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

Hell has frozen over, apparently. Today, Apple addressed a long-standing user complaint about the iPad by announcing that the device will finally get its own default weather app — some 12 years after the tablet’s debut, if you can believe it. Curiously, Apple had neglected to add this key app, despite acquiring weather app maker Dark Sky in 2020 and revamping the iOS Weather app with the launch of iOS 15. The company even went so far to deploy a iPadOS Home Screen Weather Widgetbut instead of launching a native app, it linked users to The Weather Channel website.

It was a less than ideal experience, as the site (weather.com) is cluttered with ads and isn’t the kind of clean, easy-to-navigate experience that Apple users expect. Apple never explained its thinking here, but the fact that it launched a weather widget for iPad without an accompanying app made it all weirder and weirder. Did The Weather Channel, owned by IBM, have an undisclosed traffic deal with Apple? Did Apple really think users would rather visit a website than a native app? Was it an antitrust thing? What was happening?!

While there were plenty of great 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 this point. stadium.

But today, during the keynote at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the company announced that the iPad would finally have its own weather app.

“We’re also bringing weather to the iPad, taking full advantage of the stunning display with beautiful animations like those soft moving clouds, heavy snowfall, and pouring rain,” noted Craig Federighi, vice-president. Apple’s Chief Software Engineering President, as he briefly presented the new features of the native application. The app isn’t that great, largely just an iPad-optimized version of the native iPhone app. But it will be a welcome addition.

Picture credits: Apple

The update coincides with The new feature of iOS 16 which allows users to customize their device’s lock screen with a live weather wallpaper that shows current conditions as they change throughout the day. Likewise, the iPad app will include these same types of animations – clouds, rain, lightning, snow, etc. The native app will also offer actionable weather modules that will allow users to explore areas such as forecast, temperature, precipitation, UV index. , air quality and more. When tapped, a window pops up and overlays the app’s home screen to show detailed information, Federighi explained.

Additionally, Apple followed up on the weather app news with the long-awaited launch of Weather kit. This development toolkit materializes Apple’s plans to allow third-party developers to build applications on top of Apple’s weather data – an area in which Apple had signaled interest with the acquisition of Dark Sky. It was an under-the-radar announcement that has bigger ramifications for the app industry, as it sees Apple introduce its own weather-related revenue-generating service.

As the company transitions developers from the Dark Sky weather service to WeatherKit, it says it will provide up to 500,000 API calls per month as part of its membership in the Apple Developer Program during the beta period and beyond. After this point, it will start charging at the following rates:

  • 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, the Dark Sky API had Free 1,000 free API calls, then charged $0.0001 for each subsequent call.

Apple says 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 will require Apple OS Beta and Xcode 14.

The native weather app for iPad is rolling out with the release of iPadOS 16.

Learn more about WWDC 2022 on TechCrunch

About Raymond A. Bentley

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