Weather Gods 2.4 Released

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iOS & iPadOS

Hi All,

It's been a long time and I hope everyone is well and taking care in these difficult times.

After six months of work, Weather Gods 2.4 is finally done.

The reason for taking such a long time is I had to re-write the app from the ground up in order to support current and future iPhone and iPad devices released by Apple. The old WG was hand-crafted for every new device Apple released and Apple have informed their developers that all screens have to adapt and they wont accept new updates from apps that don't do this.

That was the hard part done.

Meanwhile, I have taken the opportunity to add some much requested features.

In no particular order:

1. New sounds for cloud, wind, rain, snow, fog, hail and UV. All sounds are recorded in stereo and the general consensus from the beta testers is they are much better.

These are commercial sounds which we have licensed, along with some sounds we mixed together from the commercial versions. It's been extremely difficult finding, listening and picking the sounds. I literally have downloaded 100s of sounds for auditioning.

2. Ambient sounds. Depending on the weather, you will hear additional sounds that add to the atmosphere of the sound of the weather. There are many different sounds and I will be adding more over the next couple of months. I wont list them as I think half the fun is discovering them. Some are very weather and seasonal specific so you might have to wait six months or more to hear them :)

3. Whilst on sounds. There is a sound mixer in settings. You can turn off individual primary weather sounds and adjust their volume.

4. Weather wheel. Completely re-written, you can swipe through the wheel using single finger or triple swipe up / down to scroll.

5. Timeline. Also completely re-written. You are free to swipe left/right by hour in any direction, and back to observation data should you wish to access that.

6. Moon information. Re-written and updated with extra data such as azimuth, meridian information, altitude, distance etc

7. Weather alerts can now be set for individual places by double tapping on the weather alerts icon. Previously you found this option with the regular notifications.

8. WG will provide helpful sign posting in notification section of settings if you (or iOS) has disabled notifications. If notifications are not coming through then it's worth a check here.

9. Same for location settings and follow me. Much easier to switch on / off and check the settings.

10. Launch options. You can choose to launch into the Pantheon (the old home screen), the weather wheel or straight into favorites. Can be configured in settings, under general.

11. County alerts. These can be toggled for those who aren't interested in receiving the county alerts. US only at the moment and on by default.

12. WG Voiceover "animations". The WG on the Pantheon screen have a lot of animations, they look around, fall asleep, follow your touch, blink etc. I have added Voiceover renditions of what they are up to. Feedback from the beta testers has been mixed, so if you find them annoying, then you can switch them off in settings, under general.

13. Full support for accessible font sizes.

14. UK weather alerts are back.

15. New watch modular complication called weather highlights. This complication delivers timely highlights about the weather throughout the day.

Changes afoot!

During this time, IBM have unfortunately given us notice that they are terminating our contract from November. They have decided that other weather apps using their data are deemed to be competitors and they don't wish to continue offering us the data.

With Dark Sky being bought by Apple, we are having to find a new weather data provider. I am currently seriously looking at using AerisWeather.

AerisWeather provide more than just the data we have been using. Depending on the data plan, we can have air quality, lightning strikes, 15 day hourly and daily forecasts, nearby storm cells etc

Once we have integrated the current data requirements from AerisWeather, then we will, unfortunately, have to switch to a subscription model as the current paid app is not sustainable.

However, existing paid app users wont be asked to take up the basic subscription, which should give you everything you currently have. I hope people understand why we are having to go down this route.

Finally, I would like to say a massive thank you to the beta testers who have been invaluable with their feedback and bugs.

If you enjoy Weather Gods, and haven't left a review, then we would love it if you could spare the time please to leave a review. These are so important for Indy devs trying to find a foothold in the App Store search algorithms and rankings.

We hope you enjoy the new update and welcome all feedback.

Take care
Scott

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Comments

Submitted by Robin on Saturday, August 1, 2020

Hi,

Firstly I'd like to express my gratitude for all your hard work on this app in an on going basis; and thanks for being so aware of and responsive to #Accessibility concerns. Few devs have been as engaged as you have been and will continue to be over time I've no doubt.

