CARROT Weather has been a MacStories favorite for years now. Just last month we named it the Best Watch App of 2020 in our annual MacStories Selects awards. One of the impressive features in CARROT’s Apple Watch app is the ability to customize the interface to display exactly the weather data that you’re interested in. With today’s release of CARROT Weather 5, developer Brian Mueller has brought that same concept to the iOS and iPadOS versions of the app. The major update also includes a host of new icon designs, snarky weather responses, achievements, and fun Easter eggs.
Posts tagged with "weather"
One thing has proven clear since iOS 14 released last week: every app has its own unique take on widgets. Among all the new widgets we’ve covered, there really isn’t a common theme that can be drawn. Perhaps over time certain best practices will emerge, but right now apps are all doing their own thing, including weather apps. Last week we reviewed a weather app that offered fine-grained control of all the different data types contained in its widgets; today I want to cover an app that takes an entirely different approach to personalization.
Weather Line doesn’t provide any options to choose which data a widget will display. You get the data it gives you: nothing more, nothing less. However, the app has gone all-out with personalization in an entirely different way: widget themes.
Weather Line’s widgets display the same beautiful visuals found inside the full app, with charts mapping either an hourly forecast spanning the next 10 hours or a daily forecast covering the next 10 days. The hourly widget is available in small, medium, and large sizes, while the daily flavor is limited to medium and large, making a total of five widget options.
Once you’ve selected the widget(s) you’d like on your Home Screen or in your Today view, it’s time to personalize them with one of Weather Line’s themes. By tapping on an installed widget while in jiggle mode, or by long-pressing a widget and choosing ‘Edit Widget’ from the menu, you can open the widget configuration screen. There are only two options to configure: location for the widget’s weather data, and your preference of widget theme.
There are a total of 20 theme options to choose from, offering a diverse array of looks for matching your Home Screen setup. These include 18 different color themes ranging from Milennial Pink to Neon, Dracula, or Emoji, plus there are two additional options you can choose instead of specifying one of these 18 themes: Dynamic Background and Match System Appearance.
Widgets that offer extensive settings to fiddle with are great, especially for power users. But there’s something special and perhaps even more broadly appealing about being able to personalize a hyper-aesthetic Home Screen, and for that, Weather Line is an excellent choice.
The weather can vary a lot day-to-day in Chicago, so I’ve always had a weather app on my iPhone’s Home screen. For the past few years, I’ve used CARROT Weather, one of the most comprehensive such apps available on the App Store. CARROT’s Today widget and Watch complications are among the best of any app category, but with the release of iOS 14 and watchOS 7, developer Brian Mueller has taken CARROT Weather’s widgets and Watch complications to a new level.
iOS 14 widgets and watchOS 7’s more flexible complications and watch face sharing feel like they were tailor-made for an app like CARROT. The variety of data available in weather apps makes them perfect for creative widget and watch face implementations, which is precisely what you get with CARROT Weather. Let’s dig into what’s new.
Dark Sky, the maker of the popular weather app by the same name, announced on its blog (and in its iOS app) that it has joined Apple.
In its post, the company said:
Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy.
There is no better place to accomplish these goals than at Apple. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to reach far more people, with far more impact, than we ever could alone.
According to the company, its iOS app will continue to be made available on the App Store. However, the Android and Wear OS apps will be discontinued and the service will no longer work after July 1, 2020. Subscribers active at that time will receive a refund. Likewise, the weather forecast, maps, and embeds portions of the Dark Sky website will be discontinued after July 1, 2020.
Dark Sky is also the maker of an API that is used by many, many third-party weather apps. Dark Sky says it is no longer accepting sign-ups for the API and that it will be discontinued at the end of 2021. Although that’s a long way off, the change is going to impact many users’ favorite weather apps on iOS.
Dark Sky’s announcement comes as a surprise, but it certainly makes sense from Apple’s perspective. Weather data is notoriously expensive and Dark Sky has some of the most accurate forecast data for many parts of the world, which undoubtedly made it an attractive acquisition. It will be a shame to see their data disappear from third party apps.
