AccuWeather's Making a Play for Dark Sky's Android Users With a Redesigned App

The redesign was pushed to both iOS and Android today.
The redesign was pushed to both iOS and Android today.
Photo: Victoria Song/Gizmodo

When Apple bought Dark Sky back in March, it was a death knell for Android fans of the app. A small reprieve was granted earlier this month, when Dark Sky co-founder Adam Grossman said the Android app would work an additional month before shutting down on August 1. Well, that day is fast approaching, and it would appear a new contender is angling to be Android’s weather app of choice: AccuWeather.

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According to Android Police, a new beta of the app has been in the works over the past three months. (You know, about the time since the Dark Sky news dropped.) On top of a new UI and a much-needed redesign, Android Police notes that it appears there’s also a new minute-by-minute clock on the homepage that shows off local precipitation forecasts. It’s not quite the same as Dark Sky’s schtick, but it’s close enough that folks desperately seeking an alternative might be willing to try.

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AccuWeather’s app has offered its MinuteCast forecasts for a while now; however, at least in the iOS version, it’s not quite as prominently displayed. Previously, it was a bar hidden under some other metrics that made it very easy to scroll past. The redesign also includes a bottom tab navigation system, which in the year of our lord 2020, it is frankly surprising that AccuWeather is only doing this now. The app also includes the option to enable dark mode.

The new AccuWeather app is expected to roll out on the Google Play Store today, which is good timing on AccuWeather’s part. Part of the problem with Apple acquiring Dark Sky is that it not only meant the death of the Android app, but also the API that third-party apps used will also be kaput by 2022. It’s not a problem for iOS users. Many Dark Sky features will likely make their way over to Apple’s not-so-great native weather app, but it does leave a sizeable gap for Android users.

It’s hard to say whether AccuWeather will succeed Dark Sky’s throne. Commenters on Google’s Play Store have left mixed reviews on the beta, with many detailing grievances about the beta’s stability and location features (though, that’s always a risk with any beta). An official rollout will likely be more stable, though if you truly hate it, at least there’s a metric crapton of weather apps out there to try.

Consumer tech reporter by day, danger noodle by night. No, I'm not the K-Pop star.

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