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Dark Sky Updates iOS App With New Design, Unified Timeline, and Improved Notifications

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Popular iOS and Android weather app Dark Sky has updated with "one of the biggest overhauls" to date, according to a new blog post that the company shared online today.

The update introduces a new visual look and the home screen now has a "unified timeline," which combines various aspects of your local forecast onto one page instead of separating them into multiple areas. Now, you can view the current conditions, next hour rain, next 24 hours, and next week forecasts in one scrollable tab.


At the top of the Forecast tab Dark Sky now has a precipitation map below the current temperature and next-hour graph. This should "provide more context" to forecasts when quickly launching the app, according to the developers.

For the next 24 hours forecast, you can tap between the temperature, "feels-like" temperature, precipitation, wind, wind gust, humidity, dew point, UV index, and cloud cover by scrolling through the red text under the graph. This updates the graph with the relevant information, and is also available to look at for days in the upcoming week.

At the bottom of this tab is a "Time Machine" feature that shows the weather going back decades, and can also provide seasonal average weather for days beyond the next week. Grossman points out that this can be useful for planning trips and vacations.

The previous Dark Sky (left) compared to the new (right)


The next major addition is a saved locations feature, which is a standard addition to many weather apps that Dark Sky has lacked over the years. Now, you can save multiple locations in the app to check the weather in different cities by swiping the forecast left or right.

Notifications have been improved, with custom notifications that let you create your own weather alerts for the conditions you care about. Instead of alerts solely tied to precipitation, now you can create push notifications that warn you about high UV indexes and more. To do this, you will have to set location access to "always" for Dark Sky in the iOS settings app and allow notifications.

There are also new updates to the app's iconography and completely rewritten internals:
We're incredibly grateful to The Iconfactory for redesigning our set of weather icons. Gone are the stark black-and-white glyphs, having been replaced with more easily recognizable -- and colorful -- icons and buttons.

This update isn't just a visual refresh: On iOS, we've completely rewritten the internals of the app from scratch. It is, effectively, an entirely new app. This means it should be far more stable and responsive, it loads faster, and it sets us up to much more easily incorporate new features and enhancements in the future.
Dark Sky has been a popular third-party alternative to Apple's own Weather iOS app for a few years now, particularly for its ability to warn you about impending bad weather. Apple has highlighted the Dark Sky app and its useful features in the past, particularly in a short Apple Watch commercial titled "Rain" from 2016.


Grossman says that with the launch of the new update, users can expect to see "more frequent" updates as well from now on, with new features already in the works. Dark Sky users on iOS and Android can get the new update for free starting today, and those who haven't downloaded the app yet can do so for $3.99.

Article Link: Dark Sky Updates iOS App With New Design, Unified Timeline, and Improved Notifications
 

sergekills

macrumors regular
Mar 22, 2017
149
130
Moscow, Russia
Never was a fan of Dark Sky. I use Weather Underground for forecasting and Storm Shield for alerts.
For whatever reason, WU is terrible in Moscow. The difference between degrees in the forecast and actual degrees outside sometimes reaches 5-15 C which is insane.
 
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belvdr

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Aug 15, 2005
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No longer logging into MR
For whatever reason, WU is terrible in Moscow. The difference between degrees in the forecast and actual degrees outside sometimes reaches 5-15 C which is insane.
Wow, that's nutty. I never had an issue with it in the midwest or eastern US. I wouldn't trust it either if it acted that way here.

It may be due to its data feed. I think it relies on a lot of volunteer weather stations to get the data. I wonder if it's choosing a weather station is reporting at a higher altitude than your location. All a guess really.
 
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Release

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2012
129
108
I really like Dark Sky but this will take some getting used to. It kinda looks like every other app now.

I liked the semi translucent background before rather than the stark white we have now.
I'd love to see a dark mode on this so the white isn't just screaming at me.
 
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steve23094

macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2013
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Is there any way to turn off the map? I know where I am. It’s an incredibly stupid waste of screen real estate.
 
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D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
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Vilano Beach, FL
I really like Dark Sky but this will take some getting used to. It kinda looks like every other app now.

I liked the semi translucent background before rather than the stark white we have now.
I'd love to see a dark mode on this so the white isn't just screaming at me.


Yeah, it's one of my favorite apps, going to update right now, but I really dug on the existing design.
 
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ericg301

macrumors 68000
Jun 15, 2010
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an update was overdue, but it's now very generic looking and has no real branding or character.

i use http://www.forecastadvisor.com/ to determine which weather source is best for my area - and that's WU.

which is why i like carrot -- snark and personality aside, i can use WU for daily and hourly forecast and dark sky for immediate oncoming weather.
 
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nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,806
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First of all, an app named Dark Sky should have a Dark Mode.

While the update is nice overall, it is still plagued by requiring too many scrolls or unnecessary clicks for many operations.

You want to see weather details? Click on today's forecast and it pops a modal dialog box. Swiping does not dismiss modal dialog box. You need to click a small Done button on the bottom or surrounding background to dismiss.

Looking at forecast requires a lengthy scroll.

Changing to precipitation, wind, or feels like temperature requires scrolling to the bottom of hourly forecast and click on the tiny touch target.

And so on.

Finally, I find Dark Sky's weather data to be highly suspect. When the app first came out, it was very accurate, easily my favorite. But it is frequently off by many degrees, sometimes 10 degrees. And the famous precipitation notification almost never works.
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,159
15,116
Central U.S.
I just reinstalled this to check it out. For an app called Dark Sky, it sure is bright freaking white. They need a dark mode.