The malevolent weather app CARROT Weather was updated this week to add support for the new capabilities provided by iOS 13 and the forthcoming iPadOS update. This latest version enables more powerful automations in the Shortcuts app, integration with the system dark mode, multiwindow support on iPad, and a fully independent watchOS 6 app. It’s the same CARROT app, but supercharged with all the new possibilities Apple just introduced for its software platforms.
Today in version 4.12, CARROT Weather debuts a modernized iPad app that takes advantage of the features core to a great iPad experience: multitasking support, more keyboard shortcuts, and a tweaked design that better utilizes large displays. Additionally, since the iPad app is maturing in several key ways, CARROT has added iCloud sync for all of the app’s 150+ settings options, ensuring you won’t need to configure settings on both iPhone and iPad.
The latest update to CARROT Weather was released today, version 4.11, which is centered entirely around notifications. Though the types of notifications available depend on your subscription plan due to the different costs associated with each data source, in total there are a ton of options available to satisfy anyone’s needs. Whether you simply want to avoid getting caught in the rain without an umbrella, or finding yourself outdoors when a storm hits, or one of many other weather situations, CARROT Weather can now keep you informed with timely notifications for a variety of weather events.
CARROT Weather has had one of the top tier Apple Watch apps for a long time now. In the early days of the Watch, CARROT was one of the few apps that loaded quickly and worked reliably. Since third-party complications were introduced, CARROT’s had some of the best. With the latest update though, CARROT has extended its Watch app’s functionality and flexibility even further and added a few other great features too.
One of the nerdy features of CARROT Weather I love is its support for personal weather stations as a data source. Not long ago, Federico explained on AppStories that the weather station down the street from him had shut down, so he could no longer use it as a source in CARROT. I suggested he get a Netatmo Personal Weather Station and connect it to Weather Underground’s network of stations, but at about the same time Weather Underground ended its support for the Netatmo device, which left us both without a hyper-local weather source. It wasn’t a huge deal, but there’s something fun about knowing that the temperature you’re seeing in CARROT is the precise temperature outside your window and not some weather station that may be miles away from your home.
With today’s update, CARROT has stepped in with direct support for the Netatmo weather station as well as other new data sources. For the Netatmo device, all you need to do is sign in using the same login you use for Netatmo’s dedicated app, and as long as you’re within two miles of your home, CARROT will include the data collected by the Netatmo device.
Dark Sky is the default data source for CARROT, but users have three other options. The first is The Weather Channel, which provides the most extended-range forecast (data covering the next 360 hours and 15 days), is available worldwide, and can access personal weather stations connected to the Weather Underground network. CARROT has also added AccuWeather and AerisWeather as data sources. The AerisWeather option includes PWSweather.com personal weather station data. Users have the option of including Dark Sky’s short-term precipitation in CARROT even if The Weather Channel, AccuWeather, or AerisWeather is their data source.
Personal weather stations connected to the Weather Underground system and PWSweather.com can be selected from a map allowing you to pick one closest to where you live. Other than the personal weather station access through the Weather Channel’s API though, Weather Underground data, which was previously a data source option in CARROT, has been removed because IBM, which owns Weather Underground, has discontinued its API.
CARROT Weather’s update includes a host of other smaller additions too:
- Air quality index and pollen data are available in the current weather view if you use The Weather Channel or AccuWeather as sources
- There are six new secret locations to discover
- The location screen has a new ‘Recent Searches’ section, from which you can add previous searches to your saved locations by tapping the star icon next to them.
I’m glad Brian Mueller has expanded the data source options for CARROT Weather. The best source varies depending on where you are, and with more sources, CARROT should be a better option for more users going forward. I especially like the personal weather station integration. Whether you have a weather sensor yourself or want to piggy-back on another publicly-available station nearby, they’re an excellent way to track hyper-local conditions.
CARROT Weather is available as a free update to existing users on the App Store.