Apple Acquires Dark Sky Weather App

From Dark Sky’s Blog – Dark Sky Has a New Home:

Today we have some important and exciting news to share: Dark Sky has joined Apple.

Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy.

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.

There’s no need to speculate on why this is a sound acquisition for Apple. They will always need to improve their weather capabilities on their operating systems and Dark Sky is a premium product that is precise and offers reliable forecasts. It checks out.

The [Android] 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.

Yikes. It makes sense that they are doing this, but it’s a huge stab in the back for their long-time Android customers.

The optics are not great for small tech businesses / startups in general. As customers, what guarantees do we have that the products we rely on won’t be acquired and immediately shut down by Google, Amazon, Microsoft, or Apple?

Even small, profitable, award-winning products like Dark Sky are not immune to the ever-expanding reach of The Tech Giants.

Our API service for existing customers is not changing today, but we will no longer accept new signups. The API will continue to function through the end of 2021.

Speaking of reliability, what about all those businesses that rely on the Dark Sky API? What are they gonna do? They now have a couple months to figure it out.

There is a glimmer of hope, though. Although it’s clear that Apple is not particularly interested in Dark Sky’s API business, seeing recent Apple Maps API developments leads me to believe that they could build their own branded version of Dark Sky’s weather API – an Apple Weather API. Same as with their Maps API, they could offer it at competitive prices with first-class support for their operating systems and the web.

I hope this is what they’re gonna do with it.

The thing I’m curious about is whether this means that Siri will finally warn me if it’s gonna rain in 7 minutes before I walk my dog.