Decided to leave it installed though as they have a lot of custom notifications now that I don't think they had when I first installed it many years ago. I have a daily summary alert, an umbrella reminder if the chance of rain is over 30% just before I get out of my car to go into work, a high wind alert, a water pipe alert for if it gets too cold in the winter than I can adjust my thermostat up (could possibly automate this with IFTTT), an alert to shovel the driveway if the snow is over 2 inches (if we didn't have a daycare I wouldn't bother), and an extra alert if the chance of rain goes over 70%. I'm a bit of a weather geek and living in the midwest the weather is crazy always (temperature -25F to 110F, tornadoes, blizzards, ice storms, derechos, microbursts, fires, softball sized hail, drought one week and floods the next, tropical storm and hurricane remnants, snow in October and May, 85 degrees in January, ball lightning—yes I've seen the rare ball lightning—and even the occasional earthquake). I love it.
 
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nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
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an update was overdue, but it's now very generic looking and has no real branding or character.

i use http://www.forecastadvisor.com/ to determine which weather source is best for my area - and that's WU.

which is why i like carrot -- snark and personality aside, i can use WU for daily and hourly forecast and dark sky for immediate oncoming weather.
I am okay with generic UI, but I find both Carrot Weather and Dark Sky's UI to be tedious.

I want my weather app to require a minimum fuss for doing things like:
  • Getting hourly forecast
  • Getting current weather detail
  • Getting daily forecast with precipitation and wind information.
  • Switching to different city
While Carrot Weather is fun, it requires a lot of scrolling and the UI is not always responsive (e.g., tapping on the current temperature to look at more information takes several seconds).

While imperfect in many regards, Hello Weather meets my need the best.
 
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lec0rsaire

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2017
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Yeah, it's one of my favorite apps, going to update right now, but I really dug on the existing design.

I would recommend you don’t do it! I should’ve came here first! I really don’t like how it looks and they removed humidity. This is why they say if ain’t it broke don’t fix it.
 
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steve23094

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Apr 23, 2013
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I would recommend you don’t do it! I should’ve came here first! I really don’t like how it looks and they removed humidity. This is why they say if ain’t it broke don’t fix it.

Humidity is there. Scroll the red text under the hourly forecast.
 
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kuwxman

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2009
638
444
Olathe, KS
Don't get sucked in to the Dark Sky circle jerk. It's an OK weather app, but isn't anything special. Anything that uses the forecast.io api is subpar IMO. Also stay away from anything The Weather Channel related.

My personal favorite iOS and Android weather app is 1Weather. When I want to get a detailed peek at the radar, I also use RadarScope.
 
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lec0rsaire

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2017
1,514
1,441
Don't get sucked in to the Dark Sky circle jerk. It's an OK weather app, but isn't anything special. Anything that uses the forecast.io api is subpar IMO. Also stay away from anything The Weather Channel related.

My personal favorite iOS and Android weather app is 1Weather. When I want to get a detailed peek at the radar, I also use RadarScope.

It is pretty damn good and reliable imo. After I spent the $4 I haven’t been caught in a sudden downpour ever again and I’m not the sort that buys redundant apps that expand on stock app functionality. It’s not 100% accurate but nothing really is. It also has a decent Watch app.
[doublepost=1534784313][/doublepost]
Wow - that is a horrible design choice.

Swipe exactly on the buttons and get more button choices.
Miss it even slightly and you swipe to another view.

Other than that, I'm pretty happy with this update.

I would’ve never thought to swipe. It looks like nothing else is there at first glance. Really hidden. Maybe they should include an arrow or some other visual cue.

Having a small preview of the map isn’t bad though. It gives you a quick idea of what to expect.
 
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ignatius345

macrumors 68040
Aug 20, 2015
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Really nice looking design! Using the standard "San Francisco" system font really ties it much more nicely into iOS. I think this is gonna be my go-to weather app from now on.
 
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KazKam

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2011
491
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Hmmmmm. I really liked the old design. Not sure about this one yet. Maybe it'll grow on me, but not as much of a fan so far.
 
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D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
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Vilano Beach, FL
Never was a fan of Dark Sky. I use Weather Underground for forecasting and Storm Shield for alerts.


I use WU too. like the crowd sourced data, high information density, solid widget, pretty much kind of "average" things between the two, with an occasional look at My Radar when weather is more critical, like we're out in the boat. :)
 
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tfigs

macrumors member
Dec 20, 2012
80
36
Frankly, I don't get all the hype with this app. I got it when it was a free download and was getting all sorts of acclaim. Its absolutely useless in the winter. The radar shows no distinction between rain, snow, ice, etc. It would often forecast rain when snow was coming down. I have found it simply to not be that accurate. The most accurate app for my location is Weather Channel and WU. I also rely on Accuweather for their minutecast feature. I'll give Dark Sky one more chance. Hopefully with this update, there is an improvement with forecast.
 
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steve23094

macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2013
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It’s meant to show you precipitation especially if it’s close by.

Okay. But it doesn't do that because it covers such a huge geographical area (half of the UK in my case) and you can't zoom in. You can't see anything 'close by' because it's all so small. It needs the option to turn it off.

The old view where you got to see any rain coming up is far superior to achieve that. Now you have to scroll down, click on Precip% and then scroll back up again.

The changes are a retrograde step in usability and information visibility. I'm going to switch to a different app but will probably keep DS for it's notifications. I'll come back in six months to see if they have made any positive changes.
 
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