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Monday, January 12, 2015

Started work on resizing..

Well I was pleasantly surprised at the sales of cliMate Weather Widget once it was released; considering I had done no promotion at all it is starting to get picked up and shared, and I had a nice little surge around Christmas time and New Year. 

Sales have now dropped again, so this gives me some motivation to address the issues that have come up in support requests.

The 3 most common complaints are:

1. Its not big enough
2. Its not resizeable
3. The weather detail sucks

I can't do a great deal about 3 at the moment. Open Weather Map is the only service that provides totally free data, so it is was the obvious candidate. The others such as AccuWeather, World Weather Online etc provide free data but with limits to the number of requests, so I don't want to have the situation where customers can't get a weather update because an apparently arbitrary limit has been reached. 

I can't just pay for a service as they charge monthly, so I would have to make more from my cliMate sales than they charge per month in order to make a profit, and would have to do that for the lifetime of the product which is not realistic. If sales fall to nothing, I would still have to pay for the data, thus losing money every month. Im sure there is an another approach, but I am leaving it just of the moment. 

What I can do is 1 and 2. I initially made the widget a fixed 4x2 size as that was the only way I could get the animation to work, the unique selling point of cliMate. Still no one else's widget can do that! ;o)   

After weeks of brainstorming I worked out a way I could get the animation to work and also allow it to be resizeable. Great, but what happens if you resize it too much? Make it much taller than wider for example, and the aspect ratio is all wrong and the countryside and clouds look far too stretched and distorted.  The solution is to keep the widescreen aspect ratio of the countryside scene at the top, and use any spare space below to display the forecast, showing more or less data according to how much spare space there is. 

This does mean I have to redo all the scenes to handle this change, but actually making it resizeable has forced a few extra efficiencies in my code, so it will take nowhere near as long as I had feared, I am hoping a few weeks to a month. 

So voila, here is the first screenshot showing a resized widget that properly fills the width of the screen, and also shows the forecast in action. And yes, of course the forecast is animated!

Just compare it to the current version below.. the new version is much bigger and nicer.

And yes, I am doing a border-less option also, for those who like their Samsung style full-width widgets:

Will be busy again for the next few weeks..


  1. Can't wait to get the new resizable version! Great job! Best weather widget out! Was looking for an animated one for a long time! Glad I found yours!