MenuWeather 4.2 was approved and released into the Mac App Store today. This version of MenuWeather brings many new features and stability enhancements. Most of the new features are only available on Mac OS X Lion, but I’ll talk more about that later.
First off, MenuWeather now allows you to completely customize the weather information that is displayed. You’ll see a new “Weather” tab in the preferences window. In this tab you can customize what information appears for the current conditions and daily and hourly forecasts. I also added snowfall and rainfall amounts, along with a plethora amount of astronomy data (for more on this see the release notes on the Mac App Store). You can also choose to show the last time the weather was updated.
The 2 day hourly forecast has been replaced with a 7 day hourly forecast. Also, if you’re running Lion you can see the hourly forecast as submenus of the daily forecast.
On Lion, the More Weather window has been completely redesigned from scratch. Instead of separating the different categories of data (daily, hourly, alerts, maps), they’ve all been compacted into one streamlined layout (Screenshot below). On the right you’ll still have the familiar locations list where you can switch between your added locations. To the left of that you have the forecast for the next 15 days. Clicking on a day pops up a window with more detailed information along with the hourly forecast. Clicking on one of the hours in the hourly forecast shows more detailed information for that hour. To the right of the daily forecast you have the current conditions and some astronomy information. To the right of that are radar maps and severe weather alerts. Clicking on a severe weather alert shows some detailed information on it.
You may have noticed the search bar in the locations list of the More Weather window. This search bar allows you to search and view the weather for any location without having to go into the preferences and add it. This is meant to be used for getting weather quickly for a location that you don’t want to permanently add to your preferences. For you advanced users, I’ve also added a URL scheme for MenuWeather. For example menuweather://10280 will open the More Weather window and show you the weather for New York. You can use any search term as the parameter and MenuWeather must already be running for this to work. To be honest, the URL scheme feature is still pretty buggy and that’s why I’m not really advertising it.
Now you’re probably wondering why so many new features were added for Lion users but not for Snow Leopard users. This is a good question. Apple made a lot of changes in Lion. They added several new features that I took advantage of in MenuWeather. I spent a large amount of time trying to, essentially, rewrite these new features myself to add support for Snow Leopard. As you can probably guess, I failed miserably. I came close, but in the end I had to make too many design compromises to get it working. In all seriousness, you should be running Lion on your computer anyway. It’s only $29.99 and you don’t even have to leave your house to get it. Now with that being said, because MenuWeather is now fragmented between Lion and Snow Leopard, it’s going to become increasingly more difficult to maintain and add new features. Because of this, I think its best that I drop support for Snow Leopard so that I can focus my efforts to make MenuWeather an even better app! I’m sorry if this disappoints you, but like I said, you really should have Lion.
On a side note, I’ve added German and Simplified Chinese localizations to this version of MenuWeather. If you speak a language other than the ones MenuWeather already supports and would like to help out, please get in touch with me!