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Dark Sky Weather: Here's what you need to know

Dark Sky may not be on Android anymore, but you can still try it out. Here's what you need to know.
By
April 17, 2021
Dark Sky screenshot

The beloved weather app Dark Sky spent a few good years on Android before Apple came along and bought it up. Unfortunately, that purchase came with an immediate decision to remove the app from Android. With no possibility of a return on the immediate horizon, here’s what you need to know about Dark Sky as it exists right now.

See also: The best weather apps and widgets for Android

We’ll take you through the short-lived Darker Sky APK, as well as your current options if you want to use Dark Sky and a few great alternatives. Let’s get to it.

What was Darker Sky?

As soon as Apple pulled Dark Sky from the Play Store, users began to add the Darker Sky APK to their Android devices via side-loading. While it’s a less safe way to grab an app, this method lets you take advantage of the hyper-localized weather features you know and love.

Essentially, Darker Sky launched as a clone of the original app, just with a few key exceptions. It offered support for the key free features like weather forecasting and radar views, but you couldn’t tap into any of the paid severe weather or reporting features.

Unfortunately, Darker Sky had a very short lifespan. Apple quickly shut down any attempts to download it, and you can no longer find the APK files online.

What if you still want to use Dark Sky?

Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 12 Max camera
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

If you’re determined to make Dark Sky Weather your app of choice, you’ll have to give Apple a try. You can download the app like normal from the App Store, though it costs $3.99. It’s currently available for iPhone, iPad, and the Apple Watch, and it was last updated in November of 2020.

Your other option is to check out darksky.net for a browser view of the local weather. It offers the same great map access you’re looking for, as well as the Time Machine feature for weather in the past or future. The browser version also works on Android, though it’s not as clean as the app.

Are there good Dark Sky Android alternatives?

accuweather weather app icon

Like any good app, there are always alternatives that you can try. While none of them are identical to the hyper-localized forecasting that Dark Sky offered on Android, here are a few of our favorites:

See also: Android alternatives to some of the best iOS apps

AccuWeather

This app features the basics, including extended forecasts, hourly forecasts, and the like. You’ll also get radar, some of the best Wear OS support of any weather app, and more. AccuWeather even includes a MinuteCast feature. It predicts rain on a minute-by-minute basis so that you can plan your day a little easier. The app underwent a re-design in mid-2020 and introduced some new bugs that are still being ironed out. Additionally, the service has a subscription service for some users.

Appy Weather

Appy Weather is a relatively new weather app. It has many features, including radar and forecasting, which you’d expect from most weather apps. Some of its more unique features include a much more personalized feed than most, a fun and fashionable UI, and hyperlocal weather. Appy Weather actually uses Dark Sky’s API making it one of the closest alternatives. The subscription isn’t bad either at $3.99 per year.

The Weather Channel

Weather Channel is easily among the most recognizable weather apps out there. It includes the current temperature, future forecasts, severe weather alerts, radar, and more. You’ll also get access to breaking news, lightning alerts, and pollen alerts. There are a variety of widgets, a separate tablet UI, and additional stuff. That said, all of these features mean The Weather Channel app is one of the biggest ones on the list and not a great option for fans of minimalism.

What The Forecast

What The Forecast is one of the more enjoyable weather apps.  It gives you funny quips that describe the weather outside. It packs over 6600 phrases with an optional setting for profanity. Additionally, the app includes a seven-day forecast, integration with AerisWeather, current temperature, the real feel, etc. This is definitely a fun weather app for those who want to lighten up their forecasting. Of course, you’re not under any obligation to actually use the profanity setting.