This morning I woke up and slide my finger down my iPhone’s lockscreen to see the weather. With a single line of text, Dark Sky told me what it felt like outside and that it would be overcast for at least the next hour. No need for sunglasses then.
There are a lot of weather apps out there to choose from, and I’ve tried a lot of them. But in terms of features, design, and actual usefulness, none comes close to being as good as Dark Sky.
Widget, widgets, widgets. Boy, have we got some widgets for you. And text. Plain text. Plain old text, turned into a calculator. And widgets. Did I mention those? Weather widgets. Battery widgets. And yes, text widgets.
Read all about these new widgets and other new apps in this week's App Watch.
WunderStation from Weather Underground hooks into thousands of privately owned weather stations and presents their data in an iPad app. The smoothly animated graphs are beautiful and can tell you way more than you’d ever want to know about rainfall, barometric pressure and even UV. If you have stations near you, it’s pretty rad. If not, no biggie – the app is $Free
Filthy name, great app. Droool is a “photo gallery for your social networks.” Browse pictures from Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook and more, and index pictures from iCloud and other local folders without moving or copying the files. It’s fast, simple and looks great, and it’s free with in-app purchases. $Free
Terrible name, great app. iBetterCharge monitors your iOS devices’ battery level over your Wi-Fi network, using the same connection that iTunes Wi-Fi sync would use, if you still synced your iPhone with your computer in the space year of 2014. It can pop up warnings when the battery drops to a preset level, and a click on the menu bar shows you the level of all the devices on the network. $Free
This is what the Internet is made for. Photogrammar puts 170,000 Depression-era photos in a searchable, browsable archive. Explore on an interactive map, search or get into the Labs section and browse by metadata sourced from the U.S. Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information archives. Warning: serious time-sink. $Free
PlainTextMenu takes the text on your Mac’s clipboard and transmogrifies it into something useful. It strips out formatting, so you never get big ugly Comic Sans when pasting from a colleague’s Word report, and it can turn the text to uppercase, lowercase or title case along the way. From the school of One Thing Well. $1
Web service re/spin takes Spotify playlists and transforms them into Rdio playlists. If someone’s going to share a playlist, it usually comes from Spotify, and re/spin works with published Spotify playlists. Or you can just paste in a track list copied right from the app. It also works with Last.fm. Remember when PCs couldn’t read Mac floppy disks? It’s like fixing that all over again. $Free
You know all those hard drives grafted onto your Mac? Keep a close eye on them with StorageStatus, an app that turns hard drives into traffic lights in your menu bar and changes their colors when they do something. It knows when they are sleeping, it knows when they’re awake, and it knows when they’ve been good or bad. $3
Not new, but awesome nonetheless. Calca is as close as you’ll get to a plain text calculator. Tap in complex formulas or simple sums and see the results right there in a plain text document. Set variables or just add numbers. And see all your pages synced over iCloud between Mac, iPhone and iPad versions, as well as Windows(!). I love Calca for its balance of simplicity and power. From $3
Finally, a version for the iPad. TVShow Time tracks your favorite TV shows and tells you when they’re on. Browse shows and show synopses, and get notifications when something is about to air. See the shows on a calendar, view news about your shows and read about new shows. It’s pretty comprehensive, and looks great on the big iPad screen. $3
AtmoBar is Mac app that works with the NetAtmo weather station you have in your back yard (or on your balcony, for city dwellers). It sits in your menubar and gives readouts and graphs with just a click.
The BluCub is a lot like the Tempo pebble I reviewed a few weeks back, only instead of measuring just temperature, it also measures humidity, adding another feather to your home-weather-station cap. If you wear a cap and put a feather in it when you buy a Bluetooth sensor, that is.
I always know when it’s going to rain. It’s not because I’m psychic, but because of Dark Sky, which I can confidently call one of—of not the—best weather apps in the App Store. Originally funded through a Kickstarter campaign, the success of Dark Sky has brought about Forecast.io and a robust weather platform for other great apps.
What does two years of development and going back to the drawing board get you? A complete redesign of Dark Sky for iOS. I’ve been using it for months, and it’s finally available in the App Store as a free update.
Dark Sky, the Instapaper of weather apps, just hit v4.0. It’s still only available in the U.S and the UK, and it still gives you accurate, hyper-local predictions for rain, but just about everything else has changed. For the better, I might add.
iOS can support dynamic icons: just look at the subtly changing clock icon in iOS 7, where the minute hands change in real-time throughout the day according to the time. So why not do the same with weather?
It’s unknown why Apple didn’t think of this first, but if you have a jailbroken iOS 7 device, you can now have a live Weather icon anyway, thanks to a new jailbreak tweak.
MeteoEarth is a pretty rad weather app for the iPad. It’s purpose isn’t really to tell you whether to take an umbrella with your to the shops, but it can do that if you like. No, what MeteoEarth is really good at is showing you beautifully-animated views of the weather as it blows and scuds across the surface of the Earth. And now you can get it for the Mac.
Netatmo’s rain gauge looks like modern sculpture. Photo: Netatmo
LAS VEGAS — With the throng of tech bloggers covering CES, it’s not often that the heavily covered show hands us a surprise — but here’s one.
Netatmo, the French outfit best known for its fancy cloud-connected micro/personal Weather Station (and now also a device that measures your level of sun exposure), is about to add a hard-core new component: a rain gauge.
I just moved to Germany, which means that I get a lot more weather than when I lived in Spain. There, a quick once-a-week check was plenty to know whether you should get the umbrella from the attic. In Germany, I check every time I want to leave the house.
And now there’s a great app which will will let you customize your own weather notifications, right there on your iPhone.