When it comes to weather, we trust our phones more than the guy on TV. Many apps are out there that provide weather information, but there's a big problem with most of them. Traditional weather apps run forecasts by zip code or from national weather centers, which means they don't cover where you're actually standing.
How often does your phone cheerfully say it's a bright, sunny day while thunder is rocking the house? Let's face it: weather can vary across the town or even down the street, and that's where many apps aren't great. They also may not update very often, leaving you dressed for a warm spring day while a winter wind yowls all around.
Don't go out under a little black rain cloud. Get Dark Sky.
We've talked about Dark Sky before, but like all apps, there have been improvements, revisions, and changes since the last time we took a look at it. Let's get caught up with one of the best weather apps out there.
Weather that works
By way of introduction, Dark Sky is still the hyperlocal weather app you can trust for information on what the weather is. Not only can it tell you when it's going to rain, it can tell you how much rain is coming, so you know whether to bring an umbrella or don your full rain ensemble. It provides minute-by-minute forecasts for the next hour, and then hourly forecasts for the next week.
Most importantly, it does it all with a focus on where you are standing. Rather than giving you data for the entire zip code or city, Dark Sky provides information for where you are and where you're going. When it says rain is coming, that means rain is on the way to your specific location, not just for the entire city.
Be a weather wonk
Some people just want to know if it's going to rain, but some weather enthusiasts know the difference between a cumulus cloud and a nimbostratus. If you like to geek out about weather, Dark Sky uses its own weather forecast technology to provide radar animations and weather maps that are more than just a still screen or a guy in a suit talking.
Best of all, Dark Sky features a Time Machine. This won't let you go back in time and punch Biff Tannen, but it will give you historic information on weather patterns and storms, then project what the future holds.
Keep your parade rain-free
With push notifications and custom alerts, Dark Sky can also let you know bad weather is on its way. You don't even have to unlock your phone to see what's going on, just take a peek and maybe bring a sweater. It's what your mother would want.
The Dark Sky is the limit
Dark Sky is $3.99 for iOS devices like iPhone and iPad. Plus, the Apple Watch version isn't just a port of the existing app. Watch wielders take note: the version for your favorite timepiece is built from the ground up to take advantage of Apple Watch's unique functionality.
Android users can download the app for free and get a full 24-hour and 7-day forecast, as well as a few other cool free features. However, there's a $2.99 per year premium upgrade that unlocks good stuff like the alerts and notifications, a temperature reading in your phone's status bar, and a weather widget that lives on your home screen. If you're not sure about that 25 cents a month price point, take heart, there's a two-week free trial to let you take the full version for a spin before making that commitment.