Monday , June 26 2017

Exclusive – Pocket Weather by Shifty Jelly: The Update

That was my first thought of the new version of Weather by Shifty Jelly and here’s your exclusive first look!

By their own admission:

They’re embarrassed by their first version of Pocket Weather AU for Android, fear not Shifty Jelly your redemption is due for release on July the 20th at 10am Australian Central Time.

The guys at Shifty offered us this statement regarding the new app and the Beta Testing process:

After working on Pocket Weather for so long it was great to finally reveal it to a small group of people. Having these beta testers was very important to get feedback on what we had created so far. They helped us find problems in the application but also gave us suggestions. Both the state warning notifications and sharing features were added to the app because the beta testers really wanted them. We are proud of the product that we are releasing on Friday and are thankful to our beta tester for helping us get there.

I don’t want to harp on this too much because the old version and the soon to be released version are worlds apart, but the old version was clunky, not particularly pleasing to the eye and lacking functions that came with a number of stock weather apps for Android.

So onto the news:
The guys at Shifty Jelly approached me to be a part of their closed beta back in the middle of June, as I did with their Pocketcasts app in mid 2011. Naturally I jumped at the opportunity to get a say into the way that a new app would look, function and perform for the average user.

The Look:
It’s poles apart from their previous effort, and that’s the last time I’ll mention it I swear!
It’s a really clean look that in my opinion, fits in with pretty much any version of Android from Froyo and up. They’ve done a really good job of making the interface of this app really clean, user friendly and quite intuitive with the operation of the in app functions.

The Functions:
Radar – Taking a feed straight from the BOM website, the app has a useful place in my volunteer life as a volunteer for the State Emergency Service as well as just being plain useful if you’re planning on ducking out quickly by enabling you to time your run to the car.

Today – You get a thorough breakdown of the weather pattern for the day so far and the forecast for the remainder of the day in both text and graphic form

This Week – The app offers forecasts for today, the next two days or for the next week. The Today forecast offers a thorough breakdown of the weather pattern for the day so far and the forecast for the remainder of the day in both text and graphic form. The next two days option gives you a graphical representation of the expected temperatures at what time of the day over the next 2 days and the full week forecast offers an easy to view breakdown of the forecast weather for the week ahead offering low and high time and a general idea of the weather

Next 2 Days – Gives you a graphical representation of the expected temperatures at what time of the day over the next 2 days.

Tides – I’m not a fisherman, so I don’t actually care about tides. I can see how this could be handy for someone who likes fishing though, you want to fish at high tide right?

Weather Alerts – A function it’s fair to say is in the app at my instigation through discussion with their lead Android developer. I currently pay an annual fee for access to an SMS service that sends me “immediate” notification when the BOM issue a severe weather warning for my area. Shifty have put this as a notification option in the app itself with the ability to filter the notification that you want and simply let the others pass by without issue. It was quite funny when this funciton was getting written into the app, there were a number of “Damn we need some bad weather” conversations between the developer and I via GTalk.

Widgets:
Depending on how you have your home screen setup, how much space you have and how much space you’re prepared to dedicate to a Weather widget you’ve got multiple options to choose from on the new Weather app.

Performance:
Something I need to mention is that the version of this app that I am referring to is still in Beta, so the final code is not quite yet ready. There have been a few force closes and unexpected errors with the app during my testing. That being said, there’s been an update to the app within 48 hours of me reporting these issues each time! A great reflection on Shifty Jelly and their approach to App development.

The app became more responsive as changes were made through the Beta process. The Beta testers were sending in regular reports of faults and improvements to be made as well as the iOS developers at Shifty Jelly giving Philip grief about what was in the iOS version that Android didn’t have. It’s snappy, even on my older Nexus S the app performed very well without any notable lagging or stuttering even when scrolling between screens that required redraw.

Conclusion:
Bravo Shifty Jelly, Bravo!

A totally new approach to reporting weather, great graphics, snappy performance, weather alerts and utilization of your GPS to report weather based on your location. If you’ve previously uninstalled, get it back on your phone! If you’ve been thinking about buying a weather app for your android, it’s time to buy.

I would like to thank Shifty Jelly for the opportunity to test this app and for being so accommodating regarding the functions that were requested during the tests. It’s always a pleasure to work with people who take pride in their products.

 
Source: Play Store.

Phil Tann   Senior Associate

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12 Comments on "Exclusive – Pocket Weather by Shifty Jelly: The Update"

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Peter Verwey
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Peter Verwey

Well it is out and they haven’t disappointed. My 2.2 cents says that this Android app is now Australia’s best weather app by a long shot. A great update – a long time coming – but they have done very well.

IceFyre
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IceFyre

Pocket Weather was the first App I purchased as well. And one of the first apps I paid for that I didn’t bother to re-install. Too many others came along offering more for less. After reading about the new version coming via Whirlpool, I re-installed awaiting the new version tomorrow. Hopefully good job guys 🙂

captkirt
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captkirt

looks like a winner

vodka4boris
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vodka4boris

How about another article when it is ready? – I won’t remember by Friday 🙂

Sam Cook
Valued Guest
I’m going to assume that there was no incentive from Shifty Jelly for the tone of this article – but I have to admit that the tone of this story does read a bit like an advertisement. Maybe the app really is THAT good… That said, weather apps have been an annoying compromise for me. They’re not an essential part of my smart phone use, but I do enjoy having access to the information they provide. That said, I’ve typically found that offerings for Australian weather force an annoying choice between a slick user interface, or accurate weather information (usually… Read more »
Phil Tann
Valued Guest
Phil Tann

Aside from the fact that they’ve made a great app that I use (and PAID FOR) there is no incentive from Shifty Jelly for this article. They’ve done a brilliant job on the app and deserve the praise they’ve received.

Mr Pendulum
Valued Guest

Such nostalgia. This was the first app that I ever purchased, back on my Nexus One running Froyo. And it’s always been on my homescreen for all of my Android devices. Long in the tooth, but still the best. Glad to see an update coming at last 🙂

Matt H
Valued Guest
Matt H

Looks brilliant – really clean widgets too. Must have IMO

Peter Verwey
Valued Guest

Another SES volunteer 🙂 I have been waiting for this for so long. The guys at Shifty Jelly always answer feedback promptly and have been working on this for what feels like ages. Bring on Friday.

Luke Monahan
Valued Guest
Luke Monahan

Looks great. Here in Vic, us SES volunteers get paged all the BoM weather alerts for our region — strange that SA makes you pay for SMS based ones — but the Pocket Weather method will be better than both. I can see rich Jelly Bean style notifications for PW being really useful as well, when they get around to it.

Phil Tann
Valued Guest
Phil Tann

They don’t make us pay, I choose to pay for it…
But certainly won’t be re-subscribing after this subscription is complete!

The Nerd Mama
Valued Guest

That looks simply awesome! I will definitely be getting THAT one 😀

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