Dark Sky was one of the most popular Application Programming Interface (API) related to weather services available on the play store. However, in April 2020, Apple Inc. acquired the company and stopped its availability for Android users. Furthermore, Apple announced that there would be no further sign-ups, and the API services have also been reduced till further notice.
Many people relied on the software application’s weather data that was useful for their business and personal needs. But now that the services have been halted, these people are looking for efficient alternatives that can fulfill their needs. If you are also looking for such a solution, you can read this detailed weather API comparison from last April published by Climacell.
Additionally, some other factors can affect your decision, which we are going to discuss in this article. It will help you to choose an API that can meet the bars set by Dark Sky.
Current Weather Conditions and Forecasts
The Dark Sky API collected information from a variety of sources to provide the most accurate current weather conditions. When you are trying to choose an alternative to it, make sure that the API also acquires data from a range of sources to ensure its accuracy. Most weather APIs gather information from the weather stations to project the current weather conditions.
But some of them collect data from several other sources that are connected via the internet and mobile networks. That allows these applications to estimate the current weather accurately based on a range of information such as temperature, precipitation, wind speed, wind direction, humidity, atmospheric pressure, and several others.
The representation of the weather data must be for the present and the future as well. Choose an API that provides daily and hourly forecasts for every aspect related to the weather. You should also be able to get the data for multiple geological locations, depending on your requirements. Some APIs also provide forecasts by the minute for many weather systems and business purposes.
Past Weather History
Several applications based on machine learning and AI need access to the full spectrum of weather data analysis to function to their maximum capacity. The information required includes the historical weather data of the geographical location.
Therefore look for an API that provides the previous weather data as well so that your application can utilize it. Historical weather information is also a necessity for data science professionals.
The API that you choose must be able to provide alerts for a diverse range of aspects. These are not only related to weather but to other environmental factors as well, such as air quality and pollen distribution, as well as for a variety of personal and industrial requirements.
It should provide severe weather alerts for multiple geographical locations inside and outside the United States in a timely and consumer-friendly manner. Some APIs also offer an increased alert speed depending on your geographical location.
You should be able to use the API to visualize several aspects and increase your engagement with mapping layers. You could look for an option that can integrate your current mapping solution or build a new one. Some are the factors that you can look for in the mapping layers are:
- Satellite images
- Tropical storms
- Lighting strikes
- Ocean wave heights
You would be able to use the weather mapping arsenal for your business requirements. They might also help you provide better service to your customers.
You should be able to transition to the new API using a wizard tool that can get the customization options from your Dark Sky account or give you the options to specify them yourself. The API should be able to provide access to several parameters and fields with a minimal amount of time spent to create adjustments.
Choose an API that can be up and running with a few clicks of the mouse and have the data flowing in for your use. If you are a power user, the API must be able to provide advanced tools that will give you better functionality with interactive visualizations. For advanced users, the API should have a provision for development using the mainstream programming languages.
Since the API would provide you weather data round the clock, it must also offer support whenever you need it. Therefore, choose an API that gives you the optimal amount of customer service. However, keep in mind that the level of customer support you receive might depend on the subscription plan.
Whether you are a smart home user or a weather-sensitive business person, the API must be able to incorporate accurate and adequate data for your everyday needs. Therefore choose an API that would be able to integrate the weather data with any other applications or hardware that you may use for your business needs as Dark Sky did.