I know it's often a topic promoting controversy when apps have to change the way they do things or switch to a subscription based model. But I for one speaking strictly for myself as it relates to Weather Gods as an end user don't mind it as it gives me an opportunity to show my support for that which I find beneficial and useful with the support of the power of my purchasing dollars. I also recognize that app developers don't owe us anything and with an app especially one like Weather Gods which is dealing with ever changing content it's not a once and done sort of thing. As such, if participating in a subscription model allows me to support developers who provide me with content that is useful and by doing so I provide them some benefit for their efforts than I view it as a win, win for everyone.

Again thank you for all your hard work on this app and your commitment to the audience who both benefits from and enjoys it. It and you are appreciated. I can't wait to see what comes next.

Take good care.

Robin

Submitted by David Taylor on Saturday, August 1, 2020

Hi. I completely understand the issues you have and will certainly take a look at the updates, which sound interesting. I currently use Weather Gods mainly for notifications, which I find really useful. The one thing that is a very mild irritation is that sometimes multiple notifications are sent so close together that VoiceOver can't read one out before the next one interupts it, so I have to actually, you know, pick the phone up and go into notifications. I use the built in Weather app now for most situations for the next 24 hours, although that is very limited in terms of information it can give. This is because it is so easy to swipe through what I immidiately want to know. For more information, I use Weather Pro. This is because it presents things like hours of sunshine and amount of rainfall in the daily fore and hourly forecasts. The way it presents information is a little slow, and I don't feel like it's as accurate as it once was. If you can make things like nearest storms, lightning strikes, things like that accessible, then I will definitely think a subscription iss worth it for me, paid user or not. I am somewhat of a weather geek, so it annoys me when apps think all you need to know is temperature and likelihood of rain. I want wind details, humidity, sunshine hours/cloud cover, the lot. So, in my case at least, the more all out you go, the more likely I am to pay, even if going all out costs more. I'd be more likely to drop Weather Pro when it runs out. So, thanks for all your great work over the years, and good luck finding a new source.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Saturday, August 1, 2020

I am using beta. If I go to the app store and get it, do I need to purchase it? Do I need to delete the beta in my iPhone and watch? Like always this is a great app. If I need to pay, I will do so. Good apps is worth it.

Submitted by Firefly on Saturday, August 1, 2020

I bought the weather gods app about a month ago or so, and I did purchase it, two questions I have first one is do I need to re-download the Weather Gods app? Or will it be updated? The other question I have is you had mentioned in your post that people who have already purchased the app will not need to purchase a basic subscription, I just would like to verify that that is the case. I wanna keep up the good work and you’ve done an amazing job thank you

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Saturday, August 1, 2020

Hi Firefly,

The app will just update in the normal App Store manner, you wont have to re-download.

Yes, you are correct.

We are planning a basic subscription and then additional subscriptions for extra data feeds e.g. air quality.

Paid app users such as yourself will get the basic subscription for free.

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Saturday, August 1, 2020

Hi Holger,

You are fine to continue using the beta.

The next beta will be in a couple of days with some bug fixes.

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Saturday, August 1, 2020

Thanks David for the feedback.

I do believe you get quite a bit of the weather details now with WG. The one thing we don't report is hours of sunshine, but that would be relatively easy to add.

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Saturday, August 1, 2020

Hi Robin,

Thank you for your continued support, it's much appreciated.

Submitted by Kris on Sunday, August 2, 2020

Hello Scott,

Again, this is a great app that just keeps getting better, thanks to all your hard work.

All the new sounds are very interesting. You never know just what you might hear next. I love all the little surprise sounds in there, too.

As a beta tester, I sometimes just left WG on and enjoyed the ambiance.

Of course, the weather info is also very helpful. Grin

Thank you again for all your hard work.

