What happens to Appy Weather now that Dark Sky has joined Apple?
To be clear, Appy Weather will continue to work with the Dark Sky API till the end of 2021. That’s quite generous notice, and is greatly appreciated 🙏
That said, alternative weather providers have already been integrated with the long-term goal to add as many as possible so that all users, regardless of location, have a reliable option to pick from.
In general, Dark Sky (the app) being removed from Google Play is potentially great news for Appy Weather’s long-term prospects as there’s now one less established competitor. Just need to make the most of this opportunity 🌞 And, rest assured, I intend to!
Any message for Dark Sky users on Android who are currently shopping for a replacement?
Since the announcement, there have been several updates aimed specifically to ensure your potential transition to Appy Weather is seamless; there’s still much more planned to ensure you don’t get nostalgic for its app at any point 💪
Why did you go with the subscription model?
In order for Appy Weather to be sustainable, after careful consideration, it became clear a recurring revenue stream is essential. I worked incredibly hard on this app, and the last thing I want is for it to be pulled from the Store at any point in the future because it’s not economically viable. That would be a terrible outcome, especially for the customer. And so I consider it my duty to go with a monetisation policy that greatly reduces the probability of changes being introduced that may cause existing customers to feel in any way mislead, or short-changed, or in a worst-case scenario cause the app to be shut down.
Why is there more than one subscription tier?
To offer the best experience, and be sustainable, it’s less a choice and more of a necessity, unfortunately, to charge more, for anything that costs me a premium, such as forecasts via Foreca or map images via AerisWeather.
But why three?
Okay – long story.
When the app launched, its radar wasn’t of the same quality as the rest of the experience, because admittedly it wasn’t considered a high priority. In short, it wasn’t good enough – neither from a data, nor functionality perspective. From this position, I had three options on how to proceed:
1) leave the radar as it is, and concede some users may have to look elsewhere for their radar requirements
2) remove the radar entirely as it can be argued that a mediocre experience is less interested in meeting users’ needs and more concerned about simply existing (“yes, the app has a radar”)
3) invest signficantly so the radar is both data-dependable and feature-rich, but at a notable cost
Although 3) was always my preferred option, there was initial reluctance to go with it, based on the understanding that in order for the additional expenses to be at worst manageable, a new ⚡ Pro subscription tier would have to be introduced. There was no other way to improve the radar for all users.
I appreciate existing Pro users may not be satisfied with these developments as there may have understandably been an expectation that they’ll benefit from all future improvements as part of their subscription. To counter this, I’ve made an active effort to ensure Pro subscriptions offer significantly increased value as a result through premium map imagery, hourly increments, more layers and better overall performance i.e. the essentials with the extras an upgrade away. Plus subscribers will reap the benefits too, as the previous Pro radar experience is now what’s available to them (no zooming restrictions, more map layers). That said, I still don’t expect everyone to agree with the changes, but I’m hopeful that by sharing my rationale that there’s at least an understanding that this wasn’t an impulsive move and has been deliberated extensively.
Can I upgrade?
Yep, when you’re already a subscriber, upgrading automatically takes this into account – the first year on the new subscription tier will be priced as the difference between the two, before reverting to the full price for the second year.
I don’t collect or process any user data. Several companies have reached out hoping to integrate their SDK into the app. The answer every time has been consistent: not interested, as it goes against my principles. The only money I will accept is yours to upgrade your experience, and if you’re a free user, just to be clear, your data isn’t for sale either.