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Android is losing the Dark Sky weather app, now what?

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When Amazon purchased Eero simply over a 12 months in the past, I wrote that the entire thing felt disappointing. It was a small, impartial firm that made a tech product individuals cherished partly as a result of it was made by a small, impartial firm. But it surely bought bought by a giant tech firm and so we needed to fear what the large tech firm would do with the small, impartial firm. We needed to fear about what would occur to the product we cherished, and in addition fear that the destiny of all good, small firms is to get absorbed by a large one.

Anyway, Apple acquired the favored climate app Darkish Sky yesterday.

For iPhone customers, the Darkish Sky app will live on and proceed to price $3.99. It is going to proceed to offer hyper-local climate forecasts which can be able to telling you that it’s going to rain in your space within the subsequent 15 minutes. It is going to nonetheless be very nicely designed and you’ll nonetheless have the ability to belief that your location knowledge shall be held in secure palms.

For Android customers: sorry to your luck, the app is shutting down on July 1, 2020. Oh, and people different apps that you simply may change to? A bunch of them rely on Darkish Sky’s climate API (as do many iPhone apps), which the corporate fees builders for entry to, they usually’re all going to have to modify suppliers.

That’s as a result of Apple is shutting down Darkish Sky’s API on the finish of 2021. That’s almost two years from now, so it’s not as dire because the Darkish Sky app itself shutting down, however it’s nonetheless disappointing.

Really, I stated it feels “petty,” on Twitter, which is each honest (it’s how Android customers really feel!) and wildly unfair (Apple doesn’t run a charity and has no obligation to assist Android customers out).

Darkish Sky was a favourite amongst Android customers as a result of it was so nicely designed. That feels rarer on Android even when it isn’t — it looks like it’s important to wade by extra junk on the Google Play Retailer earlier than you discover the good things. Darkish Sky was simple to love and simple to advocate — and it was downloaded nicely over 1,000,000 occasions due to it.

Darkish Sky can also be uncommon amongst climate apps in that you simply didn’t need to consistently fear in case your knowledge was being purchased and offered. That’s a significant problem on both iPhone and Android, to be tremendous clear. However on Android particularly it stings as a result of one other previously beloved app — Climate Timeline — was acquired by a company with a history of selling location data a little over a year ago.

We’ll have some suggestions for Android apps tomorrow — though lots of the greatest ones make the most of Darkish Sky’s APIs. These builders are already tweeting about searching for different climate knowledge sources. I at the moment use Carrot on each Android and iOS — partly as a result of it has an excellent Apple Watch complication and partly as a result of I’m a sucker for the weird jokes it makes.

I’ve written earlier than on this publication about Sherlocking, when Apple duplicates a third-party app with its personal app and knocks the legs out of the market. That is one thing completely different and though it’s annoying that an important Android app goes away, I don’t actually suppose it’s knocking the legs out of something. Eero was an indication that making it as an indie {hardware} developer may be very arduous. However I anticipate that new climate apps are going to proceed to be made.

And once more, I don’t begrudge Apple for purchasing an excellent firm nor its determination to close down the Android app or the API. I’d wish to remind the individuals in my Twitter replies particularly you could be unhappy about your Android app with out being offended at Apple. There’s a “don’t hate the iPlayer” joke in right here someplace however we’re all higher than that (okay I’m not, I simply made the joke).

There are columns to be written speculating what Apple desires to do with Darkish Sky, its well-crafted app, and its very well-crafted system of gathering and making sense of climate knowledge. Will or not it’s constructed into Apple’s personal climate apps? Will it turn into one more month-to-month subscription service alongside so many others that Apple presents?

The time will come to marvel about all of that, in the best way we at all times marvel what these big firms are as much as and what merchandise they’re engaged on. For now, although, I’m wanting ahead to what loads of smaller firms are going to do to fill the hole Darkish Sky is leaving on Android.

I really like paying for apps from impartial builders. My three or 4 or twenty bucks means a lot extra to them than my annual subscription charges imply to Apple, Amazon, Google, or Microsoft. The subsequent time you’ve the chance and the wherewithal to pay for an impartial app, don’t suppose twice, do it.


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