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Monday, March 30, 2015

CliMate Update - New Main Screen and Weather Provider

Time for an update on recent work to CliMate.

On the main screen:
  • The layout for a particular widget location is now much improved and linked to the chosen Theme for that widget.
  • If the Countryside Theme is chosen, the windmill rotation is based on the current wind speed
  • There is a new sunrise/sunset animation; the sun rises over the sunrise time indicator, travels across the "sky" and sets above the sunset time indicator. 

Also started to add a new weather provider. The accuracy of OpenWeatherMap varies enormously according to location; for some areas it is perfect, others have severe problems with accuracy. For other locations, the accuracy depends on the time of year; here in Hong Kong for example its fine throughout the year apart from about 3 months around April, where it is not able to keep up with the constant shifting of fine weather to rainy weather.

Everyone wants AccuWeather, but they are no longer giving out API keys; so I can't get free or paid data for it.

The next best option seems World Weather Online; based on my tests so far it is more accurate and up to date than OpenWeatherMap, but of course is not free. So I will be rolling that out with the next release and hoping that will resolve most users accuracy issues.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New cliMate Work in progress..

After the successful release of version 2.0 of climate featuring fully resizable widgets, its time to start work on the next set of features.

Currently working on new Weather Providers, and trying to balance the free services they give against the potential number of users. One service for example, whilst probably giving better results than Open Weather Map, has a limit of 4000 requests a day. Assuming the weather is updated say 8 times a day, that only allows for 500 possible users, which is pretty low.

Simultaneously I am working on getting the main app screen to match the theme of the widget. This is going very well, and I will be adding even more features to that screen, but it is a little slow to display, not quite sure why.

Anyway, here is the main screen before:

And what it will look like on the next version! That's right, you get the full sized animated version of the widget, with all the bells and whistles, forecasts, humidity and animated Beaufort Scale wind speed. I hope to match the windmill arms speed to the Beaufort scale, when the windmill theme is being shown.

I will play around a little with the proportions of the forecast areas and humidity area to get it perfect.
Also hoping to add an animated sunrise/sunrise time indicator on the left.
I also made it slide left and right when you swipe the screen to look at other locations, but again due to the slowness displaying the new layout, its not that fast. I hope I can fix that, as it looks fantastic.