iPad finally has a Weather app, but there are better options

Posted:
in iPad edited June 30
Apple has finally ported the Weather app to the iPad twelve years after its debut. Of course, it has stiff competition, but the company will also work with developers by introducing WeatherKit.

Apple Weather on iPad
Apple Weather on iPad


The original iPhone included weather during its launch, powered by Yahoo and then The Weather Channel until 2021.

Apple acquired a popular weather app Dark Sky in 2020. Dark Sky was famous for its accuracy, providing hyperlocal, hyper-accurate results. Users could report the weather in their location, and Apple has retained that feature in the new Weather app.

A year after the acquisition and re-tooling its app, the new first-party Weather app launched in in iOS 15. At that time, the company announced it would deprecate the Dark Sky API, forcing developers to find alternatives. But now Apple has introduced WeatherKit.

WeatherKit

WeatherKit can be used in apps for all Apple operating systems using a platform-specific Swift API. Other platforms can use a REST API.

It's powered by the new Apple Weather service, a global weather forecast system that can provide apps with 10-day hourly forecasts for temperature, precipitation, wind, UV Index, and more.

Apple says that privacy is built into the system. For example, WeatherKit uses location data only for weather forecasts and is not associated with personally identifiable information.

Logo for WeatherKit
Logo for WeatherKit


Whether developers will use Apple's system remains to be seen, but it will presumably be free, making it an attractive offering.

Apple still relies on third-party sources of weather data, though. For example, it cites sources such as The Weather Channel, Breezometer, National Weather Service, and others.

Next-hour precipitation data is provided by Apple using data from national weather services. Apple also provides some parts of temperature and precipitation maps.

Best weather apps for Apple devices

A few of these entities provide weather apps of their own, and they are some of the best apps for iPhone and iPad. Each of these apps has its own "hook," a selling point to differentiate themselves from competitors. Weather features are generally the same so it largely comes down to data accuracy and uniqueness.

Breezometer

Breezometer is the best app for air pollution, pollen, and active fires that impact health. It provides air quality data to Apple Weather, but not all of its app features, such as fire tracking, are shared.

It's essential for people living in areas prone to wildfires and people with allergies. The company uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide real-time, street-level air quality data.

Breezometer is free with in-app purchases.

CARROT Weather

CARROT Weather is known for its snarky personality, offering professional and profanity-laden forecasts.

Breezometer
Breezometer


The app offers fun ways to interact with it, offering over 100 secret locations, over 60 achievements, and letting users film TV-style weather reports.CARROT is free with in-app purchases.

The Weather Channel

The Weather Company, the parent of The Weather Channel, remains one of the premier weather sources for developers and users alike. Its features include live Doppler radar maps, storm watches, and hurricane trackers to warn users of heavy rain, heat waves, incoming floods, and more.

The Weather Channel provides 10-day forecasts and severe weather alerts to Apple Weather, as well as some temperature and precipitation maps.The Weather Channel is free with in-app purchases.

NOAA Weather

The U.S. government doesn't directly provide an app for the National Weather Service, but there is an app from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NOAA Weather
NOAA Weather


NOAA Weather provides standard weather features such as radar maps, 7-day and 24-hour forecasts, and hourly forecasts. Its hook is the exclusive sun and moon information from sunrise, sunset, moonrise, and moonset. NOAA says this data can be helpful to anglers and hunters.

NOAA is also the best weather data source for those traversing the ocean. NOAA Weather is free with in-app purchases.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    From Apple developer portal:

    Availability and pricing

    The WeatherKit beta provides up to 500,000 API calls a month per Apple DeveloperProgram membership. Once WeatherKit is out of beta, membership will continue to include 500,000 API calls per month. If you need additional API calls, monthly subscription plans will be available for purchase.

    • 500,000 calls/month: Included with membership
    • 1 million calls/month: US$ 49.99
    • 2 million calls/month: US$ 99.99
    • 5 million calls/month: US$ 249.99
    • 10 million calls/month: US$ 499.99
    • 20 million calls/month: US$ 999.99

    Additional details on how to sign up for a subscription will be available this summer.”

    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 8
    Those apps are not that accurate in Canada.
    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 8
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Apple seems to be the most accurate but did Apple remove the user reporting feature that Dark Sky had?
  • Reply 4 of 8
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 321member
    "Apple acquired popular weather app Dark Sky in 2020. Dark Sky was famous for its accuracy, providing hyperlocal, hyper-accurate results."

    Yep. WAS famous. Past tense. As in, no longer famous for. Dark Sky has gone to shite for accuracy since Apple took it over. How did they screw this up so badly? I was a Dark Sky evangelist during its days a a private company. "Hyper-accurate results" perfectly describes what its forecasts used to deliver. It was practically psychic when it came to predicting weather. I was initially thrilled when Apple bought the company--I figured it would have the financial resources to be even better. Instead, it has only gotten worse and worse. Forget about forecasts--Dark Sky can't even manage to get the "current weather" consistently right in NYC. I have been rained on so many times when Dark Sky showed a 0% chance of rain in its forecast that I don't even bother checking it any longer. RIP Dark Sky... it was the best weather app ever until Apple got its hands on it. 
    williamlondonjony0twokatmew
  • Reply 5 of 8
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,205member
    If the iPad app looks like the new iPhone app, I'll stay with TheWeatherChannel App. I find the forecasts in Apple's iPhone App less accurate, and the map is a mess. Cloud cover isn't an option, and precipitation is just vague blobs. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 8
    I have both Weather Channel and Weather Underground, although they're actually owned by the same company and presumably use the same data sources. I stopped using the Accuweather app after they put in full-screen interstitial ads.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 8
    How do we get it?  I don't see it in the App Store.  Is it part of iPadOS 16?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 8
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,072member
    charlesn said:
    "Apple acquired popular weather app Dark Sky in 2020. Dark Sky was famous for its accuracy, providing hyperlocal, hyper-accurate results."

    Yep. WAS famous. Past tense. As in, no longer famous for. Dark Sky has gone to shite for accuracy since Apple took it over. How did they screw this up so badly? I was a Dark Sky evangelist during its days a a private company. "Hyper-accurate results" perfectly describes what its forecasts used to deliver. It was practically psychic when it came to predicting weather. I was initially thrilled when Apple bought the company--I figured it would have the financial resources to be even better. Instead, it has only gotten worse and worse. Forget about forecasts--Dark Sky can't even manage to get the "current weather" consistently right in NYC. I have been rained on so many times when Dark Sky showed a 0% chance of rain in its forecast that I don't even bother checking it any longer. RIP Dark Sky... it was the best weather app ever until Apple got its hands on it. 
    Dark Sky’s maps always sucked. My local TV news apps have better maps. 
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