By Adam Grossman on .
Today we’re happy to announce a major new version of Dark Sky for iOS and Android. This update is one of the biggest overhauls in Dark Sky’s six year history. It represents over a year of effort, incorporating countless suggestions from our users as well as the experience we’ve gained building our weather service from the ground up these past years.
Its development also represents an important milestone in our history: it’s the first major version of the app built by our new app team (Todd on iOS and Cailee on Android). They’ve done tremendous work both technically and creatively, and I'm eager to share it with you.
The most noticeable change is the introduction of a new unified timeline. Rather than separating the forecast onto multiple pages, we now combine the current conditions, next hour rain forecast, next 24 hours, and next week forecasts into a single scrollable view that lets you quickly get to the part of the forecast you care about. This makes it much easier to scan what will happen in the minutes, hours, and days ahead.
The timeline has also been improved with the introduction of a graph of the various different weather conditions:
You'll notice we’ve also added a precipitation map along with our next-hour graph, to help provide more context to our next-hour forecasts:
It may seem like a small change, but having used it for the past couple months, I’ve found it to be indispensable in day-to-day usage. Take the example above: the rain is just starting towards the end of the hour, but having the map right there shows you the hell-storm that is about to descend shortly thereafter. Looking at the old app, you'd be forgiven for expecting only light drizzle. (Sure enough, less an hour and a half after I took those screenshots, we were deep in a thunderstorm.)
To drill down for detailed daily forecasts, just tap on any day of the week and a graph will appear for the day:
And finally, you can explore the weather in the past or future using the Time Machine feature. It'll show you the weather going back decades, and also provides seasonal average weather for days beyond the next week (which can help you plan for trips or vacations).
The lack of true saved locations was a pain point for many users who wanted to quickly see the weather in multiple cities. So we’ve (finally!) added the ability to save multiple locations, which can be browsed by swiping the forecast left or right.
Manage them from the Search screen, where you'll also find live location suggestions while searching, and a list of interesting storms from around the country in case your weather happens to be too bland.
We’ve also improved the way you create and manage notifications, including custom notifications which let you create your own weather alerts based on the conditions that matter most (as the parents of two small kids, my wife and I live by the UV index forecasts whenever planning day trips with the family).
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.
With our new code base and expanded app team, you will be seeing more frequent app updates from now on. We already have a number of great new features in the works. And as always, let us know if you have any suggestions.