A couple of days ago the latest update to Oz Weather – v1.3 – was approved for sale by Apple. There are some major enhancements. A lot of work went into this one!
Shortly after release of the new version, Oz Weather finally jumped into #1 spot in paid app rankings in the Australian iTunes store. I’ll cover the effects of this on sales figures in a future blog post. 🙂
From the appearance angle, there is a striking new icon (emphasizing the Australia-only weather focus of the app) and a range of fun new background color themes to choose from – just in case anyone tires of seeing the same app colour scheme day after day – as you might only in app that typically gets daily use.
As with previous improvements to the app appearance, I’ve got Peter Fellows to thank for this great design work.
From the functionality point of view, there are several big advances too. Although I’d covered most of the available Bureau of Meteorology forecast locations in previous versions, this version covers all available forecast locations, and for each one will display current weather from up to the 6 nearest observations locations in each case – accessible via the famous side-swipe action that is so often admired in the iPhone’s much more basic built-in weather app.
There is also a new “Capital Cities” item which allows you to see forecasts for the 7 main capital cities all on one page, and to side-swipe through the latest observations for each one, or tap on a city’s forecast line to jump straight to its current observations.
There are also a range of other new features and enhancements like
- Sunrise and sunset times for today
- Forecast min and max temperatures displayed on current observations page
- Dates added to day name on forecast page
You can choose whether or not to enable these new features by going to your iPhone’s home page, selecting the “Settings” icon, and then scrolling down to the “Oz Weather” entry in the list of application settings.
I’ve actually had a lot of fun building this, and the jump is rankings and sales is very gratifying. But it remains to be seen how durable this will be. There is currently an extreme heatwave hitting Melbourne and Adelaide and this could account for a general increase in weather app sales. In fact competing apps have also done very well in the rankings at the same time despite having had no recent updates or icon changes, which does seem to suggest that the unusual/extreme weather is affecting things. But I’ve also had some very positive feedback about the new design. WDYT?