Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Dark Sky Has Been Acquired by Apple, Announces Discontinuation of Widely-Used API

Adam Grossman of Dark Sky:

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

[…]

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.

Dark Sky’s API is used by loads of apps you know — Carrot, Weather Line, and Hello Weather are just a few examples — but also organizations like conEdison, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and JCDecaux for its outdoor advertisement installations.

Via John Voorhees at MacStories:

Dark Sky’s announcement comes as a surprise, but it certainly makes sense from Apple’s perspective. Weather data is notoriously expensive and Dark Sky has some of the most accurate forecast data for many parts of the world, which undoubtedly made it an attractive acquisition. It will be a shame to see their data disappear from third party apps.

It’s not just expensive — weather data is a privacy concern as well. Last year, the city attorney of Los Angeles sued IBM, accusing their Weather Channel app of surreptitiously mining user data for purposes other than the app stated. Apple’s own Weather iOS app and MacOS widget also rely on Weather Channel data, which wasn’t implicated in the lawsuit. But it remains unclear if any data provided by users of either the app or widget was subject to the same privacy violations as the company’s own app.

Even though the Dark Sky API will be shutting down, it is possible that iOS and MacOS apps will soon have a native weather API.