A Little Notification Goes A Long Way – Mac Geek Gab 908

Did you know you could create a reminder from macOS Mail? How would you like to learn about three new ways to toggle Do Not Disturb? Or a solution for dictating emojis? All this and more in just the first Quick Tips segment of the show. Then John and Dave are on to answering your questions about managing media, tweaking your AirPods, managing your Mac’s thermal limits, and wrapping up with some Cool Stuff Found. Press play and enjoy learning five new things with your two favorite geeks!

AccuWeather Creates Alert System Exclusively for T-Mobile Customers

AccuWeather announced a new alert system called AccuWeather Alerts. Exclusively for T-Mobile customers, it pushes severe weather alerts for iPhones and Androids.

With this newly developed system, T-Mobile customers can received Up to the Minute alerts that read “Severe Weather Potential,” “Severe Weather Threat,” and “Dangerous Weather Imminent!” on their iOS or Android mobile phones for free. Integrated into AccuWeather’s award-winning app, these alerts provide details on upcoming and developing severe weather events, including notifications for hurricanes, snow, tornadoes, flooding, hail, heatwaves, cold waves and other types of threatening weather.

It's Never 69 Degrees on the Apple Weather App

Apple’s native Weather app won’t ever give the temperature as 69 degrees, The Verge reported. Yes, it’s worth a giggle, bu there’s a couple of explanations as to why this might be.

It’s not clear if this is a bug or an intentional attempt from Apple to cut down on 69-related humor. The rounding is only visible in the weather app itself: clicking through to Apple’s source data from Weather.com will show the proper temperature, as do Apple’s home screen widgets. But the iOS weather app will refuse to show 69 degrees anywhere in the forecast, whether it’s for the current temperature, the hourly forecast for the day, or the extended forecast. A possible explanation for the issue (as pointed out by several people on Twitter) is that Apple may be sourcing data for its iOS Weather app in Celsius and then converting it to Fahrenheit. For example, 20 degrees Celsius converts to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, while 21 degrees Celsius converts to 69.8 degrees Fahrenheit — which rounds up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The app appears to have similar issues with temperatures like 65 degrees (where 18 degrees Celsius converts to 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit, while 19 degrees Celsius is 66.2 degrees Fahrenheit).

ClimaCell Aims to Replace Dark Sky’s Weather API

After Apple acquired Dark Sky, one announcement noted that its weather API would no longer be available. ClimaCell recently upgraded its API with new features and pricing, hoping to entice developers. The company has some impressive clients it works with, like the U.S. Air Force, Ford, United, Delta, and others. One new feature is a new data layer to track pollen.

With more than 50 million Americans allergic to some form of pollen, this proprietary index includes data on when airborne irritants are in season to inform people who suffer from pollen-related aggravations, such as asthmatics. API users can add this data layer into their app to offer users alerts when pollen levels are high.

Good news for developers. ClimaCell tells me they had been upgrading their weather API when the news of Dark Sky’s acquisition hit.

Dark Sky gets Apple Watch Series 4 Complications

Dark Sky, my favorite local weather app on the iPhone, was updated on Thursday with new complications for Apple Watch Series 4. That means fans of the Infograph watch face get a slick complication that matches the new look Apple is pushing. It looks like the update also fixed a problem where the app defaulted to New York City for forecasts, which kind of defeated the purpose of hyper-local data. Dark Sky costs US$3.99 and is available on Apple’s App Store. The update is free for current users.

TMO Background Mode Interview with iOS & Android Indie Developer Graham Dawson

Graham Dawson is an iOS and Android indie developer who specializes in meteorological and astronomical reference apps. He’s the founder and director of Ajnaware Pty, Ltd in Australia and publishes apps under the name ozPDA. Graham holds a B.Sc. in physics and meteorology, and a Ph.D. in oceanography. Graham told me about his early interest in weather thanks to extreme conditions, especially snow. That’s because, in his youth, he was skiing in Switzerland. Soon he had a weather observation station in his backyard, and he could think of nothing else as he entered his undergraduate years. Today, he publishes a wide range of apps related to the sun, moon, wind, weather and time. Some feature augmented reality. Thanks to his academic background, these apps have rock solid computational credentials. Graham told me how it all came to be.