You probably already have a weather app, but is it a good one? If it isn’t, you’ve probably tried several different ones, free and paid, and still found the vast majority of them either lacking in features or so full of advertising that you can’t even guess if it is going to rain tomorrow.
And then there are apps like Yahoo Weather, which used to be the best weather app in the Apple App Store — and then along came an update that added advertising into the app, without any warning. Unfortunately the developer did not add a paid app purchase option or an in-app purchase option to get rid of the intrusive ads, which is a source of much consternation among many once-loyal users.
Enter CARROT Weather, which launched earlier this week, to the delight of fans of other CARROT apps. For the uninitiated, CARROT is a malevolent computer mastermind bent on taking over the world. CARROT is extremely sarcastic and devoid of caring for humanity, adding personality and even a little charm to otherwise boring subjects such as alarm clocks (CARROT Alarm), to dos (CARROT To-D0) and working out (CARROT Fit).
When you first open the app, you are of course prompted to enable location services; otherwise CARROT won’t be able to follow you. . . I mean track the weather in your location. Once you do that, you’ll be taken to the main screen of the app. On the top of the screen you’ll see a menu bar that lists your location in the middle and has a settings icon on the right — that’s where you can add locations if you want to monitor more than just your current location, choose Fahrenheit or Celsius for temperatures, and turn the sound and voice effects on or off.
If there’s a weather advisory, watch, or warning, you’ll see a triangular exclamation point icon in the upper left corner of the screen. Tap that icon to read the full text of the alert. That information comes straight from the National Weather Service, so it won’t have the same personality of the rest of the app, of course. There’s also a sharing icon you can use to send the current forecast and a link to the CARROT Weather app via email, iMessage, Twitter, or Facebook.
The rest of the screen is dominated by a weather scene that reflects the current conditions. You never know what you’re going to see, as there are 100 different ones, ranging from shark-shaped clouds to rain, thunderstorms to snow. There are pictograms and characters too, including robots and penguins, and of course we can’t forget the dialogue, which is always twisted and more than a little sarcastic. Who says the weather shouldn’t be fun?
There’s a weather display at the bottom of the screen that you can switch between the short term, hourly, and daily forecasts. If you want a more detailed weather forecast, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. There you’ll find everything from the humidity, pressure, and current visibility to the sunrise and sunset times and the phase of the moon. The temperature and wind speed are on the right side, and just below you’ll find a surprisingly accurate hourly forecast — which is great for determining just how much longer it will be raining. The seven-day extended forecast is at the bottom of the screen.
The more you use CARROT Weather, the more secrets you will discover, such as hidden locations. You may also have noticed that rather large ocular sensor on the main screen — be careful not to touch it, or CARROT will get angry. Very angry. In other apps, CARROT has been known to electrocute the poor, hapless avatars of those who dare to disturb the ocular sensor. If you just can’t keep your finger off of it, you just might get a nasty surprise. . . or you might find that the kinder, gentler CARROT Weather will present you with a command line option that might be useful in the future.
The only major shortcoming of the app is the lack of weather radar, but that feature is already in the works and will be added in a future update. The same is true of WatchKit compatibility, for those who will be picking up an Apple Watch later this month.
For only $2.99, CARROT Weather is a great choice. It includes enough weather information to keep anyone except maybe hard-core meteorological nerds happy, and with more than 2,000 lines of dialogue, 100 different weather scenes, and 20 secret locations, there’s always something new to explore. Knowing whether or not you need an umbrella is just a bonus.