The first was the upgrade to Weather Au from Shiftyjelly and the other was an article by Liz Gannes that appeared on the All Things D website.
Shiftyjelly have been producing a weather application for iOS for sometime now. It has always been beautiful, accurate and quickly became my default weather application. Recently they upgraded it to version 3.0 and immediately I could see that its shift in the interface design, the use of the swipe and its level of detail was something Apple was missing from nearly all their in-house apps, especially the pre-installed Weather App.
The New Weather App from Shiftyjelly
The Same view from Apple’s weather App.
To put it bluntly Apple’s offering is boring, dated and limited. With its ever changing icons depending on the weather or time of day It may have looked revolutionary and awesome in 2007 but that was close to six years ago! In computer terms this is retirement, even life support, age.
Liz Gannes’ article claims that although she loves iOS she has opted to use many third party applications rather than Apple’s pre-installed. Although I don’t agree with everything she says I do see her point. I still like using Notes and the Contacts App because they sync with iCloud and Apple Maps, despite its bad press, has never let me down anymore than Google Maps. Safari is fine for mobile browsing and as I would rather eat my own feet than use gmail I have no issue with the Mail App. But the Compass App is useless, I am not interested in Stocks and the Games Centre App has nothing to offer me at all. But even these Apps could do with a face lift if for no other reason than to lose the obsession Apple has with skeuomorphism.
With Forstall gone and Ives now in charge of iOS design my biggest hope is that he is looking at the new Weather App from Shiftyjelly and thinking “hmmmm”