41 votes

Apple has acquired the Dark Sky weather app - Android version and website will shut down on July 1, API active through end of 2021

45 comments

  1. [14]
    PendingKetchup
    Link
    Dangit. This was my go-to weather web site, and now they're going to shut down their web site. Can I sue Apple for antitrust violations for buying up companies apparently just to make those...

    Dangit. This was my go-to weather web site, and now they're going to shut down their web site.

    Can I sue Apple for antitrust violations for buying up companies apparently just to make those products incompatible with their competitors?

    37 votes
    1. [12]
      EscReality
      Link Parent
      I love the Dark Sky app. It's really frustrating that I am an avid Android user and am still getting affected by Apple.

      I love the Dark Sky app.

      It's really frustrating that I am an avid Android user and am still getting affected by Apple.

      10 votes
      1. [12]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. EscReality
          Link Parent
          *silently slides pixel 4 into my pocket *

          *silently slides pixel 4 into my pocket *

          4 votes
        2. [6]
          lionirdeadman
          Link Parent
          I mean you say that but arguably, Apple has more influence on web than you'd think. Why is that? iOS can only run Safari of course. So for example, recently, W3C wanted a language for WebGPU....

          I mean you say that but arguably, Apple has more influence on web than you'd think. Why is that? iOS can only run Safari of course.

          So for example, recently, W3C wanted a language for WebGPU. Apple vetoed SPIR-V (used by Vulkan and newer OpenGL) and chose to make WGSL which is its own language. I suspect heavily that this was done since they refuse to support OpenGL or Vulkan anymore (although I've heard some argue that they wanted something in text format which is human readable but this could've still been done with transcompiling kind of like WASM).

          But this decision means that web browsers will need to make their own thing and we'll need other transcompilers so that's not gonna be much fun.

          4 votes
          1. Greg
            Link Parent
            They're also a big influence on the state of video delivery. VP9 could have been great if they'd allowed it to be prevalent, and I'm concerned that they might turn their back on AV1 as well....

            They're also a big influence on the state of video delivery. VP9 could have been great if they'd allowed it to be prevalent, and I'm concerned that they might turn their back on AV1 as well. Thankfully the fMP4 vs MPEG-TS issue was settled a couple of years back, meaning that DASH and HLS can share infrastructure, but they still use HLS to dictate policy rather than engaging with the open standard.

            3 votes
          2. [4]
            Autoxidation
            Link Parent
            I have Brave, Chrome, and Opera on my iOS device...

            iOS can only run Safari of course.

            I have Brave, Chrome, and Opera on my iOS device...

            1. [3]
              jackson
              Link Parent
              All use the Safari Rendering Engine, which is required to publish a web browser to the App Store.

              All use the Safari Rendering Engine, which is required to publish a web browser to the App Store.

              6 votes
              1. [2]
                Autoxidation
                Link Parent
                Do you mean Webkit?

                Do you mean Webkit?

                1 vote
                1. Deimos
                  Link Parent
                  Yes, 2.5.6 in the App Store Guidelines: iOS browsers are very restricted in multiple ways and aren't able to have a lot of the capabilities they do on other platforms.

                  Yes, 2.5.6 in the App Store Guidelines:

                  2.5.6 Apps that browse the web must use the appropriate WebKit framework and WebKit Javascript.

                  iOS browsers are very restricted in multiple ways and aren't able to have a lot of the capabilities they do on other platforms.

                  1 vote
        3. [4]
          Greg
          Link Parent
          That's an interesting one, actually. Google's influence is pervasive and inescapable, but broadly open: they support published standards (even if as a means to steer those standards in their own...

          That's an interesting one, actually. Google's influence is pervasive and inescapable, but broadly open: they support published standards (even if as a means to steer those standards in their own direction), they allow and even encourage data to be exported, they interoperate cleanly with competitors' solutions.

          Apple, on the other hand, are ultra insular. Our way or the highway. It means their influence is more contained within their own ecosystem, but when they do make a decision that leaks into the greater community there's very little option for integration.

          2 votes
          1. [3]
            emdash
            Link Parent
            On the contrary, I'd argue Google is following a more insidious variation of Microsoft's E-E-E strategy a lot of the time: build your own proprietary system, for example, Accelerated Mobile Pages,...

