The Search for the Perfect Weather App

Full disclosure up front. The weather app I chose might not be right for you, it’s a very personal Choice but I thought I’d share my process and results. You may well go through the same or similar process and end up with a different answer.

My issue

For a long time I used the standard built in weather apps within my smartphone and before that our various websites. While I had noticed some inaccuracies, especially in long term forecasts. They were generally usable. However, in the last couple of years I had encountered more issues.

Since moving to Poland, I had noticed that the built in weren’t reliable. They would get the temperature wildly off and fairly to report any risk of rain (when it poorer). I had found that the bbc website wasn’t accurate enough for me in Spain, but I still had other options. But in Poland, nothing seemed to work.

In addition, since I got an Apple Watch, I found I wanted weather data more and noticed it’s inaccuracies more.

So I set out to find an app that was useful.

Dark sky

I had picked up Dark Sky during a summer stay in the UK after hearing it was great for local weather data including rain warnings. It worked as promised and I thought I had found the perfect weather app. Unfortunately it didn’t last.

When I returned to Poland I discovered that Dark Sky didn’t have any of the power features, like rain warnings, in Poland and its data was highly inaccurate. This was a failure on the first point of what is vital for a weather app. However, I stuck with Dark Sky as it seemed fairly accurate (at least, as accurate as the default apps), and I knew it would be great in the UK.

The app was not found in the store. 🙁

Enter the Apple Watch

When I got an Apple Watch, I knew that I wanted to see my weather information on one of my watch faces. It made sense to me as this is pretty useful information. It was this which highlighted how inaccurate the weather data was and made me crave a more accurate app. At the same time, I valued the Apple Watch integrations which lead to one of my unfortunately requirements for my perfect weather app.

My Requirements for my perfect weather app

  • runs on iOS
  • has an Apple Watch app
  • Has accurate weather data

Finding an accurate weather source.

So I started downloading different weather apps that used different weather sources. I quickly realised that many of the good weather apps I had heard recommended used “Dark Sky” as their weather source. At this point I want to repeat that I believe Dark Sky is brilliant in certain situations, it just seemed it wasn’t in my own.

I quickly came across weather underground, one of the apps that I had heard used a different weather data source. It turned out that this was not only a highly accurate system for my location, but also showed local weather stations that were collecting data. This meant my first criterion was met.

Finding the right app that used Weather underground

For some reason, I couldn’t see a Watch complication for weather underground when I first downloaded the app, and that was a deal breaker for me. In addition I had downloaded a different app already which I knew had a great weather complication on the Apple Watch. And that app is Carrot weather.

CARROT Weather
CARROT Weather
Developer: Grailr LLC
Price: 5,49 €+

Why I Picked Carrot Weather

I had heard people sing the praises of the sassy carrot weather before but frankly didn’t see the point in spending so much money on a weather app. However, it was the only app that ticked all my criteria…When you purchases an Ultra premium subscription.

Yes that;s correct, to get the Apple Watch complication on Carrot weather, you need to have a premium subscription…but to get weather underground as your weather source, you need to get an ultra premium subscription.

Your search?

Have you searched for the perfect weather app for yourself? Which did you end up with and why?

Miracle morning iPad Apps

Have you heard that the way you spend your morning can have a HUGE impact on the rest of your day? It’s true and in his book “The Miracle Morning: 6 habits to transform your life before 8am” Hal Elrod explored the habits of the most successful people, looking for similarities between them. He detailed 6 habits that can transform your life, and in the video below I identified 6 apps to help you achieve those habits. Watch the video, or scroll to find links to all the apps.

1. Silence

Silence is the first habit from the miracle morning. It’s about getting your head clear for the start of the day.

2. Affirmations

The second habit is affirmation. Affirmations are statements of who are seek to be and how you act and behave. There is a strange power to stating out loud your intentions and goals and the act of verbalising these statements helps them to become a reality. To find ideas, head to pinterest, or you can download Hal’s affirmation and read them in PDF expert.

