By Adam Grossman on May 12, 2016.
It’s been four years since we launched Dark Sky, and in that time the most requested “feature”, by a wide margin, has been Android support. We see emails and tweets on a daily basis asking for an Android app. And we’ve finally grown our resources to the point where we can do it, and do it right (which not only means making a high quality app, but also means being able to support it continuously).
Dark Sky for Android has all the features that iOS users know and love: down-to-the-minute hyperlocal rain forecasts, advanced notifications, accurate 24-hour and 7-day forecasts, and beautiful maps. But we’ve also added some new features that are uniquely suited to Android, such as home screen widgets and the ability to try the app before buying it (which we’re super excited about — more on that below).
Here’s a look at Dark Sky’s main forecast screens. Our scarily precise forecasts tell you when the rain will start or stop — down to the minute — and help you plan for the day and week ahead.
Our maps let you explore the weather in the past or future, and detailed radar lets you see the path of the storm in real-time.
Dark Sky has a plethora of notification options, which means bad weather will never catch you off guard. You can be notified of rain within the next hour, government severe weather alerts, and even create your own custom alerts (it’s garden planting season right now, so I’ve created a custom alert to let me know if it’ll be too cold at night for my plants. And my wife has a UV index alert set up to make sure our son goes to daycare with sunscreen).
And you can even schedule a daily report to be delivered to your lock screen every morning, giving you the forecast for the day.
In fact, we’re always trying to find new ways to minimize the numbers of times you actually have open the app… whether it’s the notifications, the daily reports, or offering a complication on the Apple Watch. With Dark Sky for Android, we’ve added a new one: home screen widgets. Our widgets allow you to quickly access the weather right on your home screen, without launching the app.
We have three types of widgets: Next Hour, Today, and Weekly.
The Next Hour widget gives you our minute-by-minute rain forecast and graph right on your home screen; The Today widget gives you current conditions and a forecast for the day; and the Weekly widget shows you a summary of the week ahead.
We think a lot of our users are going to find these an extremely useful and convenient way to check the forecast before heading out.
Another nice feature of Android is that it has a mechanism for free trials, and we’re jumping at the opportunity! The way we’re pricing Dark Sky on Android is very different than on iOS, and to be honest it’s a bit of an experiment:
While on iOS the app is a $3.99 purchase, on Android Dark Sky is a free download. The free version provides current conditions, the next 24 hour forecast, a detailed next week forecast, and our weather maps. But then there’s an in-app purchase to upgrade to Dark Sky Premium, which unlocks our magic mojo: the hyperlocal minute-by-minute forecasts, the fancy notifications and alerts, and widgets.
There’s a two week free trial period for the full set of features, so you can see for yourself what Dark Sky can do before committing. We’ve wanted to be able to offer free trials forever, so this makes us really happy.
Dark Sky Premium is a $2.99/year subscription.
(A subscription for a weather app‽ It’s kind of weird — so this will definitely be an experiment! But being able to successfully pull off subscription pricing means it’ll be a lot easier to offer new and expanded features in the future. We’ve got a bunch of cool new stuff in the pipeline, and it sure beats cluttering up the app with ads.)
You can download Dark Sky for Android and start your free trial right now (it’s available in the US, UK, and Puerto Rico). And be sure to let us know what you think! We’re still very new to Android, and would love feedback on how we can make Dark Sky even better.