RadarScope for Apple TV

When Apple sent out $1 developer units for the Apple TV 4, we were right in the middle of our big RadarScope 3 release. When we got our test unit, we still took a couple of days to prototype what a TV app could look like. We got a demo working pretty quickly and saw that there was potential to do something really cool, but we figured that re-writing the entire app in Swift and adding a dual pane display was ambitious enough without adding a whole new platform to the mix. We put our TV code off to the side with the intention of revisiting it at some point in the future.

Late this spring, that point arrived. I started working on what was going to be a quick port of the iOS app to the TV. Our goal was to get a basic version of our iOS code running on tvOS. The more we worked on it, the more we realized that we could do way better than just take the iOS app and stretch it out to fill the TV.

We decided to throw out our entire UI and rethink it as a TV-first app instead of an iOS port.

Every other version of RadarScope1 has had the map as the main screen of the app. The more we used the TV app, starting at the map didn’t feel right.

We designed a landing page that showed you a preview of the map along with with badged buttons showing you any interesting data (like number of warnings) across the country. If you have a Pro subscription, we also show a grid of tiles showing the radar for your favorite radars, locations, and every active warning. These tiles are presented similarity to how a video app would show your TV shows or movies, so the UI should feel familiar to anyone that has used an Apple TV before.

One click on one of those tiles (or on the preview at the top) presents a full screen map that feels right at home for any RadarScope user. It has almost every feature from the iOS version. Using the remote, you can pan and zoom around the map. If you have Pro, you can enable Dual or Quad pane display to view multiple products at once. If you have Pro Tier 2, you can view Archive Data or custom products like hail contours and size or azimuthal shear.

Using RadarScope on the TV has become my favorite way to check in on big storm events when I am at home in the evening. When storm season gets back to Oklahoma, the local news stations are really going to have to earn their spot on my TV during outbreaks.

The best part is that the TV app is included for free with the iOS app. So if you already own the iOS app, you now own the TV app for no additional charge. Any Pro subscription you have on iOS is also shared. So if you are not a Pro subscriber yet, now would be a great time to fix that2.

Get it now by downloading on your iOS device or by searching for RadarScope on the tvOS App Store.

  1. Except for Apple Watch. 
  2. I had to plug it at least once. 

I tried really hard to eat a big salad today. To reward myself for this valiant effort, I think I will have a Dr. Pepper.

The Rebirth of Thunder Basketball →

Rob Mahoney for Sports Illustrated about the relationship between Russ and PG:

So charged was Westbrook’s play that it brought scrutiny to the very concept of a triple double. It made a controversy of counting to 10.

Yet when the time came to decide his future, George didn’t hesitate to sign up for four more years of the Russell Westbrook experience.

I am so pumped for the season to start tomorrow night.

I finished season 2 of Slow Burn this morning. Season 1 was about the impeachment of Nixon and season 2 was about the impeachment of Clinton; I can’t wait to listen to season 3.

Pro-tip for making it through video based workouts: constantly make snarky retorts to every single thing the instructor says during the workout.

DTN to Aquire Weather Decision Technologies →

We came into work today to some interesting news.

From the WeatherOps blog:

DTN, an independent source of insights, analysis and decision-support solutions, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Weather Decision Technologies, Inc. (WDT). The acquisition further solidifies and enhances DTN’s weather technology platform and supports the company’s commitment to providing the highest quality and most accurate weather forecasts and insights. The transaction is expected to close following completion of customary closing conditions.

DTN’s weather forecasts have consistently been ranked most accurate by independent sources and the company is committed to continually enhancing its weather solutions and insights. Adding WDT to DTN brings together expert meteorological teams and industry-leading technology platforms that will deliver actionable insights to support weather-based decisions.

“Bringing together DTN’s weather division with WDT’s operations will allow us to provide even more impactful weather information, insights and solutions to customers who depend on our services every day to mitigate risk, improve safety and sustainability, and optimize operational and financial performance,” said DTN Chief Science Officer Ron Sznaider. “We are excited by the opportunity to enhance DTN’s weather expertise and expand our reach into new markets through this acquisition.”

Everyone around here who is in-the-know is pretty excited about this.

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