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Popular Weather App 'Dark Sky' Expands to the Web

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Weather forecast app Dark Sky has expanded its services to the web, with a full-featured browser site that offers much of the main app's pinpoint-accurate weather predictions and data (via Wired). Dark Sky co-founder Adam Grossman said the reasoning behind introducing a desktop site for Dark Sky was for people who preferred not to take out their phone when sitting at their computer, but still wanted Dark Sky's accurate readings.

On DarkSky.net, the first pieces of data showcase the temperature, a brief incoming warning about potential bad weather ("Light rain starting in the evening," for example), along with a 24-hour forecast. Wind, Humidity, Dew Point, UV Index, Visibility, and Pressure are also all listed at the top of the website. A large local map takes up the center of the page, and can be customized to show visuals like Temperature, Precipitation, Wind Gusts, and more.

"We really needed that companion website to Dark Sky," says Dark Sky co-Founder Adam Grossman. "If you're on your desktop, maybe you don't want to pull the phone out of your pocket."
The bottom of the site houses the weekly forecast, where users can click on each upcoming day for a more in-depth breakdown of the coming week. There's even a "Time Machine" feature below the weekly forecast that lets users jump back or ahead to a specific day and check out all of the expected weather data that happened, or will happen, in its 24-hour span.

Grossman said it's easier to experiment with things on the web, so the company has thrown in a few new aspects of Dark Sky, like microclimates, which could potentially come to the iOS and Android apps one day. If users check out the Grand Canyon, for instance, they can zoom down and see how the temperature changes as they descend. The website does lack the mobile app's well-known notifications -- which give weather warnings ahead of time -- due to "less reliable" notification data and GPS location tracking that's "harder to pin down."

Image via Wired

Some additions that are downright clever. Whereas Forecast.io only showed a precipitation map, the Dark Sky site's maps are situationally aware. If you head there on a potentially snowy day, for instance, it will automatically know to serve you an accumulation map. Even the precipitation maps have gotten more refined. If it's going to rain soon, you'll get a detailed radar view. If there's rain nearby potentially heading your way, Dark Sky will load a bigger picture view.
The new site is said to be a bolstered version of the company's previous desktop site Forecast.io, although Grossman admits that they "made it as an experiment," and the new site is a better version. Also beneficial to users is Dark Sky's adherence to a no-advertisement policy, because Grossman and the team wanted to avoid pratfalls of other big weather websites that are "filled with ads top to bottom, and crusty links to other articles."

You can check out DarkSky.net now, and the mobile version of Dark Sky can be downloaded for $3.99 from the iOS App Store. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Popular Weather App 'Dark Sky' Expands to the Web
 

jetho

macrumors member
Mar 22, 2016
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I've heard about DarkSky for years now and would really like to try it out, but unfortunately it is still unavailable in Germany. :(
 
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Carlanga

macrumors 604
Nov 5, 2009
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Am I missing something? Why should I pay $3.99 for the app when I can go to the website?
I paid nothing for the app when it came out long ago and to this day is still in my front page of my iPhone, its freaky accurate with sending you notification when the rain will start and you can see how long it will take for the rain to go down. I use it 99% of the time for that.
 
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rulymammoth

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2015
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I paid nothing for the app when it came out long ago and to this day is still in my front page of my iPhone, its freaky accurate with sending you notification when the rain will start and you can see how long it will take for the rain to go down. I use it 99% of the time for that.

I know it. That's what I use i for too. Love this app. I probably have absolutely no use for the website, but it's good to know that it's there.
 
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dragicon

macrumors member
Jan 12, 2014
41
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How does dark sky compare to "weather underground"? I've been using wunderground for a long time and find its precipitation forecast to be quite accurate.
 
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BD1

macrumors 6502
Jun 27, 2007
438
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I used to use dark sky but have switched to Storm (by weather underground). I prefer it better, in particular the maps and layers in Storm.
 
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wigby

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Jun 7, 2007
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policy, because Grossman and the team wanted to avoid pratfalls of other big weather websites that are "filled with ads top to bottom, and crusty links to other articles."

Didn't realize they were pretending to be tripping over themselves to avoid ads.
 
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mdelvecchio

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2010
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Am I missing something? Why should I pay $3.99 for the app when I can go to the website?

indeed, you are. native apps are more fully featured than web apps and execute faster due to compiled code and local resources.
 
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gixxerfool

macrumors 65816
Jun 7, 2008
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I love this app. Used it for years. I got it for the instant notifications. I hope they don't go south trying to fill two spots.
 
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iMacDragon

macrumors 68000
Oct 18, 2008
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UK
I paid nothing for the app when it came out long ago and to this day is still in my front page of my iPhone, its freaky accurate with sending you notification when the rain will start and you can see how long it will take for the rain to go down. I use it 99% of the time for that.

It's accuracy seems to have gotten worse, at least in UK, though I think the weather here is probably a lot harder to work with ..
 
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Carlanga

macrumors 604
Nov 5, 2009
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It's accuracy seems to have gotten worse, at least in UK, though I think the weather here is probably a lot harder to work with ..
I live in a tropical island that is part of the US and works great and almost never fails, my guess is the satellites or whatever system the app is using form the UK government is not as good or is not letting outside apps get more up to date access or something.
 
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fhall1

macrumors 68040
Dec 18, 2007
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(Central) NY State of mind
tried the website for the heck of it since I've heard how great this app is. Today is Wednesday. The Forecast under the map says "Light rain tomorrow through Wednesday, with temperatures falling to 63°F on Sunday"....no, it doesn't mean light rain everyday for a week, at least not according to the little "icon extended forecast" days below the words. You get what you pay for I guess.
 
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ericg301

macrumors 68000
Jun 15, 2010
1,518
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I'm a fan of the iPhone's built in weather app. I'm not seeing anything in Dark Sky that would beat it.

how bout a push alert the moment it's going to start raining? or radar? or an actual rain % chance for any day besides today?
[doublepost=1474476886][/doublepost]
How does dark sky compare to "weather underground"? I've been using wunderground for a long time and find its precipitation forecast to be quite accurate.

the WU app takes forever to update your location. at least 10 seconds for me. Dark Sky is instant.

I wish WU would spend more time on their app and less time on their snarky release notes.
 
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elfxmilhouse

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2008
584
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Northeast USA
Am I missing something? Why should I pay $3.99 for the app when I can go to the website?
The notifications are really good with dark sky. It will give you notifications based on your location and its pretty local. That alone was worth the price for me. I also think the map and the forecast interface is much better than other apps.
from a strictly information perspective the website has most of the same stuff but the app and website dont look like replacements for each other.
 
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CarlJ

macrumors 603
Feb 23, 2004
5,107
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San Diego, CA, USA
I've heard about DarkSky for years now and would really like to try it out, but unfortunately it is still unavailable in Germany. :(
This app is one where it isn't just a matter of translating all the English messages to German. It works because they're averaging together (well, that's a considerable oversimplification) a whole bunch of different specific localized weather sources/networks that are available in the US, and their algorithms for the "averaging" are specifically tuned to those US resources. Sure, Europe has state-run and personal weather stations, too, but they're unlikely to be arranged/associated in precisely the same way as the ones Dark Sky is using in the US.

So, changing the on-screen text into German wouldn't be too hard, but rewriting their entire server-based weather collecting/comparing back-end to handle a non-US region would be a huge job - not just writing software, but doing the research into what all the weather station networks are and how to access the data, and getting the appropriate permissions to access all of them.
 
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