3. Visualisation

The third stage is to visualise your day and see everything going right. For me, I like to use a calendar app and look at my upcoming appointments and tasks. I put many work related tasks on my calendar which helps this. There are two great calendar apps that will help you review your day in this way.

4. Writing

The third habit it to write. There are different ideas about the best things to write, it could be free writing (where you just write whatever you think of) or it could be what you are grateful for, thinking about or excited about. Check out Hal’s book for more.

  • Day One
  • Apple Notes (already installed)

5. Reading

Reading helps to “sharpen the saw”, that is developing a skill or knowledge that will help you in your life. There are many different reading apps including the built in iBooks, the amazon kindle app with a wide selection of books and the subscription service scribd.

6. Exercise

Exercise helps keep you healthy and exercise has productivity benefits. There are a wide range of exercise apps out there that can work with your preferred style of exercise but if you want some ideas, check out sword 7 minute workouts for a quick and easy way to get started, or fitbit coach for more intense workouts.

Give them a go!

You don’t have to try every option, but why not try adding one habit to your morning and see the effect.

What’s the best iOS podcast app for you?

Podcasts have been a rising trend for the last few years but what app should you use to listen to them? For many people the standard Apple podcast app would suffice but today I want to compare three different third party ios podcasts apps and look at who they are better for. They are Overcast, Pocketcasts and Castro.


Overcast is from Marco Armett, formerly of instapaper and tumblr fame. His app, unlike the others, is free to download AND has almost all the functions of the app free to use.

The key differentiating features are

  • voice boast (which enhances a speakers voice over music and other noise)
  • Smart skip (a feature which cuts pauses, saving time but not resulting in a change of the speakers pitch)

In addition, overcast has a very clever smart playlist feature which allows you to create playlists which are limited to certain podcasts, have podcasts from either newest to oldest, oldest to newest and via podcast in either order. PLUS you can select priority podcasts which will place those podcast at the top of your list. And don’t forget the Apple Watch app which let’s you select the episode you want to listen to.

There is a subscription which unlocks the ability to remove ads (almost all the ads are podcast based so they are the best ads I’ve ever come across), unlocks file upload, and adds a dark icon.

The fact that it is free to start means you have nothing to lose and might as well try it out.


Pocketcasts is from Shifty Jelly and departs from overcast in a couple of ways. It is cross platform (there is an ios, android, and website version) and it has an upfront cost of $4.99.

There is also sync between devices so you can start listening to an episode on your phone, and then finish on your computer at work, or vice versa.

Pocketcasts also has the two features which overcast promotes as it unique aspects. These are volume boost and trim silence. You can set these up in the now playing settings and can be turned on or off for each podcast.

You can also set up smart playlists which can be limited to certain podcast, whether they are played, unplayed or unfinished, if they have been downloaded or not, and whether they are video, audio or both. You can also change the order of episodes from newest to oldest or the reverse. Unlike overcast, you can’t set a priority via different podcasts.

Pocketcasts also has an Apple Watch app which lets you control playback and select a new podcast episode. Unfortunately you can set the volume.


Castro takes a very different approach to podcast by adopting a “triage system”. When a new podcast episode is released, it gets added to your inbox. You can then add this episode to your playlist at either the top or bottom. Alternatively, you can archive it and not listen. You can have some episode automatically get added to your playlist (again at either the start or end).

This approach really encourages a continuously listening approach to podcast with episodes filling in to your playlist. It is a very different approach to listening to podcast and may or may not suit you.

Castro is also missing a couple of features of the other apps including Apple Watch support and silence trimming.

My pick

I have tried all three podcast apps and found good aspects of each podcasting app. In generally, these aspects favour a different approach to listening to podcasts. If you prefer to listen on your computer and phone, then it’s Pocketcasts. If you like to use lots of different playlists, then it’s overcast. If you like the inbox idea, then try Castro.

For me, I’ve settled on Overcast for 90% of podcasts as the smart skip feature is really great and I appreciate the Apple Watch app. However, I still use Pocketcasts for the couple of podcasts I listen to with my wife at home.