Meet Dark Sky: The Best Weather App Out There
This morning, I was planning an outing to the beach with my family, so I opened the AccuWeather app on my phone to see if it was going to rain in Chicago. And I also wanted to check other things that people usually check when heading to beach, such as UV index for the day and wind speed. The AccuWeather app did show me all that for the current hour, but I had to figure out how to see that information for a specific time of the day. And that was the most annoying part – navigating the app. There’s just too many touches involved for obtaining even basic information. It is true that AccuWeather’s recent material design update for Android has improved the app’s reliability and navigation, but it is just not there yet. And The Weather Channel’s app is even worse. It often lags on both Android and iOS, and navigating the app is a real nightmare.
It sucks, because AccuWeather is a great weather service, and I love their “MinuteCast” feature which shows minute by minute weather information. And I would really hate giving up all these features because of app’s difficulty to use. So I went on the Play Store to find a weather app; I was looking for something that provides similar functionality as AccuWeather but with a simple and easy-to-use interface.
After going through some search results and doing some Google searches, I finally decided to download Dark Sky ($3.99 on the App Store and $3.00/Year on Google Play Store). I had never heard of the app before, although it was apparently really popular on iOS. The app does offer a 14-day free trial, at least on Android devices. I was surprised to see the app in action. It was so simple to use, while at the same time being feature-packed. It offered down to the minute forecast for the next hour, and it was almost always accurate. Everything else was just so easy to use – everything was just a single touch away. I didn’t have to waste my time trying to look for information; not even once. The app also has precipitation and temperature map built-in and it just lets you through the day to see the changes in the map. It was REALLY convenient, and I was really amazed by how smooth everything was. And the information is quite accurate too – it has an option to automatically send your device’s pressure sensor’s data to their servers, so that they can provide better ‘hyperlocal’ accuracy. Plus, we can also send them information about current weather at our location. So it is like a mixture of crowd-sourced and radar-collected information.
Dark Sky also has a really good widget, for both Android and iOS. The widget provides down to the minute forecast for the next hour and it often comes in handy. I have also become a fan of Dark Sky’s notification system. The app sends you a notification a few minutes before it is going to start raining in your area, and it also sends one when it’s about to stop raining! The only complain I have with Dark Sky is that it doesn’t show how much it is going to rain. But besides that, I am happy with the app. Buh-bye AccuWeather!