Dark Sky to shutter Android app in July following Apple acquisition

2 Apr 2020

Image: pbombaert/Stock.adobe.com

Weather app Dark Sky will continue to provide its services to existing Android users until July, but then will become exclusive to iOS.

Popular mobile weather app Dark Sky has been acquired by Apple. The news was announced this week by the start-up’s co-founder, Adam Grossman, who informed customers that the Android app will no longer be available to download following the deal.

Grossman said that service to existing Android users will continue until 1 July 2020, “at which point the app will be shut down”. Grossman added that subscribers who are still active at that time will receive a refund.

There will be no changes to Dark Sky’s iOS app for the foreseeable future.

The company said that weather forecasts, maps and embeds will be discontinued on 1 July, and its website will only remain active in support of API and iOS app customers. The start-up added that its API service will continue to function for existing customers until the end of 2021, but Dark Sky will not be accepting new sign-ups.

The acquisition

Dark Sky was founded in 2011. The company’s app currently costs €4.49 on the iOS app store, and it gained popularity for its ‘down-to-the-minute’ weather forecasts and notifications that reminded users to bring an umbrella with them if they are going inside.

Rather than offering just a local weather forecast or a forecast for a particular city, Dark Sky uses maps to show users where storms currently are and where they are heading. It has received positive reviews from The Verge, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Wired.

Announcing the acquisition, Grossman said: “To our customers, family and friends, we are grateful for your support over the past eight years. We look forward to continuing to build great products, so stay tuned.”

The branding on its website has now been changed to say ‘Dark Sky by Apple’. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Locking out Android users

Though the acquisition may be good news for Apple users, it has left a number of Android fans disappointed.

According to Apptopia, Dark Sky has an estimated 500,000 monthly active users. Apptopia also estimates that 70pc of the weather app’s users are on Android.

Wired journalist Brian Barrett argued that there are a number of scenarios in which Apple could acquire the company or replicate its technology without shutting out Android users. “It’s worth articulating that this wasn’t the company’s only option. It’s just the worst one for Android users,” he wrote.

In response to the news, The Verge published a list of alternatives for Android users to become acquainted with before they lose access to Dark Sky. Among the suggested apps are Carrot, Appy Weather, Today Weather and Overdrop.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic