Wednesday, June 24

Dark Sky: Crowdsource and Custom Alerts

Dark Sky Summary View
Dark Sky Summary View

With an update released last week, Dark Sky, my favorite iOS weather app and data source, puts weather data collection in your hands. The updated app can now utilize the barometric sensors in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to collect weather data and allows you to report conditions in your location. These new data collection options are opt-in only and the makers of Dark Sky aren’t ready to talk about what or how the data will be used, but they hope to tell us more about it soon.

Report weather in your area.
Report weather in your area.

The update also brings customizable alerts and a slightly tweaked UI that enhances hour-by-hour conditions display and incorporates new metrics into that view; adding wind, humidity, and UV index forecasts to the list that already included temperature and chance of precipitation. Great update to an already fantastic app.

Friday, February 27

Google Now Won’t Let You Run Empty

Google Maps plus any smartphone is already a knock-out combination that occasionally might cause you to think to yourself, “How did I ever get by without this?”. But now Google is taking it a step further with its automated notification service, Google Now. The ever-evolving contextually aware service now features a Google Now card that shows you gas stations on your route.

Regardless of how you feel about Google’s brand of snooping and tracking, you have to admit that they are doing some pretty incredible things with the information they collect. If you can ignore the privacy concerns (a big “if” for a lot of people, but not all), then Google is bringing a lot of value to their computing platforms. I can see a lot of utility in a platform that collects, analyzes, and protects a lot of information about its users. I just hope Google recognizes the importance of that last task and is able to find a way to monetize their platforms without giving away the farm.

Thursday, February 12

Starbucks iOS App Now Supports Apple Pay

I don’t visit Starbucks anywhere near as much as I used to, but news of Apple Pay support in the latest update1 brought a smile to my face nonetheless. Using Apple Pay to reload the card is easy as pie and certainly beats typing in my account password. Now, we just need Dunkin Donuts to follow suit.

There’s some trepidation over the fact that the Apple Pay integration only allows you to reload a stored card balance. I’d welcome a pay-at-the-register option, but removing the need for password input to reload is a huge improvement.

  1. How is it still not optimized for iPhone 6/6 Plus?