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How this one-man developer created this year’s App of the Year for Apple Watch

By Aaron Yip - 31 Dec 2021

How this one-man developer created this year’s App of the Year for Apple Watch

Photo: Apple Developer

How many of you would appreciate having your Apple Watch hurling insults at you every time you check for the weather forecast? Apparently, a lot of you do.

So much so that it has made Carrot Weather, a supremely snarky weather app, the Apple Watch’s app of the year.

Designed by Brian Mueller, Carrot Weather happily throws insults at its users, and according to him, is based on a “combination of the three women” in his life – his mother, wife and sister. “My family loves to make fun of each other a lot,” he said.

In an interview with Hardware Zone, Brian also shared that Carrot Weather is essentially the work of a one man - himself. “Back when I first started working on the app, I just realised it wasn't anywhere near my head as I thought it was going to be. And I just kept going with it and teaching myself as I've done the updates to the app,” he explains.

Photo: Apple Developer

He spent six years improving the app, which originally launched for the iPhone back in 2015, but has since made an Apple Watch version. Brian shared that when the app first launched in 2015, the original focus was just the entertainment side and was designed to keep users engaged and to get them to keep coming back. So there were also a bunch of mini games that you could play and earn achievements.

Then the Apple Watch came out, and Brian wanted to develop a more intuitive and informative side of version of the app. “The space constraints of much smaller screen on the watch, forced me to focus much more on making a really great weather app, and not rely so much on the jokes and the bizarre imagery that I could do on the iPhone,” he added.

On the Apple Watch Series 7 for instance, Brian also shared that the app has a short and an extended forecast function on the same watch, with notifications where you can see more information at a quick glance. That's incredibly useful for a weather app. Because now you can show the entire text of a weather alert, or a radar imagery of a storm approaching your current location.

“Users absolutely love that. They love the notifications pushed to your Apple watch instead of having to open an app and go and find it yourself. And so, what I've really been working on for the last few years is just making these two sides of the app feel like one app. And it's really made gratifying for me because I love finding ways to make more complicated things fun.” Brian said.

Carrot Weather users can also look forward to additional language support to the app. “I have so many international users, and they've been asking me to get it translated for their respective country. And so that's one thing that I really want to make time to do. Another thing that I want to really want to work on is expanding on the weather maps capabilities. I have a big update coming out next month. And that's going to be a really, really big improvement over what I have now. One of the key focus for that will be the ability for the app to track hurricanes, show tsunami warnings and all of that. That's something that has become very important to me.

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