Cheers,

Kris

Submitted by Jo Billard on Sunday, August 2, 2020

I've had Weather Gods for a few weeks now, and I'm finding it a little more difficult to navigate the new weather wheel. I love the ability to change the volume for each new sound. I miss the thunder, but I love the quality of the new sounds. So, the way I understand it, with the new subscription, since I've already purchased the app, I keep what I have, but if one wants the newer features, you need a subscription? I'm new to paid apps and don't understand all the ins and outs of it yet.

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Sunday, August 2, 2020

Hi Jo,

Thunder is still in the app - in fact there are different types of thunder now, depending on the intensity of the storm.

Regarding the weather wheel

1. Swipe left / right with one finger to go forwards or backwards hour by hour
2. Swipe up / down with one finger to go forwards or backwards from midnight to midday
3. Swipe up / down with three fingers to go forwards or backwards a day at a time

Yes, you are correct for subscriptions. Anyone who has the paid app keeps everything and will not have to pay for the same features.

Once the app has switched to subscription, then new people will need to pay for a basic subscription - I think the minimum is 50 cents per month.

In addition, there will be extra data available for a monthly subscription, air quality, lightning, storm cells, pollen, 15 day hourly and daily weather

Submitted by Piotr Machacz on Sunday, August 2, 2020

Thanks for a great app. While I'm not the biggest fan of subscriptions, mainly because of the sheer number of apps that adopted the model meaning you can actually wrap up quite a high cost maintaining them overall, I understand your predicament. Finding good API's for external services these days is really hard, so I"m glad you were able to find a solution and I'm happy to support developers that do such an awesome job as yourselves. Representing the weather with sounds is what drew me into WG and it's awesome to see this improving. But what I really appreciate in the app the most now is the amazing notifications. Even if I don't actually go into the app as much these days, I can't imagine not waking up with your detailed weather summaries on the lockscreen, they're just that good and much more useful than just seeing the expected high and low for the day.

Submitted by Skippy on Sunday, August 2, 2020

Hi,
Weather gods is a fantastic app!
I’ve been using it since it came out.
I was wondering when you plan to add iCloud sync support?

In terms of subscriptions, Will their be an annual option?
How much do you think that will cost?
Thanks so much for creating this amazingly accessible app!
Keep up the great work!

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Sunday, August 2, 2020

If I continue to use the beta, do I need subscription? Also are you planning to update widgets for iOS 14? Bella the cats like the sounds. I still think a widget of Bella the cat be nice using WG. Great app.

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Sunday, August 2, 2020

Hi Skippy,

I was hoping to add iCloud Sync in this release.

I abandoned it as we have to move away from IBM and it seemed a complex problem to solve in the short term.

We would have to sync all devices and then sync with the IBM cloud where the notifications are generated.

It might come back once we have migrated to our new weather provider.

The subscription stuff is still some way off, but I'm sure there would be an annual subscription as well.

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Sunday, August 2, 2020

Hi Holger,

At the moment all current app users will continue to enjoy the app without a subscription.

The beta should still work fine and I already have a small update awaiting Apple's approval.

Yep, updated widgets are definitely planned for iOS14. Maybe one day we can have a custom weather widget where the user gets to choose the background - would be ideal for Bella :)

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Sunday, August 2, 2020

Will the altimeter contain both Q&H and standard readings? I'm an aviation geat and would actually love to see this. I can read both, often do when I'm simming, but I would like to actually read this for real.

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Sunday, August 2, 2020

Hi KE7ZUM

Not sure about the altimeter? Regarding pressure, at the moment pressure forecasted is mean sea level, whereas the observation is reported from a weather station and is barometric pressure.

