Weather Gods 2.4.1 Released

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iOS and iPadOS

Hi All,

Our latest release contains many bug fixes and a few new features

What's New?

- you can switch off dynamic type in the general settings section.
- we've implemented the magic tap (double tap with two fingers) to go straight to the weather wheel
- the moon god on the watch is now the moon goddess
- improvements to Greek localisation
- improvements to Italian localisation
- there is a button that appears during startup if you get stuck in an infinite weather loading loop. This can happen for some places if the weather data is a bit patchy. The button will display "Search" or "Favorites" and allow you to break out and pick another more reliable location. The button is located at the bottom of the screen, and appears when you are asked to double tap to try again

What got fixed?

- fixed a crash when viewing European weather alerts
- fixed a crash when launching into settings on iOS12
- fixed the day / night toggle sometimes disappearing after changing locations
- fixed the weather sounds being wrong after using three finger swipe down on the Pantheon to change locations
- updated some text to respect dynamic type settings
- further improvements to text rendering when using the inverted colors option
- fixed showing the wrong weather for tomorrow in the watch app and complications - not all locations affected
- some small tweaks to the weather wheel accessibility

I have also added the preferred Apple method for requesting an App Store review. This allows you to write a review when requested by Apple. It appears as a dialog in the app and you can rate or review without leaving the app.

This dialog only appears the once, so if you wanted to leave a review, then now is your chance :)

Many thanks to our beta testers for helping find the bugs and also offering ideas for new features and improvements.

Thanks
Scott

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Comments

Submitted by David Taylor on Sunday, August 9, 2020

I've been finding that the forcasts in the weather wheel don't seem to correspond at all to the daily ones. I've also been finding that the thunder sound is playing all the time when no thunder is in any of the forecasts. I missed this at first because it doesn't trigger straight away, meaning you have to go much more slowly through the hours than you otherwise could. I've also found that I've turned the ambiant sounds down to like 10 percent as some of them, particularly the night time ones, are so loud compared to other sounds.

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Sunday, August 9, 2020

Thanks for the feedback David,

I'm aiming to address some of the louder night sounds in the next update.

The thunder sound still playing may well be a bug. The thunder is on a random timer so it's possible the weather wheel is not cancelling the timer as you progress through the wheel.

Regarding the forecast differences between hourly (weather wheel) and daily, they should align for the first 48 hours as all data comes from IBM. After 48 hours, the IBM daily data is blended with Dark Sky hourly data - so there will be some divergence.

This will hopefully be fixed when we switch to our new weather data provider. I have integrated AerisWeather into WG and so far the daily and hourly data are nicely aligned. I hope to release a beta with AerisWeather in the next 3-4 weeks for people to test and check.

Submitted by Skippy on Sunday, August 9, 2020

Hi,
That was a very fast release.
If I remember correctly, it was only in beta for like five days.
What’s the version number for the next release?

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Sunday, August 9, 2020

Hi Skippy

Yep, that one had some nasty crashes which I had to get out soonest.

The next minor release is 2.4.2

And I will soon be looking for some brave souls to test the new weather provider which will be 2.5

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Monday, August 10, 2020

Just a couple of thoughts about the new version.

First, I like the accessibility updates you have made to the app. They are very intuitive and seem to work great. However, there are two things I want to address. First, I have gone into sounds and turned off the ambient sounds. I was assuming that meant the music. However, the music is still present for the different times of day and, quite frankly, I found the older weather sounds were much easier to determine by the music what the weather was like. That one is just an opinion.

Now for the real issue. For a while now, I have found that when I get alerts about severe weather popping up, it appears too late. For instance, we'll get a huge thunderstorm come through, and then about 10-15 minutes later, I'll get an alert saying there is a high likelihood of thunderstorms in the area. Nine times out of ten, I get alerts like this after the severe weather has come through. I don't know if that is a WG issue or maybe IBM weather is just that bad.

Anyway, still loving the app.

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Monday, August 10, 2020

Regarding notifications, there are quite a few moving parts involved.

1. IBM retrieve alerts from the alert source e.g. US National Weather Service
2. WG running on the Amazon cloud polls IBM for alerts every minute
3. Alerts are then checked against our database of users to see who might be interested in the alert
4. Alerts of interest are put onto a queue on the Amazon cloud as an alert notification, read off the queue and sent into the IBM cloud
5. The IBM cloud processes the notification and passes it to the IBM notification service.
6. The IBM notification service then sends the alert to Apple
7. Apple sends the alert to the device

We try to minimise the delay which we have some control over - checking for alerts every minute. We could check every second but then our costs would spiral massively. We don't just check for US alerts, but we check for Canadian alerts and alerts for about 16 European countries.

However, a delay of 15 minutes does seem long to me. Personally, I get test alerts within seconds, so I don't know where the delay occurs. It could be IBM take some time to retrieve them from the relevant weather service. It might be their enterprise customers get access to the alerts before anyone else?

Even with a new data provider, not much will change, instead of getting alerts from IBM every minute, we will get alerts from the new source every minute. The new data provider does have an option to send the alert direct to someones phone, but pricing is on application. I suspect it wont be cheap. Our app would also need to share user device data with the new provider for this to happen.

Given a large budget you can increase resources and try and speed things up a little, but the return on money spent diminishes quickly. Unfortunately we don't have a large budget and I have been personally funding all the cloud and data costs for a long time, and will continue to do so.

One thing to notice, when we send our daily alerts at 7am etc they come through pretty fast. So, I don't think the process from IBM Cloud to Apple Servers is a delaying factor.

I'll be honest and say that the notification and alert system I built is probably one of the most complex pieces of cloud software I have ever developed. The complexity level is high and there are no off the shelf solutions.

Hopefully gives people a bit of background about what is happening behind the scenes. Apologies if overly technical.

Submitted by Jo Billard on Monday, August 10, 2020

In reply to by Weather Gods (Scott)

I've wondered why the daily notifications come in on time and the severe weather alerts don't. Now that I've read this, I'll just keep checking WeatherCan for the bad weather if I need to, and feel the relief when I get the Weather Gods ones later, and count my blessings. At least I can open up Weather Gods and check if it's raining or not. We're under a heat warning here, and Weather Gods has been faithful in keeping me informed. Unlike WeatherCan, it gives me a better feel for how bad it is, if the weather's getting worse, or if it's thinking of finding a new place to hang out.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Yesterday in Chicago, we have severe storm alerts and the beta work well.