'Dark Sky' Weather App Adds Push Notifications of Imminent Rain

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
46,798
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The Dark Sky weather app was originally funded via a Kickstarter campaign. It is designed to provide precipitation predictions for the very short term and aims to tell you if it will rain at your location in the next hour. This information can be useful for commuters and joggers, and this intense focus cuts a bit of a niche in the crowded world of iOS weather apps. Dark Sky's developers raised nearly $40,000 on Kickstarter and now sell Dark Sky for $3.99 as a universal app on the App Store.




Dark Sky gets its data from the National Weather Service, and, as a result, only works in the United States. The developers are working to resolve this, but as radar data is controlled on a country-by-country basis, they have to negotiate with each individual country to provide coverage to that region. As a result, it may be a while before international customers can use it.

Version 2.0, which was just released [via Cult of Mac], adds a very useful push notification service to warn users of imminent precipitation in their area. Also added is a national radar view for Dark Sky's take on radar imagery. The app uses some clever technology to parse radar data, doing its best to remove false imagery and making it easier to read.
Push Notifications are a feature that our users have been requesting since we first launched last Spring. By enabling notifications within the app, we will tell you whenever it's going to rain in the next ten or fifteen minutes, so you'll never get caught in the rain -- even if you forget to check the app. We've actually been working on this feature since the beginning, but it's been very tricky to implement: we're not quite 100% confident that we've gotten it perfect. For that reason, we're currently considering the system to be experimental.
As it gets data from the National Weather Service, radar imagery will vary by area. Some parts of the country -- particularly rural areas -- are poorly covered by NWS radar. Dark Sky does its best, but will pop up a "Service Degraded" warning if radar coverage isn't up to standards.

Dark Sky is available as a universal app for $3.99 on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Article Link: 'Dark Sky' Weather App Adds Push Notifications of Imminent Rain
 

b166er

macrumors 68020
Apr 17, 2010
2,062
18
Philly
I've been using dark sky for a couple months. Very great app. I just want to know when it's going to rain in the exact spot I'm in and this app does that. I already got a push notification today that was very accurate. Where I live it is common to have rain on one side of the street and not the other. This app hasn't let me down yet.
 

JZ Wire

macrumors regular
Dec 18, 2003
248
1
Miami, FL
Very Helpful!

I'm glad you guys decided to talk about this unique app. I've been using it since it first came out and I find it very accurate. It'll tell me when it's going to rain and for how long.
Its hard to predict the future when it comes to weather but this app does a good job. I've had a few times when it said "no rain" after a storm although it was still lightly sprinkling, but hey, it is still quite new and they'll keep working on it. Coincidentally, the update comes right after a few storms down here in Fl so I haven't had a chance to try out the notifications.
 

kirky29

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2009
1,456
295
Lincolnshire, England
I thought it always rained in the UK, rendering this app kind of useless. ;)

It also rains a lot in Ireland but its good to know if it will for sure in case you're going out for a bit so you can dress appropriately and maybe carry an umbrella with you.
Certainly has over the past few months! I've used it a few times to decide when to put the horses in their stables. :)
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,186
Dark Sky is a terrific app—it earned a place on my 1st iPhone home screen after saving my from a few downpours while hiking!

I don’t get how push notifications are possible if the app isn’t always running. How does it know when the radar changes? Or if it’s all server-side, how does the server know where you are? I can’t wrap my brain around it. But if it works, I’d love it!
 

dillacom

macrumors regular
Oct 19, 2006
125
50
I am interested, except they label the capital of Wyoming as "Wyoming" not Cheyenne. Don't know how accurate my weather will be if they can't figure that out yet....
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,255
1,333
Dark Sky is a terrific app—it earned a place on my 1st iPhone home screen after saving my from a few downpours while hiking!

I don’t get how push notifications are possible if the app isn’t always running. How does it know when the radar changes? Or if it’s all server-side, how does the server know where you are? I can’t wrap my brain around it. But if it works, I’d love it!
Check this out:
http://darkskyapp.com/notifications/
 

japanime

macrumors 68000
Feb 27, 2006
1,961
1,906
Japan
I am interested, except they label the capital of Wyoming as "Wyoming" not Cheyenne. Don't know how accurate my weather will be if they can't figure that out yet....
Good catch! You should email the developers and bring it to their attention. They might thank you with a free download code.
 

SeaFox

macrumors 68030
Jul 22, 2003
2,539
806
Somewhere Else
I am interested, except they label the capital of Wyoming as "Wyoming" not Cheyenne. Don't know how accurate my weather will be if they can't figure that out yet....
Out of curiosity, did they also decide to mark Kansas City as the capital of Kansas?
 

dkflet6520

macrumors newbie
Aug 14, 2012
1
0
Cheaper option

I just look out the window. Amazing graphics and I can tell immediately if it is going to rain!
 

Fiestaman

macrumors regular
Feb 7, 2009
237
79
Dark Sky is a terrific app—it earned a place on my 1st iPhone home screen after saving my from a few downpours while hiking!

I don’t get how push notifications are possible if the app isn’t always running. How does it know when the radar changes? Or if it’s all server-side, how does the server know where you are? I can’t wrap my brain around it. But if it works, I’d love it!
I enabled push notifications, but now the purple location icon in the top right is always there. Not sure if it's sucking any more power right now but it's kind of annoying having the icon there all the time.
 

Tyler23

macrumors 603
Dec 2, 2010
5,651
152
Atlanta, GA
I enabled push notifications, but now the purple location icon in the top right is always there. Not sure if it's sucking any more power right now but it's kind of annoying having the icon there all the time.
Here's a response email I received from the dev. team:

"Yes, when you enable notifications, location services (and the annoying arrow icon, unfortunately) remain enabled so we can track storms at your location. Apple provides an efficient interface for doing this, finding your location via cell towers instead of the GPS, which should prevent it from having any significant effect on your battery life. We've had our beta testers using it for a month now, and none of them have noticed any changes."
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,186
Very cool! I forgot Location Services could do that even when an app isn't running.

This plus severe weather alerts from Wunderground will keep me safe and dry!

The purple icon IS annoying, but it serves an important security/privacy function, so I'll get used to it. If I want to know what OTHER apps are accessing my location, I have two good methods: 1) it's always opt-in and very clear, so no apps can track me unless I wish it and already know it; and 2) the Settings app shows all apps that have used Location Services in the last day.
 

seamuskrat

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2003
884
1
New Jersey USA
Rain Aware

Seems to have very similar functionality to the app Rain Aware. That app has been very useful and accurate for me as well.

Possibly they all pull from similar or the same data sources so it probably comes down to UI and looks.
 

bstpierre

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2008
541
155
I just look out the window. Amazing graphics and I can tell immediately if it is going to rain!
You have a window? I am jealous. I also would prefer to have a little more advance notification so I can go out and put the top up on the Jeep.