            Google's influence is pervasive and inescapable, but broadly open: they support published standards (even if as a means to steer those standards in their own direction)

            On the contrary, I'd argue Google is following a more insidious variation of Microsoft's E-E-E strategy a lot of the time: build your own proprietary system, for example, Accelerated Mobile Pages, then try to shoehorn it into an open standard that still obviously benefits the creator; or use their monopoly powers in advertising to build a web browser to control the direction of 'open standards' (see Chrome & Blink).

            4 votes
            1. [2]
              Greg
              Link Parent
              I actually contemplated mentioning E-E-E explicitly, because I don't really disagree with you. I think Google is probably the more dangerous of the two at a global scale, but the fact remains that...

              I actually contemplated mentioning E-E-E explicitly, because I don't really disagree with you.

              I think Google is probably the more dangerous of the two at a global scale, but the fact remains that there still is generally an escape hatch for users to take their own data, fork their own implementation, and so forth, at least for now. Perhaps I'm being naïve in thinking that matters in the face of overwhelming corporate might and millions of hours of dev time - but it still gives me some comfort.

              1. emdash
                Link Parent
                Nah, I think you're about right. The outward influence from both Apple and Google realistically depends on where you fall in the enthusiasm spectrum on the web, and what you care most about. Both...

                Nah, I think you're about right. The outward influence from both Apple and Google realistically depends on where you fall in the enthusiasm spectrum on the web, and what you care most about. Both have sizeable influences on the consumer space (Google Search as a monopoly, iPhone as a standard for Android manufacturers to replicate re: headphone jack, pricing, etc) and developer space (standards, graphics, web browsers, etc).

                1 vote
    2. smoontjes
      Link Parent
      I've been using yr.no for a long time and have found them to be quite precise the majority of the time. They cover the whole world, not just Norway :)

      I've been using yr.no for a long time and have found them to be quite precise the majority of the time. They cover the whole world, not just Norway :)

      2 votes
  2. [3]
    Deimos
    Link
    An interesting point that I saw someone make is that there are probably a lot of smart-home-like devices that are using the Dark Sky API for weather info. If they do shut the API down at the end...

    An interesting point that I saw someone make is that there are probably a lot of smart-home-like devices that are using the Dark Sky API for weather info. If they do shut the API down at the end of 2021, it's definitely possible that a lot of (potentially unsupported) devices will suddenly stop being able to get weather data.

    26 votes
    1. onyxleopard
      Link Parent
      This is kind of the same justification for Apple to want to own their own weather data service. Historically Apple’s Weather app on iOS has sourced data from The Weather Channel and from Yahoo!...

      This is kind of the same justification for Apple to want to own their own weather data service. Historically Apple’s Weather app on iOS has sourced data from The Weather Channel and from Yahoo! Weather at different times. Similar scenario with the Stocks and Maps apps. Apple’s tack here has been consistently heading toward owning the data pipelines that power their data-dependent default apps so they don’t have to take any risk on external dependencies.

      14 votes
    2. EscReality
      Link Parent
      I use the "Big Sky" weather skill on my Amazon devices, which runs off of the Dark Sky API. It's a really great skill for Alexa, it's very unfortunate that its days are now numbered.

      I use the "Big Sky" weather skill on my Amazon devices, which runs off of the Dark Sky API.

      It's a really great skill for Alexa, it's very unfortunate that its days are now numbered.

      1 vote
  3. [2]
    wundumguy
    Link
    I've been paying for this thing for years. And now they're just shutting it down on my Pixel. Cool

    I've been paying for this thing for years. And now they're just shutting it down on my Pixel. Cool

    13 votes
    1. EscReality
      Link Parent
      I literally just downloaded it last week for my Pixel 4. =/

      I literally just downloaded it last week for my Pixel 4. =/

      2 votes
  4. [4]
    emdash
    (edited )
    Link
    Upside: The weather app on iOS is probably going to get far better. Downside: This is the shuttering of one of the best cheap-to-access weather API's on the internet, and it's rather accurate too...

    Upside: The weather app on iOS is probably going to get far better. Downside: This is the shuttering of one of the best cheap-to-access weather API's on the internet, and it's rather accurate too (at least for U.S. locations, for rest of world it's always typically hit and miss).

    Edit: Now that I think more about it, this might finally result in a weather app for iPad (and therefore Mac). Take the ethos of the Apple Watch Series 4 complication design—dense data at your fingertips—and you might have a firehose of weather data displayed beautifully on a giant iPad or Mac screen.

