Despite the Storm of Weather Apps, Partly Cloudy Has a Bright Future

By Simone ODonovan |

Weather service Partly Cloudy isn’t one of Berlin’s best-known apps but it is a quiet success story, reporting more than 100,000 users as it releases a new ‘dark theme’ for in-app purchase. It’s the brainchild of Raureif, an eco-friendly software and app design agency, and was launched last August.

Currently on sale for €0.89, Partly Cloudy displays weather across the world in an easy-to-use and intuitive analogue clock face infographic. It merges elements of a design weather app for casual use with those of pro platforms for meteorologists, resulting in an aesthetically-pleasing and detailed user experience.

Raureif is a software design company that also makes the Virtual Water app that measures your water footprint, and the Eco Challenge app that encourages sustainability.

The traditional clock face can be set to 12 hour, 24 hour or seven day forecasts with a simple tap on the bottom right hand corner. The time can be changed by moving the clock hand around. Weather data like temperature, rainfall (represented by a blue bubble) and wind strength (represented by grey lines) is graphed inside the circle, with size representing severity.

There is further information tucked away above the infographic, including the Beaufort wind force scale, the exact amount of precipitation per hour, the temperature, and the overall weather situation.

Co-founders Timm Kekeritz and Frank Rausch originally helped clients to design better software involving everything from apps to business software. Now they also create their own apps. “It’s like a playground for us but also a showcase”, said Timm. When he read about the Norwegian Weather Institute being the first to make their data open source, he decided to create an app using this and putting a different spin on weather.

He added: “We saw super minimalistic weather apps that just show the weather icon and the temperature, and then on the other hand are the pro apps that have everything from real-time weather radars to having tonnes of data. We see ourselves somewhere in between.”

Due to user feedback, the in-app purchase, the dark theme, which costs 89 cent, changes the original paper-like interface, making it easier to see in darker environments. It also enhances the colours of the clock. The general updates include a different icon, an alternative weather map called the Open Weather Map, bug fixes such as an easier tutorial, and it’s now available in not only English and German but Japanese also.

As far as competition goes, the weather app scene would appear to be pretty saturated at the moment but Timm argues that the top ten weather apps in the US are pro or specialist, leaving Partly Cloudy one of the few of its kind. The big competition remains to be The Weather Channel app, while the Solar app is doing well in the design field. Timm said: “By now there are a few very similar apps to us like Russian apps, not to be called rip-offs, but they are still not really competition.” Despite the storm of weather apps, Partly Cloudy has a bright and sunny future ahead.