Dark Sky Weather App: Reviewed
Every smartphone needs a weather app. All the major smartphones come preloaded with a decent app that does the basic job of telling you what the weather will be for that day or the upcoming week. They are useful. Weather apps help you to start your day, to choose what to wear, and to know whether or not to bring an umbrella.
Many people never download another weather app. Preloaded apps often do the job quite well, but there are other options out there. Dark Sky has been my goto weather app for quite a while now, and I think many of you will like it too.
Purpose & Functionality
It’s important to know that the vast majority of weather apps use the same sources for their data, and because that is true, the main differences between weather apps is how the data is displayed. Dark Sky on the other hand is an outlier. It uses forecast.io for its weather forecasts. Forecast.io deserves a blog post of it’s own, but until then, I highly recommend you check it out here. It is a wonderful service that can be used across all platforms.
The basic purpose for Dark Sky is the same as any other weather app—to tell you what the weather is. But it has some pretty cool features that you don’t see elsewhere. The most eye-catching feature is the interactive map section. You can zoom down to your exact location or view the globe as a whole as you scroll through time and see the changes in precipitation or temperature on the map.
Another nice touch is this display that shows wind speed & direction, humidity, dew point, pressure, and visibility for your location.
Rating: simplicity, usefulness, beauty and necessity
- Simplicity. (8/10) Dark Sky displays a large amount of information simply and effectively. It makes intuitive use of swipes and taps to keep the layout clean while still allowing for detailed information.
- Usefulness. (10/10) As I said above, weather apps can be incredibly helpful, but I believe Dark Sky is the most useful on the market. Just a few weeks ago I was shopping for furniture and it started to thunder. I checked Dark Sky because I needed to put things in the back of my truck. The forecast for North Houston was rain for the next few hours, but Dark Sky showed that my exact location would have 15 minutes of rain followed by no precipitation for the next hour. I scrolled through the next hour on the map so I could see if my drive home would be safe. By the time I had finished paying, it had stopped raining. I was able to load my purchases in the back of my truck and make it home without having to worry about wet furniture. If it weren’t for some of the unique features of Dark Sky, I would have waited to by those things and had to come back another day.
- Beauty. (9/10) Dark Sky has a unique look, a consistent use of spacing & typography, and an icon I enjoy having on my home screen.
- Necessity. (10/10) In my opinion a weather app is a necessity, and if you are going to have a weather app, you might as well have Dark Sky.
- Stickiness. (8/10) I have tried to use several other weather apps since I downloaded Dark Sky, but I keep coming back to it. I give it an 8 because it is in such a competitive market. Yahoo Weather in particular is a worthy competitor on both Android and iPhone.
The Dark Sky website is a wonderful resource for additional information.
Dark Sky is available in the Apple App Store.