Apple bought Dark Sky, one of the best and most popular weather apps on the market, for an undisclosed sum, Dark Sky said in a statement on Tuesday. The company said that with Apple’s help, Dark Sky will have the ability to “reach far more people, with far more impact, than we ever could alone.”
If you’re unaware of Dark Sky, it might just be one of the best weather apps ever released. It comes with an outstanding design to help you easily get your weather, but also uses your precise location and tells you what your weather conditions will be down to the minute. So, while other apps will tell you generally speaking what your weather is in a particular town or city, Dark Sky can tell you what things are like in your exact location. Dark Sky costs $3.99.
Apple’s Dark Sky acquisition is bad news for Android users since the company said that it will continue to operate Dark Sky on iOS, but it will no longer be available on Android devices. Those who already have Dark Sky on Android will be able to keep using it until July 1, at which point it’ll go away.
Exactly what Apple wants with Dark Sky right now is unknown. But it’s not hard to surmise what’s behind the acquisition.
For one, Apple’s Weather app built into iOS is downright awful. The company has made minor improvements over the years, but it’s generally considered poorly designed, lacks many of the features you can find in most other weather apps, and doesn’t work as well as alternatives.
It’s possible, therefore, that Apple will replace its Weather app with Dark Sky, and make it the default app option in iOS.
Aside from that, Dark Sky has application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow apps to use its weather information inside their programs. Apple will be turning off that API access at the end of next year.
But that doesn’t mean that the integration will be eliminated. It’s possible that Apple could integrate Dark Sky weather data into a variety of applications. The feature, for instance, might be especially useful in Apple Maps for people looking to see what the weather is like ahead of them. Apple might also consider integrating it into Mail, Safari, or other apps out of the box.
Apple, in other words, could being making some interesting Dark Sky moves. Too bad Android users won’t be able to participate in the fun.