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Apple killing Dark Sky for Android and Wear OS later this year after acquisition

Apple this morning revealed the surprising acquisition of the excellent Dark Sky weather app. In the process, Dark Sky for Android and Wear OS will be killed by Apple later this year.

Dark Sky is a hyperlocal weather app that offers “down-to-the-minute forecasts.” Geared toward rain, the app is centered around providing predictions for the next hour with timely notifications.

It’s unclear how exactly Dark Sky will be integrated into Apple — presumably replacing or augmenting the existing iOS Weather app — but the company’s other products will be killed.

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. Subscribers who are still active at that time will receive a refund.

The Android and Wear OS clients will shut down this July, but should otherwise continue to function until that deadline. In the short term, the apps will be removed from the Play Store, though both are still available as of this morning’s announcement. The app is free to download on Android with a two-week free trial before users have to pay $2.99 per year.

Current users are being alerted about the acquisition directly in the app. Version 3.3.1 was also released today, and users are advised to update to continue “receiving weather notifications.”

On that mid-year date, Dark Sky is also deprecating its website with weather forecasts, maps, and embeds. Existing API customers and third-party apps will have access until the end of 2021, but no new sign-ups will be accepted moving forward.

Apple killing Dark Sky for Android is surprising given that their last high-profile cross-platform acquisition — Shazam — remains available and regularly gets new features. This is likely meant to ensure that access to Dark Sky’s data is exclusive to Apple devices.

More broadly, this move is a great loss to the Android ecosystem. Dark Sky was one of the few weather apps to not engage in nefarious location harvesting schemes. In fact, the developers cited “privacy” in joining Apple.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: