Apple Watch Weather App

Apple Watch Weather App

You may not be familiar with Forecast Advisor, a website run by a company called Intellovations, but it is one of the best. The site collects weather data from numerous major forecasters and compares them for accuracy. By entering your zip code, the website provides a list of services ranked by what they believe to be the most accurate for your location based on previous months. It is astonishing to see how inaccurate some of the predictions from other websites can be.

This information can be highly actionable, depending on which climate app you use. Many third-party climate apps allow users to switch between data sources, so they can choose the most accurate one for their location, such as AccuWeather in my case, and enjoy a more useful weather system immediately.

Having and knowing the most accurate forecaster for your location is crucial because there is no such thing as a perfect weather data source. As Brian Mueller, the creator of Carrot Weather, explains, "It's just impossible for one to have complete coverage for everywhere, whether it's because of the model they use, or whether they have a lot of weather stations in that area to give a lot of coverage, or whether they have access to radar data." Additionally, every weather forecaster has its own algorithms for processing data and tools for publishing it.

The weather app industry has had an unusual couple of years. In 2020, Apple acquired Dark Sky, a popular weather app that also happened to be the data provider for many other weather apps. At the beginning of this year, the Dark Sky app stopped working, and its API shut down in March. Meanwhile, Apple integrated some of Dark Sky's technology into its own Weather app and replaced the Dark Sky API with its own tool called WeatherKit.

Many users and developers were disappointed to lose Dark Sky. It was a masterwork of data-driven design, and its API was easy to integrate and affordable to use. It also provided minute-to-minute weather data long before most other providers. Unlike most providers, Dark Sky was set up to provide all the necessary information with a single API request; instead of asking for each data point, your app could simply ask "what's the weather?" and receive a complete answer. The reason so many climate apps are designed to show current weather, followed by hourly, daily, and weekly forecasts is because of how Dark Sky structured its data.

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