Dark Sky is a popular weather application with hyper-local forecasts, but the Android version was discontinued in 2020 after the service was acquired by Apple. Dark Sky has now been reworked into a service that other apps can use, opening up the door for new third-party apps.
Apple recently announced WeatherKit, a new API for apps to access the same weather information that originally powered Dark Sky. WeatherKit data is used by the Weather app on iPhone and iPad (yes, the Weather app is coming to iPad), which is also why the Dark Sky app on Apple devices will be discontinued on December 31. Importantly, Apple won’t be keeping the weather data to itself — developers of third-party apps can pay for access.
The developer page for WeatherKit says, “WeatherKit is powered by the all-new Apple Weather service, a state-of-the-art global weather forecast that provides all of the data you need to power your app with timely, hyperlocal weather information. This enables your app to offer current weather conditions and 10-day hourly forecasts for temperature, precipitation, wind, UV Index, and more. Minute-by-minute precipitation for the next hour and severe weather alerts are available for select regions.”
WeatherKit is pretty cool! Only 30 minutes of work and I was able to create this app. #iosdev #WWDC2022 #swiftui pic.twitter.com/GADA7BzOK2
— Mohammad Azam (@azamsharp) June 7, 2022
Apple mentions that WeatherKit will be available as a standard API that works with any platform, including web apps and Android. That opens the door for developers to create Dark Sky-like apps for Android, Windows, and other platforms. App developers still have to pay up for access, but pricing seems reasonable — an app can make 1 million data requests per month for $49.99/mo, on top of the $99/yr Apple Developer Program.
Here’s hoping we’ll start to see more cross-platform weather apps using Apple Weather. Given how popular Dark Sky was in its prime, we probably won’t have to wait long for a modern clone that supports Android.
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