The weather can vary a lot from day to day in Chicago, so I’ve always had a weather app on the iPhone home screen. In recent years, I have used CARROT Weather, one of the most comprehensive such apps available in the App Store. CARROT’s Today widget and Watch Complications are among the best in all app categories, but with the release of iOS 14 and watchOS 7, developer Brian Mueller has taken CARROT Weather’s widgets and Watch complications to a new level.
iOS 14 widgets and watchOS 7s more flexible complications and dial sharing feel like they were tailored for an app like CARROT. The diversity of data available in weather apps makes them perfect for creative widget and dial implementations, which is exactly what you get with CARROT Weather. Let̵
CARROT Weather includes five highly customizable widgets in different sizes: Snark, Forecast, Time, Daily and Weather Maps.
The snark widget comes in small and medium versions and supports the actual or ‘feels like’ temperature, a summary that can include classic CARROT snark, the conditions for the next hour or the current forecast, a widget background that reflects the conditions, or a color you choose, and four of a long list of data points that can be selected by the user. The Medium widget adds an hourly forecast for the next five hours, displays a warning icon if there are any weather forecasts for your area, and supports two data points.
The Forecast widget comes in all three sizes with increasing amounts of information as the widget increases in size and four user-selected data points. The small widget shows the basics: temperature, cloud cover and the user-selected data points. The medium version adds an hourly forecast for the next hours. It is worth noting that by filling in all four data points, the widget uses a smaller font so that several hours can be displayed as well. Finally, the large widget adds a 5-day forecast and includes hourly rates for the next six hours plus up to four data points. Like the small widget, medium and large versions support the temperature “feel like” and customize the widget’s background.
Hourly and Daily widgets both come in small and medium variants with similar layouts. The medium-sized widget adds the current conditions and a summary section in the only format per hour for the small version. The small and medium-sized daily widgets display the same information by default, but the medium-sized version has two data points, while the small version has room for only one. The small widget per hour is also limited to just one data point.
The latest type of widget CARROT offers is Weather Maps in all three sizes. The maps can be customized. You can select a zoom level that varies from city to continent level, with county as the default. There are light, dark and satellite styles, the ability to turn a placemark on or off, and seven different radar layers that can be added to the view.
There are many possible widget combinations. I have tried many of them and am currently working on a large forecast module and medium weather map module. The large forecast module gives me all the current and projected information I want, plus the ability to quickly check if storms are entering the area without having to click on a separate view. It has proven to be a perfect, glossy way to check the weather.
Another approach I have found useful if you do not want to dedicate an entire screen to weather widgets is to stack multiple CARROT widgets. Especially with the smaller size widget and CARROT’s amazing flexibility, you can create a set of custom widgets that are easy to browse like a stack. Although I’m happy with my current layout, I’m sure it will change as I try more widgets, and always change the layout.
As has been the case for some time with CARROT’s Watch complications, how often the app’s widget data is updated depends on the level you are subscribing to. It should not be shocking to anyone who uses apps that draw on paid data sources such as CARROT, but it is worth noting that the reason that refresh rates are linked to the app’s subscriptions is that frequent updates mean more API usage, which costs money . With a Tier 3 subscription, widget data (and Watch complication data) is updated as often as every 15 minutes.
Look at complications
CARROT Weather leverages watchOS 7’s ability to view multiple complications from the same app on a dial and split dials. CARROT already offered a large collection of complications. However, users were limited in the number they could use on a single face due to the limitations of watchOS 6s.
With that limitation gone, and the ability to split dials, Værnerds has reason to celebrate. Just look at these dials from the gallery you find in CARROT’s settings. It’s a data lover’s paradise.
The gallery is my favorite Watch addition to CARROT because it serves as a great starting point. Tap a face you like from CARROT’s iPhone settings, and you’ll be dragged to the Watch app where another tap installs the face of your watch. From there, you can change your face as much as you want.
With such a large collection of configurable complications, there should be a setup here that suits someone’s needs and preferences. Although many of the complications are not new, it is worth noting that there is now a major slot machine complication for ‘today’s and a new Snark complication for the modular face.
Although I have tested CARROT’s gallery of dials and experimented with them on my watch, I stick with the big complication of the Infograph Modular face, which has been on my standard dial for the past year or so. However, the face needs to be reconsidered because it currently serves a mix of purposes. With the greater flexibility CARROT and other apps give watchOS 7, I plan to spend more time experimenting with things like a dedicated workout clock and using personal automations to change faces all day.
All CARROT complications except the basic one require at least one Tier 1 subscription.
CARROT Weather has also added a handful of other features, including:
- Two new alternative app icons
- Faster loading times for map animations, which in the past have been frustratingly slow at times
- Buttons to change location and access weather maps and settings at the bottom of the Watch app’s main view
- Wildfire, weather front and pollen data for locations in the United States
CARROT Weather has long used many of Apple’s latest technologies, but few have been as well-suited for the app as widgets, changes in Watch complications and the addition of face-sharing. What weather data is important to each user is a very personal thing that depends on their own taste and where they live. The flexibility added to CARROT by iOS 14 and watchOS 7 makes an app that many check several times each day more valuable than ever.
If you have not checked out CARROT Weather for a while, I recommend trying. For more information on the iPhone and iPad versions of the app, do not miss our previous coverage.