Friday, October 4, 2019

Weather Line 2

Ryan Jones (9to5Mac):

+ All-new design
+ All-new weather data solution
+ 21 new features
+ 17 themes (4 dark modes)
+ Super Forecast
+ Travel Assist
+ 10-day forecasts
+ HD radar
+ Hyperlocal rain


Initially we had Dark Sky, The Weather Channel, and WDT, a meterorlogist PhD we consulted said those were the best.

We directed users how to pick… but wait… why pick one, just give me THE BEST OF THEM ALL!

Sounds really good. I haven’t tried it yet, because it requires iOS 13, and I plan to stay away from that for a while longer. Weather Line 1 was one of my favorite iOS apps, but I can no longer use it either its weather data was turned off. So, for now, I’m using Apple Weather. I’ll miss the old Weather Line icon, and I’m slightly worried about the two-level design and lower information density, but I’m reserving judgement until I’ve used it for a while.

Off Coast LLC:

There is a Free plan for those who wish to continue using our core features with limited ads, plus some of the new 2.0 features.

Our Pro plan is called “Supercharge” and includes a 7-day free trial, all the new features, and no Ads. It will be $1.99 per month, $0.83 per month ($9.99 billed annually), or $44.99 for a lifetime unlock.

Anyone who ever bought Weather Line 1 will get their first year of Supercharge at 50% off - just $4.99 (less than 50 cents per month).

Ryan Jones:

If you HATE subscriptions, there is an expensive Lifetime Unlock that goes for the lifetime of Weather Line.

Some people are upset because features that were formerly included in the purchase price are now accompanied by ads if you haven’t subscribed. I guess this is a gray area of the App Store guidelines.

Marco Arment:

Do the math. If you bought it for $4.99, they got 70% of that: $3.49. If you use it for 4 years, that’s 87 cents a year in revenue.

The Dark Sky API costs $0.0001 per call. If data refreshes once an hour, it’s about 88 cents per year, per weather location.

See the problem?

Ryan Jones:

Times 3 for The Weather Channel and radar

Mike Piontek:

For me it went something like:

• A few years of “eventually Apple will support upgrades”
• OK, subscriptions are clearly the only option
• Wow people are mad about subscriptions
• Wow it takes a long time to try to create something people won’t be mad about paying a sub for

Ryan Jones:

Bingo. Exactly why we worked for 2 years with no income, while the app lost money for 4 years.

To make WL2 worthy of a $10/yr subscription.


Update (2019-10-04): Isaac Halvorson:

FYI, the old Weather Line icon is one of the options in Weather Line 2!

At the top, I linked to two tweets, since deleted, saying that Weather Line 1 “would be shutting down today no matter what” and that “shutting down” meant “turning off the data.” This has now been clarified:

We are not shutting off WL1 data! We would have to if we did not do this (WL2)

I updated a spare iPhone to iOS 13 and installed Weather Line 2. What was not clear from the blog post is that the Free plan is a regression from Weather Line 1. Even with the ads, it includes different (less accurate) weather data, and it does not include the Dark Sky precipitation information. (As of this writing, Weather Line 2 predicts tonight’s low to be 10 degrees warmer than either Weather Line 1 or Apple Weather, and the current temperature is already below its predicted low.)

At least on the iPhone SE, I’m not a fan of the new card-based design, as I can no longer see all the important information without scrolling.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

I like WL 2 a lot so far and I think the $10/year pricing is perfect. I would imagine that most people use weather apps every day, and there’s a free one included with iOS — so I just don’t understand the people bitching about paying $10/year for a nonessential indie app. It’s a high quality app and I use it every day — I didn’t think twice about subscribing. The developers who want $10/mo for a metronome can still fuck off, but 83¢/mo for an app I use every day which is thoughtfully engineered is totally fair.

The tweets you linked to have been deleted. The original still works for me and I can't upgrade to ios 13, as I'm still happy with my iPhone 6.

I've used Weather Line since the beginning. Then it was upgraded to WL2 without knowing the change in model. The version that downloads is esthetically ugly, with constant interruptions and loud interruptions. The maps are gone, the widget is gone, as are other features.

As a senior who can't increase his income, I have to watch my monthly expenses carefully. The problem is that from what I saw in the downloaded version, I have no faith that the paid app would be as good as Weather Line 1 was. It also seemed the understated UI of WL had been changed, and this makes it seem either the programmer is desperate, or it was bought out by a company that is more interested in maximizing profits than continuing to produce a good app. So I had no confidence in subscribing, and especially not in purchasing a lifetime subs.

Too bad, because it used to be my go-to weather app. While I understand the economics and the need for the developer to profit from their work, for me this is too much.

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