Big Systems

Dark Sky


Best iPhone and iPad weather app

As a co-worker and I were leaving a cafe, we looked and saw it was threatening to rain. “Should we walk?” I asked. He smiled and showed me this app: Dark Sky.

Dark Sky is a weather app that focuses on letting you know how long until it starts raining or snowing where you are, based on your exact GPS coordinates. Or, if it is already raining, it tells you how long it will rain and how hard. Very handy if you are about to run out, but could also give it a few more minutes to let the weather move past.

Of course, it gives you all of the other relevant weather info as well in a very understandable way: current temperature, the hourly forecast for the day, and the weekly forecast.

What makes this my go to weather app is that it anticipates my needs: the first screen tells me what is the weather near me right now and gives me all the details I need to react right away, the next screen is what the rest of the day will be like, and the next screen is what the rest of the week is like. All done in a clean and easy to understand way.

You could say what I like about this is what it doesn’t include:

– You don’t enter in location, because by default it tells me the weather where I am. (You can search for other locations or indulge your sense of schadenfreude and be shown info for interesting storms!)

– The interface is mostly grey scale and simple icons, so it is easy to read.

– Also, the app isn’t free, so that means there aren’t ads.

It’s a small thing, but as I travel, I’ve also liked how it tells me the address it thinks I am near. Convenient when you call for a cab.

These are the same people who do – while you get most of the same information with the same simple design, you don’t get the precipitation information. If you use an iPhone, they made their site into a web app: visit the site on your phone, and follow the instructions on the bottom banner. It’s sort of like getting a “lite” version of Dark Sky.

-- Mark Krawczuk 04/22/14