The weather. That delightful conversation maker. Always the best option when you have nothing else to talk about. Small wonder then that there are so many apps dedicated to telling us about the speed of the wind, the number of degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius in the temperature, and so much more. Weather apps are very popular and for the most part are rich in information – the kind that helps you in fixing up travel plans and meetings, and deciding the fate of the umbrella in the house (Will it stay in the stand? Or will it be carried along to work? Check the app!).
And well, some of them are fun too.
Wait, some would say, how CAN something as routine and mundane as the weather be fun? This is all about precipitation and temperature and wind speeds, right? Well, yes, but some apps put a funny spin on it, relying on everything from puns and profanities to make you smile when you check the weather. And not too many do it as well as the curiously named Carrot Weather, which has been making waves on iOS more for its ability to make people smile than deliver weather-related information. Well, the app is now available for Android users too, and guess what, unlike on iOS, it comes with no price tag (it costs Rs 399 on iOS), and like on iOS, it is entertaining and infuriating in equal measure.
The app is available free of cost from Google Play. And it looks almost exactly like its iOS counterpart. After a simple, slightly insulting installation (you will be called a “meat bag” and other things, and will have to divulge your location), you are ready to get underway. The price of there being no price is that you will have to put up with irritating ads right through the app. You can get rid of the ads by paying a fee of Rs 260 for a year or Rs 65 per month (there is a free three-day trial), which will also give your access to a soon to be released widget and as per the developer “If you upgrade now, I promise not to kill a poor, defenceless kitten.” If by this time, you have not begun to get the hang of the app, you never will!
The app picks weather information from the highly acclaimed and popular Dark Sky app. It comes with the usual weather app features like giving you the current weather, temperature trends for the rest of the day and the forecast for a week. You get the temperature, what it “feels” like, information on visibility, pressure, humidity, UV index and more. The information is presented through a clean interface which is divided into three horizontal panels – the one on top has the current weather, the one in the middle has the weather trends through the rest of the day, and the third tells of the weather for the coming week.
But if this is routine, the comments that accompany the current weather certainly are not. Carrot Weather prides itself on having personality, and you can tweak this in the settings by giving the app’s responses a friendly, snarky, homicidal or overkill touch. The “overkill” option takes the lid off profanities, though, and unleashes the F word. Need more? You can even give the responses a political touch – choose from liberal, conservative, centrist, libertarian, communist or just go for “apolitical” (no, do not!). The comment that accompanies the current weather will be affected by the options you choose. So for instance, if you go with “Snarky,” a temperature of 42 degrees (yes, it is kind of warm in Delhi) will be accompanied by a comment that goes “Summer was better back when the big summer blockbusters were watchable more than 7.3 percent of the time.” Move it to “homicidal” and the comment becomes: “Are you enjoying your sunny day, meatbag? No, don’t tell me about it, that was a rhetorical question.”
There is also a “secret locations” game that can be played by spotting locations on a map, helped on by clues delivered in a typically snarky tone by the app’s assistant. And if that is not distracting enough, you can keep poking a small sphere (which the app insists is its “ocular sensor”) and get sharp rebukes.
All this. And the weather too. Pretty much makes it a must download on Android, we think. This is one carrot that will give you a lot of stick with its attitude but will leave you smiling.