The Dark Sky weather app was originally funded via a Kickstarter campaign. It is designed to provide precipitation predictions for the very short term and aims to tell you if it will rain at your location in the next hour. This information can be useful for commuters and joggers, and this intense focus cuts a bit of a niche in the crowded world of iOS weather apps. Dark Sky's developers raised nearly $40,000 on Kickstarter and now sell Dark Sky for $3.99 as a universal app on the App Store.
Dark Sky gets its data from the National Weather Service, and, as a result, only works in the United States. The developers are working to resolve this, but as radar data is controlled on a country-by-country basis, they have to negotiate with each individual country to provide coverage to that region. As a result, it may be a while before international customers can use it.
Version 2.0, which was just released [via Cult of Mac], adds a very useful push notification service to warn users of imminent precipitation in their area. Also added is a national radar view for Dark Sky's take on radar imagery. The app uses some clever technology to parse radar data, doing its best to remove false imagery and making it easier to read.
Push Notifications are a feature that our users have been requesting since we first launched last Spring. By enabling notifications within the app, we will tell you whenever it’s going to rain in the next ten or fifteen minutes, so you’ll never get caught in the rain — even if you forget to check the app. We’ve actually been working on this feature since the beginning, but it’s been very tricky to implement: we’re not quite 100% confident that we’ve gotten it perfect. For that reason, we’re currently considering the system to be experimental.
As it gets data from the National Weather Service, radar imagery will vary by area. Some parts of the country -- particularly rural areas -- are poorly covered by NWS radar. Dark Sky does its best, but will pop up a "Service Degraded" warning if radar coverage isn't up to standards.