Carrot Weather is part of developer Brian Mueller’s series of useful productivity tool apps. If you’ve never used one of Mueller’s Carrot apps, there’s one core conceit to all of them: each app features an AI character named Carrot who, to put it simply, rather dramatically hates humans. Carrot Fitness, for example, will berate the user for missing workouts and not hitting goals while threatening to destroy mankind. Carrot To-Do will judge you as a “lazy meatbag” for leaving tasks unfinished.
Carrot Weather — which recently got a brand-new version 4.0 overhaul — takes less advantage of Carrot as a friendly antagonist (since there’s less direct interaction when it comes to checking the weather), but it’s still the most fun I’ve ever had in a weather app.
Users can directly interact with Carrot by swiping down on the screen. The AI’s personality feels like a combination of sci-fi’s best murderous robots — think somewhere been 2001: A Space Odessey’s HAL, Portal’s GLaDOS, and Knight’s of the Old Republic’s HK-47 — and the mocking comments about the weather I’m suffering was legitimately entertaining to read.
Carrot Weather 4.0 beautifully redesigns the app, with a far more useful scrolling interface that shows hourly forecast data, complete with small, animated scenes that react in time to the current weather. Plus, Carrot pulls data from Dark Sky, one of the most accurate weather apps around, especially when it comes to current local conditions. Also added in the update is a new Premium subscription ($2.49 per year, or $0.49 per month), which allows even more granular weather data — like visibility, UV index, and pressure — the use of Weather Underground as forecast source, and a longer hourly forecast. And there’s a new scavenger hunt mode, which lets you (with Carrot’s grudging help) find various locations around the world.
The new version of the app also allows users to tweak the friendliness of Carrot, Interstellar-style — ranging from fully professional, which turns Carrot off completely to leave you with a nicely designed weather app, to mildly snarky, to full on homicidal. In my brief time playing around with the app, Carrot threatened to send a tornado after me.
Carrot costs $3.99, which is obviously more expensive than, say, the free weather app that comes with your phone. But the combination of great features (including the Dark Sky forecast, which would cost $3.99 on its own), the slick design, and the bonus entertainment actually make it worth the cost of a small coffee.