Finally, Apple’s iPad has a default weather app – TechCrunch

Finally, Apple’s iPad has a default weather app – TechCrunch

Apparently hell has frozen over. Today, Apple answered a long-standing user complaint about the iPad with the news that the device will finally get its own default weather app — about 12 years after the tablet’s debut, if you can believe it. Curiously, Apple had overlooked the addition of this key app, despite acquiring weather app maker Dark Sky in 2020 and overhauling the iOS weather app with the launch of iOS 15. The company even went so far as to introduce a weather widget for the iPadOS home screen, but instead of launching a native app, users were connected to The Weather Channel’s website.

This was a less than ideal experience as the website (weather.com) is cluttered with ads and isn’t the kind of clean and easy-to-navigate experience that Apple users have come to expect. Apple never explained its thinking here, but the fact that it had released a weather widget for the iPad without a companion app made this whole thing seem increasingly bizarre. Did IBM-owned The Weather Channel have a secret traffic deal with Apple? Did Apple really think users would rather visit a website than a native app? Was that a cartel thing? What happened?!

While there were plenty of quality third-party apps that users could rely on to access weather information on the iPad, it seemed odd that a flagship Apple device like this didn’t have such a basic utility at the time.

But today, at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference keynote, Apple announced that the iPad would finally get its own weather app.

“We’re also bringing Weather to iPad, taking full advantage of the stunning display with beautiful animations like these gently moving clouds, heavy snowfall, and pouring rain,” noted Apple SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi as he briefly introduced the new features of the native apartment The app isn’t all that remarkable, mostly just an iPad-optimized version of the native iPhone app. But it will be a welcome addition.

Photo credit: Apple

The update coincides with iOS 16’s new feature that allows users to customize their device’s lock screen with a live weather background that shows the current conditions throughout the day. Similarly, the iPad app will feature the same types of animations – clouds, rain, lightning, snow, etc. The native app will also feature tappable weather modules, allowing users to dive into areas such as forecast, temperature, precipitation, UV index, air quality and more. When tapped, a window will pop up and overlay the app’s home screen to show the detailed information, Federighi explained.

Additionally, Apple followed the weather app news with the long-awaited launch of WeatherKit. This developer toolkit fulfills Apple’s plans to allow third parties to build apps based on Apple’s own weather data – an area Apple signaled an interest in with its acquisition of Dark Sky. This was an under-the-radar announcement that has a bigger impact on the app industry as Apple rolls out its own weather-related, revenue-generating service.

As the company transitions developers from Dark Sky weather service to WeatherKit, it will provide up to 500,000 API calls per month as part of its Apple Developer Program membership during beta and beyond. From this point on, the following tariffs will be charged:

  • 1 million calls/month: $49.99
  • 2 million calls/month: $99.99
  • 5 million calls/month: $249.99
  • 10 million calls/month: $499.99
  • 20 million calls/month: $999.99

For comparison, Dark Sky’s API had offered 1,000 API calls for free and then charged $0.0001 for each additional call.

According to Apple, WeatherKit requires iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS 13, tvOS 16 or watchOS 9 and notes that REST APIs can be used for websites and other platforms. The Swift APIs for WeatherKit require the beta versions of the Apple operating systems and Xcode 14.

The native iPad weather app will be introduced with the release of iPadOS 16.

Read more about WWDC 2022 on TechCrunch

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