[Update: Now Down] Apple acquires Dark Sky and will shut down the weather app for Android and Wear OS
Apple has always been about improving its own ecosystem and growing and improving its “walled garden,” but one app from this ecosystem that has not seen a major overhaul in quite some time is its own Weather app. It has not received one since iOS 7 was first released, in fact — and that was 7 years ago, in 2013. There were some alternatives, however, and one of them included Dark Sky, an alternative weather app for iOS, Android, and Wear OS. Now, the app has been purchased by Apple, as they’ve shared in a blog post.
One of the very first immediate effects of this is that the app will no longer be available for any non-Apple devices. The app will soon be removed from Google Play, so it can’t be downloaded for Android phones or Wear OS devices. For existing Android users, though, the app will continue to work through July 1st, at which point the app will be completely discontinued and existing customers will receive a refund. iOS users, though, are still able to purchase the app through the App Store and will continue to be able to use it. The app has also been rebranded as “Dark Sky by Apple”.
Despite how invested Apple is with their ecosystem of apps, they don’t normally do this. Shazam, for example, was acquired by Apple in 2018, yet they still keep an Android version of the app active. One of the possible following steps for Apple, then, is that they might roll it into iOS natively at some point, merging it with the existing Weather app. Web services are also being gutted together with the Android app.
As for their API, it will also be phased out, albeit much later on: it will continue to work through 2021 and will be killed off come 2022. Dark Sky serves as a weather provider for apps and services like Carrot Weather, DuckDuckGo, Microsoft, Yelp, and more, and this will affect these apps, so it needs to be a more gradual phase-out.
Update 1: Shut Down
Dark Sky was originally scheduled to be shut down on July 1st, but that was delayed until August 1st. As of yesterday, however, the app is no longer working on Android. RIP.