We’re stoked to announce that our shiny new Pocket Weather HD 2.0 update has been approved by Apple. What’s new? Retina graphics. That’s what.
Pocket Weather HD looks absolutely stunning on the new iPad’s retina display. The high resolution Sky and Dark themes look so good, you’ll want to show off the weather to your friends.
… And show it off to your friends you should, because Pocket Weather HD only utilises trusted weather data from Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology.
Pocket Weather HD is still the best way to check Australia’s weather conditions on your iPad. This version contains all the best features from the iPhone, enhanced and tweaked to look great on your iPad.
Get it from the app store today!
In todays update we want to focus on some less sexy, but nonetheless very cool features. The main one is our new warnings system. Pocket Weather AU has always handled local warnings (by placing a red icon on the location which you could tap to get more details), but has been lacking in the state and regional warnings department. Well in 2.1 we aim to rectify that, behold the new state warnings screen:
A few quick things to note. You’ll get the state of your topmost location (or the location you’ve currently got selected) as the first one. From there you’ll notice that we have different icons for flood, wind, fire and general warnings. Let’s drill down into a cyclone warning:
Now here’s where it starts to get really cool. Philip (our back end magician) spent a lot of time reformatting all the Bureau of Meteorology warnings so that they would look great on your iPhone (which was no easy task), and they certainly do. So where some (like our competitors) would link you straight to the BOM Warnings page, we of course go the extra step and try to make the experience as painless as possible. We do that for normal warnings as well:
This feature has been a long time coming, and we intend to keep tweaking and improving it based on your feedback. We hope that people on the east coast, and those in rural areas really appreciate the level of effort that Philip has gone through to make this a reality. Finally it’s worth pointing out that you can choose to get the warnings for your state pushed to you, as soon as they are issued (or updated) by the BOM. Now if that’s not cool we don’t know what is
The other thing we’ve done with release 2.1 is really focus on all those little things that have been annoying us for ages. Here is one example: in the current version you’ve always been able to edit your location and give it a custom name, as well as choose custom information for it. This was always hidden, and I suspect 95% of people never knew it existed. So in 2.1 we expose this function straight from the add screen, by tapping the ‘Custom Location’ option:
From there you’ll get a screen letting you name your location, and picking all the individual attributes for it. This is for the hard core Bureau of Meteorology fans only, but we know you’re out there!
We could go one about all the various little bugs we’ve fixed (of which there are almost 30 according to our bug tracking system), but we don’t want to bore you with that. We’ll leave you with one final image. Typically when you’ve had problems with Pocket Weather (which are few and far between) you’d email us and we’d go through a process of elimination until we narrowed it down and fixed it for you. In the spirit of helping you out we’ve added a new feature straight to the iPhone app itself:
This gives you the option of attaching a debugging file that will help us get to the potential problem much faster
Pocket Weather AU 2.1, Slicker, Smoother, Easier, Better
Yesterday we talked about our exciting new product Time BOM, which if you haven’t bought yet you really should! Today we want to cover some features that will be in Pocket Weather 2.1. Version 2.1 has a lot of new things in it, and in this post we’ll cover the first half of them, being all visual.
First up is the new icon:
And of course there’s a new skin to go with it (we call it ‘Shiny’):
We’ve also cleaned up the way you navigate around pocket weather, after receiving so many emails from people who couldn’t find things in the application, we knew we had to do better. So when you click the button in the top right you now get this:
As long time Pocket Weather users will notice we’ve now given prominence to the tides, synoptic chart and national radars. We also have two new features on there: History & Warnings. We’ll talk about warnings in detail tomorrow, but today we’re proud to show you the history feature:
What it gives you is a history of weather conditions over the last 3-4 days, either in graph or table form. We think it’s very cool to be able to wow your friends with the knowledge that the highest temperature today was 35.6 at 2.30pm. We also know a lot of weather buffs will love expounding the profoundness of the occasions when apparent temperature is higher than air temperature
Tomorrow we’ll talk more about the zillions of bugs we’ve squished, and our new warnings section, but we hope this post gets you in the mood for Pocket Weather. We hope to release the new version this weekend!
