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3 Android weather apps to use instead of Dark Sky

Don't want to pay a subscription for a weather app? Here are 3 alternatives that use the same data Dark Sky uses.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Dark Sky is arguably the best weather app on iOS, and now it's available on Android. Exciting, right? Not for some. The app's subscription model is upsetting some users; just read through the one-star reviews on the Play store and you'll quickly see users are upset about the $2.99 yearly subscription fee.

If you're one of those who left an angry review, all is not lost. The developers of Dark Sky have long made the same data source used in the iOS app available to developers. In turn, Android developers have integrated the service with various weather apps. Granted, the experience isn't going to be identical to the Dark Sky app, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Below are just a few of the apps that use Dark Sky's API to provide weather forecasts.

Weather Timeline

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Weather Timeline is one of the more visually appealing apps that use Forecast's data. The interface strings together a series of cards, each one including various information such as current weather, upcoming precipitation, and an hour-by-hour breakdown.

The hyperlocal push alerts triggered by rain or snow that have made Dark Sky so intriguing? Weather Timeline has those too. An Android Wear app and watch face are also included.

Download Weather Timeline from the Play store.

Arcus Weather

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Arcus Weather looks and behaves somewhat similar to the official Dark Sky app. You can view a radar map, current conditions, an hourly forecast or the next week's daily forecast. Using a series of graphs, Arcus Weather plots out what you can expect for precipitation and temperature, with the added option of receiving alerts when precipitation is near.

The core functionality of the app is free, but you'll have to be OK living with ads and the inability to set the refresh frequency. An in-app purchase of $2.73, £1.90, or AU$3.76 unlocks all features and removes ads.

Download Arcus Weather from the Play Store.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Forecaster is a bare-bones weather app, lacking push alerts or any sort of fancy radar display. Taking a minimal approach to its design, Forecaster displays the next week's forecast with color-coded lines indicating what to expect.

The minimal approach to the app also means it's completely free, but you have the option to donate to the developer or enable ads within the app to help pay for access to the servers.

Download Forecaster from the Play store.

Bonus suggestion is more than just the name of the data service, it's a true website that looks and acts nearly identical to Dark Sky. You can use Chrome to visit and view the same information Dark Sky users have, in a similar layout. You can even create a shortcut on to the site on your home scree for easier access.

Granted, you're going to give up push alerts for rain or snow, but it's almost like using the app. Almost.