Future Tense

The Dark Sky Android App Is Officially Kaput

A woman crosses the street in the rain, a black umbrella covering her face. She is carrying several shopping bags.
People walk along the sidewalk in the rain on Christmas Eve on Dec. 24, 2014 in New York City. Andrew Burton/Getty Images

With a tropical storm barreling up the East Coast, it might be time to tune into your weather app of choice. But, for Android enthusiasts, that app can no longer be Dark Sky.

The app first hit the market back in 2012, thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, and won over hordes of users with its hyperlocal, extremely accurate forecasts. In 2014, the Verge described it as “one of the best weather apps for the iPhone.”

Apple acquired the “hyper-accurate” weather app in March. Over the weekend, Dark Sky for Android and WearOS users became, at long last, kaput. On Twitter, people reported opening the app, only to find a notification that reads, “The Dark Sky app has shut down.”

The app was slated to stop working July 1, but an extension let Android users enjoy its hour-by-hour predictions for an extra month.

In a blog post, Dark Sky’s developers explained the acquisition. “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,” they wrote. “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.”

What does that mean? Per Ars Technica, iOS 14 will likely launch later this year. And Apple’s preview page for the new operating system isn’t shy about its Dark Sky-related offerings. In the weather section, the preview boasts, “View a minute‑by‑minute chart that shows the intensity of rain or snow over the coming hour.” With iOS 14, the Weather widget will also specify “when the weather will be much warmer, colder, or wetter the next day.”

While Apple appears to be integrating Dark Sky features into its weather widget, no changes will be made to the Dark Sky iOS app at this time.

There is some good news for Android users: Apple extended the deadline to discontinue the web version of Dark Sky, which was going to shut down Tuesday. Apple has yet to announce the new date for the web shutdown, though the embeds have already been disabled.

Subscriptions for the Android app ran $2.99 per year. Upon the app’s suspension, users received an automated email that read, “Hyperlocal Weather subscription from The Dark Sky Company, LLC on Google Play has been canceled.” Subscribers to Dark Sky received full refunds.

Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society.