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.

Wednesday, April 08

Shake, Stir, and Share

Studio Neat, the team behind the Cosmonaut and the Glif, is slowly building a cocktail accessory empire. Highball, a free iOS app for saving and sharing your favorite cocktail recipes, joins the already stout cocktail friendly lineup that incluces the Neat Ice Kit and the Simple Syrup Kit1.

The app is simple, yet aesthetically pleasing; common traits for apps and hardware coming from Studio Neat. Recipes are given the common and familiar card treatment, a tried and true metaphor for something that needs to be easy to organize, access and share. And that’s exactly what you do with Highball. Provide your own favorite recipes by typing them into the card or by grabbing a recipe from a friend. You can even use the app to piece together an icon to represent your drink, complete with common glass styles, ice preferences, and beverage hues.

I don’t often venture far from the Old Fashioned / Manhattan on the rocks realm, but I assure you if and when I do find something else that I like, I’m going to keep track of it in Highball. Get Highball today in the iOS App Store.

  1. They also have a great Cocktail Tool Guide with links to their favorite third party cocktail accessories.  ↩

Saturday, February 28

Alto’s Adventure: Snowboarding, Monument Valley Style

Last year’s breakout iOS game, Monument Valley, merged simple gameplay – guide Princess Ida through an Escher inspired puzzle maze – with stunning visuals worthy of its inspiration. This year brings us Alto’s Adventure, a similarly visually stunning game mixed with the fun and thrill of snowboarding. A few years ago, I wondered if iOS games had reached the extent of their full potential, and would never live up to the early hype of eventually supplanting consoles as the mainstream gaming platform. Clearly, I just lacked imagination.

Speaking of imagination, I think it’s completely plausible that the similarities in visuals between Monument Valley and Alto’s Adventure is a complete coincidence. After all, games with this kind of visual styling take a long time to create and, unless the team behind Alto’s Adventure got a sneak peek at Monument Valley, it doesn’t seem like they could have created a copycat game so quickly.