    11 votes
    1. [3]
      joplin
      Link Parent
      While the current API will shut down, I have to wonder whether Apple will use it to create a new API for others to use like they do for Maps?

      While the current API will shut down, I have to wonder whether Apple will use it to create a new API for others to use like they do for Maps?

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        emdash
        Link Parent
        I sincerely hope so. Considering they support an Apple Music API—which enables great third party apps such as Cesium—and an Apple Maps API, I don't see why a future Apple Sky API couldn't be a thing.

        I sincerely hope so. Considering they support an Apple Music API—which enables great third party apps such as Cesium—and an Apple Maps API, I don't see why a future Apple Sky API couldn't be a thing.

        2 votes
        1. mrspaz
          Link Parent
          My concern would be that it would be crippled. The distinguishing "hyperlocal" functionality of the Dark Sky API will likely be quashed, and that granularity and resolution reserved for Apple's...

          My concern would be that it would be crippled. The distinguishing "hyperlocal" functionality of the Dark Sky API will likely be quashed, and that granularity and resolution reserved for Apple's use. If they do that and it's reduced to "regional" weather, then it would just be another option amongst many.

          1 vote
  5. kfwyre
    Link
    Add me to the list of disappointed Android users. I love Dark Sky. Their precipitation notifications are incredibly accurate for me. I rely on them to let me know when it's about to rain so that I...

    Add me to the list of disappointed Android users. I love Dark Sky. Their precipitation notifications are incredibly accurate for me. I rely on them to let me know when it's about to rain so that I can make sure my dog gets to go out before it starts.

    9 votes
  6. [6]
    mooseknuckle
    Link
    The blog post says This statement is contradictory. If their goal is actually to reach as many people as possible, they would be doing more to improve the app on multiple platforms to reach a...

    The blog post says

    Our goal has always been to ... help as many people as we can stay dry and safe ... 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.

    This statement is contradictory. If their goal is actually to reach as many people as possible, they would be doing more to improve the app on multiple platforms to reach a larger audience. By closing down the Android and web apps they are shrinking their potential audience. The post seems insincere to me.

    9 votes
    1. [5]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [2]
        Sheep
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Yeah this is what it sounds like to me too. I don't get why people are saying they're not gonna reach more people this way. This absolutely does mean they will reach a wider audience, because...

        Yeah this is what it sounds like to me too. I don't get why people are saying they're not gonna reach more people this way.

        This absolutely does mean they will reach a wider audience, because their app/service will be natively built into everyone's iOS devices, which means millions of users will be using it by default, versus their couple million downloads on both app stores and however many apps used their website and API (which I still don't believe would surpass the amount of people they will reach by being the default weather provider on iOS).

        Sure, it does mean they no longer can reach everyone with a smartphone, but do people seriously realistically expected a weather app to be that universal in the first place? They'd have to convince everyone to voluntarily download their app, and I never saw them attempting such a thing. Hell, Dark Sky's app wasn't even available for download outside the US as far as I know, so regions like Europe and Asia had always been neglected by them anyway.

        I hate the move as an Android user, since I know so many weather apps depended on their API, but it does result in a larger customer base and more revenue, and I think tons of people are really misconstruing this point.

        5 votes
        1. joplin
          Link Parent
          More likely billions, so yeah, much wider audience.

          which means millions of users will be using it by default

          More likely billions, so yeah, much wider audience.

          4 votes
      2. [2]
        lionirdeadman
        Link Parent
        But there's no reason why they couldn't do both. I'm not even sure why Apple would want them to close down everything, surely Dark Sky is a profitable company and they could still profit from it...

        But there's no reason why they couldn't do both.

        I'm not even sure why Apple would want them to close down everything, surely Dark Sky is a profitable company and they could still profit from it even if its main usage would be in the Apple weather app.

        Even Apple knows that Android can't be ignored hence why they have Apple Music on it. I really don't understand this.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. lionirdeadman
            Link Parent
            I suppose that's a fair assessment but I do think Dark Sky could've stayed independent while being used by Apple too. After all, Apple had to rely on someone in the end until well, now where they...

            I suppose that's a fair assessment but I do think Dark Sky could've stayed independent while being used by Apple too. After all, Apple had to rely on someone in the end until well, now where they have their own service.

    2. SleepyGary
      Link Parent
      Yea it reads like a in-video sponsored ad read by a youtuber. "You know what I like best about Raid Shadow Legends? It's the most immersive and realistic RPG on mobile ever!" says that 75 year old...

