It seems that dark clouds are looming for over 1 million Android users after Apple announced that it was shutting down popular Dark Sky Weather App on July 1, 2020. This news also spells trouble for other independent weather apps such as Carrot, Partly Sunny that rely on Dark Sky’s data.
Android users will continue to have access to weather app Dark Sky for a few more months, while users with existing subscriptions beyond July 1 will receive a refund once it is finally pulled out. Dark Sky is currently available on iOS with more than half a million users. It is also one of the most popular paid weather apps in Google Play and App Store.
What Makes Dark Sky Weather App So Popular?
To help you standout from the thousands of apps in the app store a product must have your own unique proposition. In this case, Dark Sky was built to warn people about rain. Nobody really checks their weather app when its sunny outside, but if you have something that can warn you that it’s going to rain in the next ten minutes then that’s something worth subscribing.
What it Means for Other Weather Apps?
Most of us think that apps are independently developed. But this is not entirely true because some apps use data provided by another company. This can be seen in some of the popular weather apps such as Carrot that has partnered with Dark Sky for its weather data. It is how Carrot uses and presents this data that makes it unique from Dark Sky.
Weather App Dark Sky is an entirely in-house operation. No, it does not maintain its own weather equipment or gather data directly but gets data from National Weather Service. So why can’t other weather apps simply get its data from the National Weather Service?
Dark Sky has its own ‘machine learning models’ that gives users the exact weather condition based on their location. Everyone can have access to the same data but how you are able to interpret this and make it relevant, that’s the key.This is how it can tell you if its going to rain outside in the next 5 minutes.
Dark Sky is a standalone app, but it is also a data provider for third party developers. Dark Sky is a popular choice among small developers because of their pay-as-you-go model. The company does not charge third-party developers a flat fee, rather, they charge them for data request after they’ve used their free limit.
Apple will discontinue Weather App Dark Sky API support at the end of 2021. Which basically means third party developers who are currently using Dark Sky’s data will have to look to other sources. This goes for Android and iOS developers.
Good News – Bad News
Bad news for Dark Sky Weather App users on Android and third-party weather app developers. Good news for iOS users as they should expect some of the good things at Weather App Dark Sky to roll out on their standard weather app. Just don’t expect all the bells and whistles as there are still no plans to make Dark Sky a free service.