Submitted by charles on Sunday, August 2, 2020

As a beta tester, my only regret is that I cannot give more than a 5 star rating. As another user stated, the app is still?? getting better. I just got notified that another beta is ready for testing. I'll get to it in just a bit. Although paid subscriptions are unfortunate in Weather Gods' future, it is understandable. Now a new source of info must be found. Hopefully more info can be gotten from this source, only making the app even more useful. Keep up the good work, but do not pay attention to Bella. All she does is eat, meow, purr, shed fur, and get petted. She is only a Furface. Purdue is better. He is a 75 pound Yellow Lab Animal that guides. (ornery grin)

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Sunday, August 2, 2020

Thanks Charles, Purdue sounds great :)

Submitted by Dawn on Monday, August 3, 2020

Hey Scott! I have a suggestion and a question. First of all my suggestion. Have you thought about also putting in a plan where if people can’t afford the subscription then they can buy some thing? There’s one app that does this. They have a subscription model but then they also have a plan where you can pay $200 and you won’t have to pay the subscription. Have you got about doing that as well? I think that would be good to for people who either can’t afford a subscription or whatever the case may be.
Also, would I be able to have access to everything? Or would I have to pay for subscriptions to say the policy? What would I get access to with the basic subscription
I’m not saying that I need. I understand. You have to find a new weather source. I really do love and appreciate, attention, and passion that you put into this app. Making it accessible. Think that might be a good way to go to dollar or whatever purchase one time so that way if you can’t afford the subscription.

Onto my question. I am a beta tester. If for some reason I have to reinstall the app from the App Store, am I going to revise subscription? Or since it’s in my purchase history, am I going to be able to download it and not have any issues

If I did have to purchase any extra subscriptions, how much would it cost news every day. Or at least nearly every day. This app that uses 99% of all my Weather stuff. And one other app and that’s just for pollen counts. Another allergy else. I am one of the millions of people who are tortured by mother nature every spring and summer and fall. LOL

Again, thank you for making such a wonderful weather app! I am one of the many people that really do appreciate this! I spent a good weather out. And it one time and that you had like four or five apps on my iPad. I had one for hourly forecast’s, one for daily forecast, and one for Weather alerts. It was a nightmare. But when I found that are gods, I was really ecstatic when I listen to the podcast. And I purchased it shortly after.

Submitted by Frankd on Monday, August 3, 2020

We use metric units for tempature and wind speed in Canada. With the latest update I am unable to select metric units in the settings. Is this an issue or did I miss something? I should also mention that I'm still using iOS 12.4.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Monday, August 3, 2020

In reply to by charles

Bella does not like that comment. She is smarted than most human and dogs. She does not need to go out to poop. She is also smarted than someone in the WH. She likes the app and the sounds. She is even in tweeter.

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Monday, August 3, 2020

Hi Dawn,

Thanks for the suggestion for people who can't afford subscriptions, I will certainly look into this.

Regarding pricing, we haven't really thought about it. It will depend on our data costs and how many people subscribe.

The main reason why the app has never broken even is as a paid app it doesn't generate enough sales to cover the data costs.

Hopefully, by offering the subscription and a trial period, more people will download the app, fall in love with it and continue the monthly subscription.

I can't imagine the basic subscription being more that 50 cents per month. Regarding pollen and the other additional data types, we'll have to do some modelling and predictions and work out a reasonable price.

As beta testers, my understanding is you have automatic access to all subscriptions and this continues until the app is no longer running a beta, which I don't think has ever happened with WG.

I'm not sure though if Apple continue to charge a regular subscription if you purchased before becoming a beta tester.

Something to think about.

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Monday, August 3, 2020

Hi Frank

The unit settings are in settings, under units.

I just checked again with Voiceover and selected celsius and kilometres per hour. There is also a wind speed toggle for meters per second.

Submitted by Frankd on Monday, August 3, 2020

Hi Scott,
Yes, when I go to the settings menu and try to change the units to anything other than the default nothing happens.

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Monday, August 3, 2020

Hi Frank,

when you select your units and double tap, does VoiceOver announce selected?

Submitted by Frankd on Monday, August 3, 2020

Hi Scott,Yes, when I double tap on Celcius and km/hr voiceover says selected but if I flick back to review the settings fahrenheit and miles/hr remain selected.

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Monday, August 3, 2020

Sorry Frank, I can't for the life of me reproduce this.

How are you flicking back?

