Dark Sky 4.0
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 3.5 stars
  • Very Good

  • Dark Sky 4.0
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: Feb 16, 2014

Review Summary:

PROS: Abundance of useful information. Very detailed and accurate. CONS: UI design is overwhelming at times. Performance needs further optimization.

There’s no lack of weather apps in the iOS App Store, and it seems that with each new day a couple of new ones appear. This is one of the most active areas of the App Store, where functionalities are evolving at a rapid speed. Weather apps also serve as a testing ground for many software developers, since this type of application is perfect for introducing a new gesture control or some innovative UI tweak.

If you visited the App Store during the last couple of weeks, you’ve probably noticed one particular weather app which Apple decided to showcase. This app is called Dark Sky, and it’s one of the most comprehensive weather forecast apps. Apple decided to showcase this app since it recently received its fourth major update, so there’s very large user base interested in development of this app. If you’re a new user, the price of download is $4.

Dark Sky 1

What’s interesting about Dark Sky is that it uses its own public weather API, created to power another weather forecast service named Forecast.io. With the latest update, Dark Sky received many new features, so it’s nice to see that this whole project is going further with its development.

Even though you won’t be able to see it by looking at its same old icon, Dark Sky went through massive interface redesign. This was expected, in order to bring up aesthetics up to iOS7-inspired look. The first screen you’ll see is an overview of your current location’s weather conditions, with a map blurred in the background. This kind of logic is present in all aspects of the app, where you’re supposed to swipe across the screen in order to reveal what’s behind it, which is always partly visible. It’s like looking though several layers of glass, with many information between these layers. Of course, the top layer is always the best visible one. Even though this sounds like a high-tech UI design idea, it doesn’t really feel well executed in practice. Dark Sky has become too much monochromatic, and completely flat as well. There are some amazing colorful UI designs in the App Store, and I hope that Dark Sky will take inspiration from those apps. Another thing that’s a direct consequence of this situation is noticeable lag. There’s a lot of information showed on every single layer of this app, and each piece of information is often updated, which sometimes creates annoying loading screens.

Even though there are some issues with the design of this app, I still need to praise its functionality. If you like very detailed forecasts, Dark Sky is the right choice. You’ll get to see hour-by-hour forecasts, and nicely animated radar maps. You’ll also get to use rain and snow notification service, which sends alerts directly to your phone.

The main selling point of Dark Sky is abundance of information it provides, and this is very detailed and accurate data. Performance could be better, but since this is something that can be optimized in the future, I hope that issues with lagging will be solved.


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