Apple shuts down the Dark Sky weather app for iOS permanently
Apple has shut down its popular weather app, Dark Sky for iOS, permanently. The app, which was originally delisted from the App Store in September 2022, will no longer provide weather data for existing installations.
Apple shuts down Dark Sky for iOS permanently
The default weather app in iOS relied on Yahoo! Weather as the source for weather related data until iOS 8 was released in 2014, when it switched providers to The Weather Channel. Apple acquired Dark Sky in March 2020, and discontinued the Android and Wear OS apps in August 2020. This also lead to the end of the weather forecasts and maps that were available on Dark Sky's website. The only good news from this was that the weather provider's API continued to be supported, which meant that other apps could use it. That's changing soon, though.
An announcement on the app's website says that the Dark Sky iOS app is no longer available (from December 31st, 2022). The Dark Sky API will reach end of support on March 31, 2023, so any app that relies on it will have to switch to a different weather data provider.
Weather app image courtesy: Apple
So why did Apple shut down Dark Sky for iOS? The Cupertino company wanted to integrate the app's functionalities in its own app, with the WeatherKit API. It is implemented in the Apple Weather app for iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 Ventura.
Apple's Weather app isn't half bad, I use the widget everyday on my MacBook, and occasionally on my iPad. The app's animations are nice, and the temperature readings are fairly accurate. However, the forecast information that it shows can be a bit of a wild hit-and-miss. This really depends on your location. I have seen days when the app predicted a good chance of precipitation, while in reality it would actually be quite sunny, or vice-versa. Of course, you can't blame the app for inaccurate forecasts since it pulls the data from a dedicated weather provider, which is usually a third-party service. You can read about it on Apple's website. That's the problem with Apple Weather, you can't change the provider to a different source. The only option is to ditch the app completely, and use something else.
The reason why Dark Sky was so popular was because of its accuracy, especially in the U.S. It was well known for its down-to-the-minute precipitation forecasts and alerts, so you would get a notification a few minutes before it started to rain. It's easy to see why users could be upset that Dark Sky has been sunsetted.
If you want an app that is similar to Dark Sky, take a look at Carrot Weather. It has a free ad-supported version for Android and iOS, and also supports Apple Watch complications. Some features are locked behind the premium subscription. Oh, and watch out for the ad banners, they can be weird and funny. It is worth noting that the Android version of Carrot Weather has not been updated in 2 years, but it works fine.
For users who prefer a web app, a developer (via Hacker News) has created a website called Merry Sky, it resembles Dark Sky. It's quite good, and uses the Pirate Weather API as its source.
Did you use Dark Sky? Which app are you switching to?