Oz Weather v1.3 Released – Hits #1 Ranking

iTunes Rankings

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.

Oz Weather v1.3

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.

Capital Cities Adelaide 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?

16 thoughts on “Oz Weather v1.3 Released – Hits #1 Ranking”

  1. I love the app and use it extensively, but I notice that there is often (today being a case in point) a discrepancy between OZ Weathers forecast and the BOM One. For example today OZ weather claims heavy rain in the NSW Northern Rivers region through til Saturday whereas BOM has it becoming fine by Wednesday and on through til the forecast stops. How is this possible. Where is oz weather getting it’s rain forecasts from? I wonder.

    1. Hi Saul – the Oz Weather forecasts are identical to official BoM forecasts. The only difference is those locations where BoM doesn’t provide a full 7 day forecasts. In those cases Oz Weather extends the forecasts using BoM computer model output. These aren’t as accurate as human made forecasts, but seeing as the BoM doesn’t issue any, its the best that can be done.

  2. I like this app – but am finding my radar option never works. It always says “Sorry! This radar is currently offline”. No matter where I am or if I try to refresh it.

    I am using Melbourne as my city – is there something I need to change in the settings or something? I’d really like to be able to see the amount of rain, etc..🙂 Or is the Melbourne radar truly unavailable??

    1. Hi Jen – The BoM have had some big problems with their Melbourne radar. It is only one of 50 or so around Australia, but it is one of the most heavily used. I am therefore sure they will be bringing it back online as soon as they possible can. In the meantime one possible alternative is to use the radar option button (or double tap on the radar screen) to change to a different radar/range.

      1. Awesome thanks – I had tried changing the range to something wide – but selecting the other nearest radars did the trick🙂

        Hopefully the Melbourne radar goes back to working properly!!

  3. The Melbourne radar map at 64km helped me decide if I should abandon riding my bike to work or if I should wait for a band of rain to pass. Switching to other radars as you have suggested just doesn’t cut it – Yarrawonga, Bairnsdale & NW Tasmania are just too far away. I think your old version of OW had Melbourne Airport which BOM is recommending people use. I checked the radar loop there and seems it is working fine. Can you give us the option of Melb. Airport in OW?

  4. Bryan,
    At this stage the Laverton/Melbourne radar will not be working
    until late next week – depending on when parts arrive from overseas.  
    In the meantime, you can use our Tullamarine radar for Melbourne
    area radar coverage.

    Regards,

    N.M.O.C. Help Desk
    Bureau of Meteorology,
    C/O PO Box 1289K
    Melbourne,    3001
    Australia.
    Email: webops@bom.gov.au

  5. I have already submitted an app update for Oz Weather which adds the backup radar location (Melbourne airport). The Bureau normally makes this available only when the main radar is offline, but given the number of outages I will be making it permanently available.

  6. Just downloaded this app. Excellent. Can I ask though I thought with the radar, if I rotate the Iphone on its side the radar would rotate to be larger but it doesn’t. Is this in the app or is it me.

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