Dark Sky app put on notice as Apple readies iOS 15's big weather upgrade

Apple has delayed the shut-down of popular weather service Dark Sky, though both the iPhone app and the API used by third-party developers are still on borrowed time. The Cupertino firm acquired Dark Sky back in March 2020, and the bad news came thick and fast after that.

Dark Sky had gained popularity for its hyper-local forecasts, capable of warning people of upcoming rain showers and other weather changes with exacting detail. That functionality was shared with other apps and services, too, thanks to Dark Sky's API.

Apple, though, decided to change all that. The Android version of Dark Sky was unceremoniously yanked from the Google Play store, and users were warned that if they had it installed it would cease working from July 1, 2020. The Dark Sky API, meanwhile, was to be shut down at the end of 2021. No end date for the Dark Sky iOS app was given.

This week, Dark Sky shifted the timelines. "Support for the Dark Sky API service for existing customers will continue until the end of 2022," company co-founder Adam Grossman confirmed, 9to5Mac reports. "The iOS app and Dark Sky website will also be available until the end of 2022."

Apple didn't say exactly why it wanted Dark Sky, though the company's Weather app for iPhone and iPad was an obvious reason. That will be getting a number of improvements in iOS 15, it was revealed at WWDC 2021 earlier this week. Apple plans to revamp the design, with new animations that expand upon the current interface.

More usefully, there'll be features like notifications of any precipitation coming within the next hour. Apple has also changed the interface for things like wind direction, pressure, and other information, making them easier to understand at a glance.

Those wanting to get an early look at that can install the iOS 15 developer beta – assuming they're a registered Apple developer – though a public beta is expected to launch next month. The full release of iOS 15 is expected later this year, likely around the time of the new iPhone 13 launch.