001

Posts: 2,370   +1,858
TechSpot Elite
I've been alternating between Overdrop and Today Weather on Android. Really a shame that they pull this when the Android app has been a yearly subscription. Sure it's only $3 a year, but it seems dumb that they can just cut off access half way through your sub and say "too bad".
I'm also calling BS on what Adam Grossman said. He doesn't give a crap about Apple helping them accomplish their goal. He's getting his pay day and gonna roll around in it.
 

stewi0001

Posts: 2,370   +1,858
TechSpot Elite
Can you blame him? If anyone of us was put in his position we'd be rolling in the dough as well.
True, but I wouldn't act like this will make Dark Sky even better for everyone. I hope that makes sense since I really couldn't think of a better way to explain it. Basically company X is bought out by company Y. The big shots of company X try to play it up as a great thing for everyone. When in reality most of the time, it's not.
 

RebelFlag

Posts: 171   +99
Makes me glad I didn't renew my subscription when it expired. I agree with calling BS on the helping as many people as possible, etc. Not sure how removing access to the app from at least half of the user base is helping as many people as possible.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 6,946   +5,228
This makes me sad. I really liked Dark Sky, but now... ugh.

Any suggestions for another weather app?
I liked the app too! I switched over to Weather Underground about a year ago and think it pretty good. A lot different but their accuracy has been remarkably better than the US Weather Service since they collect about 50x the data points every day ...
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 570   +333
Can Apple even still see Android in the distance behind it at this point? They just nailed the best weather app.

I didn’t know there was a subscription model though, how does that work? I just bought the app a few years back.
 

stewi0001

Posts: 2,370   +1,858
TechSpot Elite
I liked the app too! I switched over to Weather Underground about a year ago and think it pretty good. A lot different but their accuracy has been remarkably better than the US Weather Service since they collect about 50x the data points every day ...
I checked Weather Underground out on Google Play and its reviews are getting slammed hard due to its last update.
 

HofyPC

Posts: 53   +51
Weather Underground became a steaming pile when they made things more gooder. Now we lose another good weather app.