Hurricane had a slow start back in 2008 as one of the first 10,000 apps in the iTunes App Store. The first hurricane tracking app with an Interactive Tracking Map on iOS 2.0, it set the tone for what would be expected in a fully robust hurricane tracking app. Even though the iPhone was a fairly new device, with an even newer App Store, Hurricane made a name for itself in this niche area of weather, not by being the least expensive, but by being the best.
In September, Hurricane will celebrate 2 years of hurricane tracking on the iPhone – though it feels much longer to the development team!
“We have put in a lot of hard work, time and energy to this project because we’re passionate about it. We have been asked for features like world wide storm tracking, which has turned Hurricane into a year round project, ensuring the data remains available at all times. We continue to focus on the Atlantic, East and Central Pacific, but do our best to ensure that the rest of the Pacific, and Indian Oceans are not left out through Satellite images, Tropical Outlooks and more.”
The look and feel of Hurricane has grown up over the last 2 years as well. The interface refinements go a long way to show the progress. Back in 2008, while we waited for Hurricane’s Approval in the App Store, Ike made his debut and devastated parts of Texas. Here are just a few screen shots of Hurricane from that time:
Hurricane as seen in 2008
Even without the Google Maps background, and the ability to easily create an interactive map on the device, Hurricane set the tone for what would become a great adventure for the programmers.
“When we set out to write Hurricane, there were a few things we wanted for ourselves as hurricane trackers. We wanted the ability to see where a storm was, and every detail of every point, not just the current point – which at the time was the norm. Most people just looked to their local TV News, or the Weather Channel to find out where a storm was, and while they gave every detail of the current plot, it was hard to see the progress of the storm, other than through their satellite loops. We wanted to be able to see the data behind the storm and how it was changing with each plot. Nobody else had written a tracker for the iPhone yet, so we made what we wanted to see. We also wanted Hurricane to be useful during the off season, and past storm histories has done a great job of that. I’ve even used Hurricane to win trivia contests based on weather, because I could find the information faster than anyone else!”
“The last two years has been a wild ride, with the iOS 3.0 upgrade, we were able to switch our maps over to MapKit, giving us broadcast quality maps which were just plain awesome. In addition, we could then tell what the distance from the center of the storm to the device was, so we added that in too.
Another great feature added in the 2009 season was the Forecast Cone, allowing you to walk through the forecast cone’s details right on the interactive map. Other interface refinements were added like the Data Feed, adding the East and Central Pacific basins to the Interactive Tracking Map, and allowing the user to toggle between each basin in an intuitive way.”
“For the 2010 season, we added in Hurricane HD, created just for the iPad, with features like the News feed, and a whole new look and feel. A lot of work went into the new version, written almost completely from the ground up. With the extra space, provided by the iPad device, we have been able to reorganize the layout to make information even easier to find.”
While Hurricane is far from feature complete in the developer’s eyes, it is the most complete Hurricane tracking software available for the iPhone and iPod Touch, giving you all of the information you want to know about an upcoming storm. Expect great things to come from Kitty Code while they push the envelope to make your life a little safer, and more informed. Take a look at what Hurricane offers you today in the iTunes App Store today.