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Dark Sky 4.0: Whatever the weather, this app has you covered

Serenity Caldwell | Jan. 28, 2014
Dark Sky has long been one of my favorite weather apps for the iPhone, but it's seen few updates this past year as its developers focused on growing their new project, Forecast.io, and their public weather API of the same name. 2014 is a new year, though, and the Dark Sky Company is starting it right, with a full redesign of Dark Sky for iOS 7.

Despite the mostly-excellent redesign, the monochromatic skin falls a little flat for me: While there are snatches of color on the radar map and when representing precipitation, it all comes off a bit too dull if your location lacks a squall or a thunderstorm. It certainly makes for a stark contrast if you compare it with any of its colorful competitors.

The map also feels a bit cramped in relation to the rest of the design, with the times on the timelapse scroller wedged tightly between black separators. (It's a bit better on the iPad, but goes too far in the opposite direction, ending up with an oddly sparse look.) There's a bit of multitouch bugginess in the map, too; while you can theoretically swipe left to return to the main screen on the iPhone, I found myself more often careening into the Atlantic Ocean. Eventually, I figured out that diligently tapping and dragging slowly on the far right edge was the way to go, but casual users may find themselves befuddled. Thankfully, the developers also include a "close" button in the top right corner for those disinclined to swiping.

Bottom line
Whether you're a Dark Sky devotee or the casual cumulonimbus connoisseur, there's something in the 4.0 update for you. Backed by data from the Dark Sky Company's vaunted meteorological API, the app melds new weather information and a redesigned interface to enhance its original purpose. Longtime users may find a tad more lag when viewing detailed weather information, but Dark Sky's data is well worth the wait.

 

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