Some people have commented that we’ve been quiet for a while now, and want to know what we’ve been up to. Well today we’d like to start filling you in. First cab off the rank is a brand new product:
Our latest submission to the app store is a thing of pure beauty. For a while now we’ve wanted something we could have running on our desks at work, that would show us weather information, as well as the time. We call it Time BOM and it’s going off! I think it speaks for itself:
It updates with the latest weather automatically, and also transitions between showing you the 6 day forecast and current conditions. It comes in two very unique and classy skins.
Another thing that we’re really proud is that there are no in app settings for anything you’d want to do day to day. Want to turn the seconds off? Simply tap on them to make them go away. Want to change between the current conditions and the forecast? Simply tap that area of the screen. Want to control the brightness? Simply tap and hold any area of the screen to get a brightness control. Want to change skins? Simply swipe left or right.
Of course for the obsessive, there are still settings inside the iPhones ‘Settings’ application, but they are for things you’ll only set once (like how often you want the application to update it’s weather).
One last thing to note: this application is not another skin for Pocket Weather AU. It’s an entirely new product that’s more of a desktop appliance than a weather application. We don’t intend to cram every single feature of Pocket Weather into this application, but rather to keep it light, elegant and useful. We intend to add an alarm clock feature, as well as new skins with some really funky ways of visualising the weather. As with Pocket Weather we intend to keep updating this application for many years to come.
So what are you waiting for, go and buy it!
p.s. Don’t worry Pocket Weather fans, we haven’t forgotten you, tomorrow we’ll discuss what’s new in Pocket Weather AU 2.1, followed by what’s new in Pocket Weather World 1.1. In the meantime, why not show us some lovin’ by buying Time BOM?
As some of you may have noticed, the BOM observation station in Melbourne stopped reporting wind information almost a month ago. We contacted the BOM to find out if this was a permanent thing or not, and here is their response:
“I have made some enquiries as to the status of the wind reports from the Melbourne City site and due to the influence of nearby buildings and the poor exposure of the sensor it was decided to turn off the wind reports from 1 September 2009. The suggested alternatives to use for Melbourne (winds) are Essendon Airport or if you need another backup St Kilda Marina.”
So there you have it, if you want wind from the Melbourne Observation post you could be waiting a long time. Pocket Weather AU let’s you switch though, so our recommendation is that if you care about the wind, choose one of the observation stations mentioned above
It’s the last day of the week (yay!) and the last update about the features coming in Pocket Weather AU 2.0. Today we cover some more mundane (but very important) tweaks:
- Tweaks to all of the skins, including skinning of the location list screen
- 3 new icons for heavy rain, fog and wind.
- Realtime UV support for some locations (from ARPANSA, more coming later)
- Radar updates improved to always get the most recent radars
- Option to disable rotation (eg: portrait only mode)
- Option to disable load on startup (useful for iPod touches)
- Many more bug fixes and server tweaks (there are literally too many to mention here, we re-wrote a large chunk of the code).
So what next you say? Rest we say! Then it’s straight on to the Pocket Weather World v1.1 upgrade!
Our designer also wants to completely overhaul Pocket Weather…but that’s a story for another day
Apple finally approved version 1.5 of Pocket Weather AU yesterday, so go grab it and let us know what you think. The main features included are:
- The Settings have been moved into the application. Since the emails we keep getting seem to indicate that most people didn’t know they existed, they should now be a lot easier to find. Thanks go to the guys from the IconFactory for publishing a very nice library that helped us do this very easily.
- Animated icons are now available (you can turn them on from the settings mentioned above)
- We added the backup Melbourne Airport radar, since the main one in Melbourne is still having problems.
- We also tweaked the application loading time, and response time in a few of the screens.