      Yea it reads like a in-video sponsored ad read by a youtuber. "You know what I like best about Raid Shadow Legends? It's the most immersive and realistic RPG on mobile ever!" says that 75 year old woodworker.

      1 vote
  7. [11]
    cmccabe
    Link
    Anybody want to share alternative weather data sources? One I have used is https://www.windy.com I think I might have even first heard about Windy on Tildes.

    Anybody want to share alternative weather data sources? One I have used is https://www.windy.com I think I might have even first heard about Windy on Tildes.

    7 votes
    1. [8]
      moocow1452
      Link Parent
      Wunderground.com seems to work well for those who like it. Or the NOAA?

      Wunderground.com seems to work well for those who like it. Or the NOAA?

      4 votes
      1. [6]
        whbboyd
        Link Parent
        If you're in the US or looking for US forecasts, I highly recommend NOAA (https://www.weather.gov/). Forecasts at least as good as any other provider (often significantly better), no profit...

        If you're in the US or looking for US forecasts, I highly recommend NOAA (https://www.weather.gov/). Forecasts at least as good as any other provider (often significantly better), no profit motive, and if you want to geek out about meteorology, it's an endless rabbit hole.

        However—it is, by nature, US-only, which significantly limits its utility (even for Americans—I've thoughtlessly loaded the page up for a quick forecast when traveling abroad).

        12 votes
        1. [5]
          EscReality
          Link Parent
          The NOAA app is actually quite good too for something put out by the government (they even have an Alexa Skill).

          The NOAA app is actually quite good too for something put out by the government (they even have an Alexa Skill).

          2 votes
          1. [4]
            ubergeek
            Link Parent
            Which app is the NOAA app? They seem to be all made by third parties, and I only care for the legit one. tia

            Which app is the NOAA app? They seem to be all made by third parties, and I only care for the legit one. tia

            1 vote
            1. [3]
              EscReality
              Link Parent
              Oh shoot, I never actually looked into it but I guess it is a third party app that is "unofficially endorsed" by NOAA (whatever that means). NOAA doesn't have one that they personally make, sorry!...

              Oh shoot, I never actually looked into it but I guess it is a third party app that is "unofficially endorsed" by NOAA (whatever that means). NOAA doesn't have one that they personally make, sorry!

              On the playstore it's titled "NOAA Weather Radar Live & Alerts", I have been using it here in Colorado for a few years no without much issue. It was the first NOAA app that ever came available and they have been supporting it for years.

              4 votes
      2. ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        loading loading static content loaded, displaying loading dynamic content cookies disabled SHUT DOWN THE WHOLE PAGE Excellent service. 5/10. 7/10 with rice.

        Wunderground.com seems to work well for those who like it.

        loading

        loading

        static content loaded, displaying

        loading dynamic content

        cookies disabled

        SHUT DOWN THE WHOLE PAGE

        Excellent service. 5/10. 7/10 with rice.

        5 votes
    2. ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      Windy has some nice visualizations available. They ever run almost smoothly on my old laptop – which is in itself worthy of a praise.

      Windy has some nice visualizations available. They ever run almost smoothly on my old laptop – which is in itself worthy of a praise.

      1 vote
  8. hungariantoast
    Link
    I have to agree with Dieter, this just "feels incredibly petty." Other than that, why is the idea of combining (readable) graphs and maps on the same fucking page apparently something that only...

    I have to agree with Dieter, this just "feels incredibly petty."

    Other than that, why is the idea of combining (readable) graphs and maps on the same fucking page apparently something that only Dark Sky can come up with?

    I mean, if Wunderground or Windy or some other competitor would just change their user interface a bit they'd be a perfectly suitable replacement for this sell out.

    6 votes
  9. [3]
    Five
    Link
    I personally don’t see a problem is it a shame that android users can use it now yes, but they could have got it and removed it from iPhone

    I personally don’t see a problem is it a shame that android users can use it now yes, but they could have got it and removed it from iPhone

    1. [2]
      tindall
      Link Parent
      Perhaps we can agree that it would be better if petty corporate manoeuvring didn't make anyone's life harder?

      Perhaps we can agree that it would be better if petty corporate manoeuvring didn't make anyone's life harder?

      2 votes
      1. Five
        Link Parent
        Yes it definitely seems like the wrong time to do something petty

        Yes it definitely seems like the wrong time to do something petty

        1 vote