To our great disappointment, Apple used its vast pool of wealth to buy the Dark Sky weather app. The company plans to end Dark Sky service for all Android users on July 1st, leaving thousands of people in the dust. So what now? What other apps can provide the hyper-amalgamated weather information of Dark Sky?
Well, there are more options available than you’d expect. The Google Play Store is filled to the brim with weather apps, many of which run on the Dark Sky API (same weather reports of Dark Sky, different skin). That said, Apple plans to end support for the API near the end of 2021, so you may want to consider downloading an alternative today to save yourself from heartbreak tomorrow.
But given Dark Sky’s accuracy and popularity, we’re going to focus on app’s that will at least let you access its data through the API.
What to Look for In a Weather App
Again, we’re going to look at apps that use the Dark Sky API, along with a few standalone alternatives. These weather apps all have their quirks, and some may make for better Dark Sky replacements than others.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Style and Ease of Use: Most modern weather apps try to keep things as sleek as possible. Still, some are a little too simple. If you’re a big fan of complicated graphs and hardcore data, then use that as your guiding light.
- Forecast Maps and Radar: Most weather apps have forecast maps or weather radars built-in. But again, some are more detailed than others. This is worth keeping in mind if you’re a fan of Dark Sky’s highly detailed maps.
- The Dark Sky API: Now’s your time to decide whether you want to stick with the Dark Sky API or ditch it for something else. This is a tough decision, as the Dark Sky API will continue to work till the end of 2021 so you might as well take advantage of it as long as you can. Of course, it’s possible that some Android apps will shift from the Dark Sky API before Apple pulls the plug.
- Privacy: The Accuweather, Weather Bug, and Weather Channel apps are all decent options for Android users. But we’re excluding them from this list because they have a history of selling user location data. If that kind of thing doesn’t matter to you, then these three apps are worth a peek.
Now that we have an idea of what we’re looking at, let’s jump right into it. Here are the weather apps that’ll help you move on from Dark Sky.
Best Overall: Google Weather (Free)
Google has its own weather “app,” with a simple (and cute) interface that should appeal to most people. It contains everything that you’d expect from a basic weather app, including a “Feels Like” rating, wind speeds, humidity and UV levels, and weather predictions for the next ten days. Google pulls its weather information from Weather.com, so you don’t have to worry about the impending death of the Dark Sky API on Android devices.
Because this is a web service, the Google Weather app isn’t available on the Google Play Store. Instead, you must open your Google app (or the search bar widget on Pixel devices) and type in “weather.” This will bring you to the applet, which will prompt you to add the applet to your home screen.
If you want to use a Google Weather widget, just long-press your home screen, scroll down to Google, and pick out a weather feed widget.
Minimal Yet Robust: Appy Weather (Free, $4 a Year for Premium)
Appy Weather is another minimal weather app that runs on the Dark Sky API. It provides detailed weather info in a format that’s easy to digest, and like Dark Sky, it’s full of extra info on things like humidity or wind speed.
The basic version of Appy is totally free. But if you want access to extra features, like temperature in the status bar, widgets, notifications, and radar, then you’ll have to pay $4 a year. Considering the quality of this app, its premium features are well worth the price.
Most Similar to Dark Sky: Shadow Weather (Free, $5 a Year for Premium)
Shadow Weather is the only app that can serve as a direct replacement for Dark Sky. It runs on the Dark Sky API, it has a similar UI to Dark Sky, and it places a huge emphasis on things like radar, forecast maps, and calendar integration. This comes with features like lightning strike detection and detailed humidity or wind speed ratings.
The free version of Shadow Weather is actually pretty detailed. But if you want radar and background updates, you’ll have to pony up $5 a year.
Snarkiest Weather App: Carrot Weather (Free, $4 a Year for Premium)
Carrot Weather is a personal favorite of ours, as it’s built to be as snarky and personally insulting as possible. The app actually speaks when you open it, and fills you in on weather info using cute, easy to read graphics. It includes access to radar and forecast maps, and runs on the Dark Sky API for super accurate readings.
While Carrot Weather is available for free, we suggest paying $4 a year for the premium version. This allows you to change your weather source from Dark Sky to any of its competitors, and opens access to a customizable widget and the Time Machine tool, which lets you compare today’s weather with reports from up to 70 years ago.
Pick Any API: Today Weather (Free, $3 a Year for Radar)
If you want to slowly wean yourself off of Dark Sky’s wonderful weather info, then you should check out Today Weather. It’s a clean looking app with super detailed weather alerts, radar and worldwide forecast maps, and the coolest looking widgets we’ve seen from a weather app. And unlike other weather apps, you can choose which API to use with Today Weather.
This means that you can use Today Weather to pull info from Dark Sky, or from Accuweather, Weather.com, Foreca, the National Weather Service, and a mess of other sources. These features are all available for free, but you’ll have to pay $3 a month to get rid of ads and gain access to the radar.
Widgets Galore: Overdrop (Three Payment Options)
If widgets are your thing, then Overdrop is your app, because it has over 50 of them bad boys. But it’s more than just widgets—it’s also a great-looking weather app that uses the Dark Sky API. The interface is pretty similar to Today Weather, but maybe a bit more straightforward and easy to use. It has everything you need at a glance, including temperature, feels like, precipitation, wind speed, a 24-hour outlook (with wind, temperature, and rain forecasts), and a 7-day forecast.
Keeping true to its simplistic nature, however, Overdrop is missing more advanced features, like a radar or air quality details. There isn’t a free version of Overdrop available—it’s either $7.50 for a lifetime license, $2.19 a year, or $0.99 a month. Either way you go, you get a three-day free trial to make sure that Overdrop is the app for you. As long as you cancel within that three-day window, you won’t be charged.