We hope you like it, and we hope to bring you many more free updates in the future. We’re still deciding on the features of 1.6 but we already have a few like custom naming of locations, adding tide offsets to the tide display, the ability to cache tides so you can view them offline and a setting for locking the screen rotation for those of you that only want to see it in landscape or portrait. Feel free to leave comments with any additional features you want, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other news we’re still working away in the background on a few other projects, which we hope to release weeks ago, but such is life, we’re going to hold onto them until they are fully baked and ready to go.
Some quick updates for you, starting with the main Melbourne Rain Radar. It went offline about 72 hours ago, and at the time of writing this is still not back up. This means that those of you living in Melbourne will not be able to access the rain radar from Pocket Weather (or the BOM site for that matter). We have implemented the changes required to incorporate the backup Melbourne Airport Radar into our application, and will submit that as an update to the App Store shortly. I wouldn’t hold my breath on seeing it anytime soon, as Apple are frantically testing thousands of applications that have been submitted to comply with the new 3.0 firmware update at the moment. At least you can sleep soundly knowing that once the update comes out, you will never have to go outside to find out if it’s actually raining or not!
We also have one other cool feature that we are testing for the next release, which we’ll keep a secret until it actually comes out.
We’re proud to announce the first of our new applications on the iTunes Store was released today: Pocket Weather AU Lite. It’s basically a slimmed down Pocket Weather AU that we’ve released free of charge. We’ve only removed features though, not crippled it, so if all you want is forecast information and the default skin then this app would suffice. We are of course hoping that it will get the Pocket Weather name out there and result in more sales of the full version, but as with everything we do, this is an experiment that we are all very excited to see the results of.
- Forecast & observation data for hundreds of areas around Australia (every single location that the BOM has, we have)
- Automatically find your local weather using your current location
- Last update is always cached, so you don’t need a network connection to check the weather for the week, once you’ve got it once.
- Updates are tiny (less than 10kb) so you don’t have to worry about your iPhone data cap.
- A free piece of Pocket Weather Goodness for all to try.
Why Should I Upgrade?:
- Animated rain radars to tell you if you’re about to get rained on
- Animated synoptic and satellite charts to marvel at Australia wide weather
- Landscape weather view, see it all in one easy to read screen
- Sunrise/sunset times for planning all sorts of activities
- 3 more skins to choose from to make the application look just the way you want it to
- Tidal information for hundreds of locations around Australia (for the fishermen/boaties out there)
- Ability to customise the application to just the way you want it, like being able to open straight to your favourite location
- Warm fuzzy feelings knowing that you have done your bit by supporting Australian Developers!
So if you already if you’re already a Pocket Weather Addict, you now have a free version that you can recommend to all your cheap-skate friends. We love all our fans, and we’re sure you’ll help us get this Lite version noticed.
In other minor news: version 1.4.1 of the full version is currently under review by Apple, and contains a few important fixes, so watch out for that one soon as well!
It seems that Phil has finally settled in to being married, and is coding like a mad monkey on steroids. As such we’re happy to announce the first in a long line of new things we’re going to be doing. Today we are bringing BOM Weather to Twitter, starting with each of the capital cities in Australia. We intend to post weather updates 3 times a day:
- Morning: current temp and outlook for the day
- Lunch Time: what to expect on your travels at lunchtime
- Night Time: Overnight weather and forecast for the next day
We will also throw in any warnings that may have been issued by the BOM, as well as extreme weather situations. This is very much a work in progress (Phil coded it all last night!) but we intend to expand it and make it into a valuable service. We wanted to do this late last year, but have just been too busy, but we’re happy to have finally done it. Things may be a little bumpy over the next few days (because we’re kicking off the script manually) but very soon it will all be 100% automated. Best of all it’s totally free!
If you’re in a capital city, you can take advantage of this now by following one of these accounts:
Oh and don’t worry we haven’t forgotten about Pocket Weather AU, here are our plans for 1.4:
Comments, suggestions, feedback? Feel free to post them (also don’t forget to follow shiftyjelly on Twitter for more frequent updates)