There is something special about using an app that the developer has clearly put a lot of time and effort into, and it shows in the small details, the little finishing touches that make the app a delight to use.
A few weeks ago I ran across a post on Mastodon by the developers of Mercury Weather showing off screenshots of their upcoming (now available) macOS version. I liked what I saw, and went and downloaded the iOS app to play with.
Mercury Weather is a pretty simple app on the surface. It shows the current weather conditions, an hourly forecast graph for the next 10 hours, and a daily forecast for the next 10 days. In general, it’s the same data that is available in many other apps, but with a very nice, distinctly iOS-like UI.
That same afternoon I went ahead and purchased the premium subscription, mostly just because I like to support developers whose work I appreciate, added a widget to my home screen, and didn’t think much more of the app…
… Until this evening, that is. I was listening to an episode of Mac Power Users yesterday while working around the house, where the hosts happened to be talking to one of the developers, Malin Sundberg, and I looked up the episode notes this evening to find a link to something they were discussing. While doing so, I remembered that the macOS app was out, downloaded it, and began playing around with it a little.
The first thing that slightly surprised me was that my iOS subscription not only includes the macOS app as well, but that there was nothing to do on my end to set the subscription up in the macOS app. It just worked. You’d be surprised how often there is some extra step to get such a thing to sync, though it tends to work seamlessly more often in the Apple ecosystem than any other I’ve encountered.
Second, the UI was just as beautiful on my Mac as on my iPhone. Again, I shouldn’t be surprised, given that the developers specialize in Apple platforms, but it was somewhat unexpected.
And then the real surprise came. I started looking at the “trip” feature, which I’d read about, but never tried personally. This feature, which is (I believe) part of the premium subscription, allows you to add an upcoming trip (with destination and dates) to the app, and it will auto-adjust the upcoming forecast to include the trip in it, so that your 10-day forecast matches where you’ll be, and syncs it with your other devices!
So, are any of these features groundbreaking? Maybe not. But the finesse and attention to detail that is obvious in the design of Mercury Weather makes it a delight to use, and going forward it is going to be one of my go-to apps, especially when I have upcoming trips!