Forecast.io — When Good Design Meets Scarily Accurate Data
It’s that time again. Here’s another minimal weath.. No. This is not a minimal weather app. This is not even just a weather app. It goes way beyond that. The creators of Dark Sky, the scarily accurate weather app, are back with Forecast. Forecast is an amazing new global weather service.
Forecast takes the Dark Sky vision to another level. It supports iOS devices, Android devices and the web. If you’re on iOS you can add the web app to your homescreen as well. Coming to the web app, the interface is pretty deceptive. While it may seem like it is just another minimal weather app, there are buttons and gestures revealing details absent in most apps. The small + symbol next to the temperature and weather icon reveals the wind speed and direction, humidity, visibility and pressure. There is text below the main icon telling you the condition in the next hour and a summary of the conditions in the next 24 hours from now. Keep in mind that this is a web app and it feels exactly like a native application if not smoother than most weather applications out there. Tapping the hamburger button on the top left reveals the location page that allows you to search for or save locations and there is even a nice dial at the bottom that toggles the unit of temperature. The slider at the bottom lets you see the temperature and condition for the next 24 hours with different shades representing different conditions. You can swipe up to reveal the conditions for the next week along with colour bars with the maximum and minimum temperature. Each day is represented by an icon that is animated but moves ever so slowly. Tapping on any of these reveals the same slider for the conditions that day. The highlight of the web app and service is the maps with radar animations. The top right has a map button that reveals the global, regional or local (depending on whether your region is supported) map with the best radar animations out there. You can pan from left to right to see how storms will develop all over. The web app also has pull to refresh. I still can’t believe all of this is happening in a web app. The representation of the weather for a day in conversational language is exceptional.
Forecast is not only a web app, it also a service. The data API is available to developers to integrate into their applications for any location. The data is even accurate to the minute with radar coverage for a few regions. Another interesting and unique thing Forecast has is the Time Machine feature. Data from thousands of stations worldwide has been collected to let you check the weather at any location in the past. They also use statistics to predict the weather in the future using the same data.
Forecast does a lot of great things. Barring being available worldwide which is awesome it also supports any device. I particularly love it on the iPhone. Go ahead and check Forecast out. You will not regret it.
[Masthead Photo by Henning Leweke]