Submitted by Jo Billard on Monday, August 3, 2020

In reply to by Holger Fiallo

My Callie kitty resents those remarks, too. She purrs, her kisses aren't all wet and sloppy, she uses her paws to say she wuvs me, and nothing beats the sound of a kitty purring ... and she smells a whole lot better

Submitted by Dawn on Monday, August 3, 2020

Thank you Scott! I hope that you can adopt that model also. Is that I think would be more feasible for me budget wise. If that’s the route that I had to take.
I certainly would hate to see Weather Costco. But if you can’t adopt that model also, I understand. OK. I’m sure you’ll post back here as new developments,. I definitely will be thinking about that though. I do love the app, and I’d like to do everything that I can to keep it, and support you. And I still plan to be in beta tester. As long as I possibly can.
Even if I had to purchase stuff within the data app, I would. Especially pollen counts. And maybe if you got other allergens. Then I could probably get rid of my Paul an app that I originally had for that purpose.
Again, take care! And thank you!

Submitted by Frankd on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Ok. I have reinstalled wg and restarted my phone. Unfortunately the problem still persists.
Paying closer attention to what vo actually says might be a clue.When I double tap on Celsius and km/hr vo says "Selected Celcius and km/hr" and then immediately repeats the same phrase without the word "Selected". Sometimes the repeated phrase truncates the first phrase. This makes me wonder if the setting maybe getting changed but is reset shortly after.

I'm using a first generation iPhone SE with iOS 12.4.1 if that is relevant.

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Hi Frank,

The behaviour is correct, I get the same, except the setting sticks for me.

Pardon my ignorance, but would celsius and km/hr be the typical setting for Canada?

Just thinking I could make this the default.

Submitted by Frankd on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Hi Scott,
Canada uses the metric system of units and indeed Environment Canada issues weather forecasts with temperatures in Celsius and wind speeds in km/hr so yes, using metric units as the default for WG in Canada is probably a good idea. However, our proximity to theUS many people still use Fahrenheit and miles/hr so there may be some resistance from these people.
Previous versions of WG have all worked flawlessly for me so is this possibly a compatibility issue due to the older iOS I'm using?

Could that be is why is not able to select his choice? Because he is close to the US? Are we going to be blame for that.

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Hi Frank,

I do think it might be an older iOS issue.

To be honest, I am probably going to drop support for iOS12 once iOS14 is bedded in. I have quite a few crashes for iOS12 due to the way Apple changed how some of the user interface frameworks work.

One thing to try please ...

1. Load settings
2. Go into General
3. Go to launch screen
4. Try and select Weather Wheel
5. Exit and see if it launches into the weather wheel

This uses the same button type for selecting from a list - which is effectively what we do for units.

Submitted by Justin on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Hi Scott,
I'm not sure if it was asked on here before with WG, but what if I purchased the app right when it was released 4 years ago would I need the subscription? I don't remember if you said anything along those lines or not as I haven't been on here in a while.

Submitted by Frankd on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Hi Scott,
Thanks for your patience. Changing the weather wheel settings per your instructions work exactly as you described.
HTH

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Thanks Frank,

At least we know the mechanism for selecting the value is working - the same code is used for choosing the launch screen and the units.

Just need to figure out why the units aren't sticking around.

Can you try choosing celsius / kmh and toggle on the wind speed meters per second please and see if the app now reports meters per second?

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Hi Justin,

Anyone who has purchased the app would not need a subscription to access the standard app. Additional subscription would only be for certain types of data, which we don't currently have in the app e.g. lightning strikes.

Hi Scott,
I can toggle the wind speed in m/s on/off as desired. However, I'm still unable to change the units from the default Fahrenheit and miles/hr irrespective of the toggle state.
Cheers.

Submitted by Melissa on Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Well, I must say that I do love the app, and I think that you are doing a great job, so I will most likely be getting the prescription. Keep up the good work.

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Hi Frank,

Even more puzzling ... I checked the code and the default for Canada is set to metric settings.

Which language and region is set on your phone?

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