Three is a Magic Number

November 17, 2016 by Mike Wolfinbarger
Topics:   RadarScope |

The long-awaited RadarScope 3.0 for Mac enters beta testing next week. In development since early summer, the update brings a fresh design and feature parity to the Mac app. Here’s a summary of what’s coming in Version 3.


Swift Renovation

Following quickly on the heels of its iOS counterpart, RadarScope for Mac has been rewritten in Swift, Apple’s new programming language. This gave us an opportunity to modernize RadarScope’s 8-year-old code base and share code more easily between the iOS and Mac versions. It also gave us an opportunity to revisit and refresh the Mac UI. The main window layout has been changed to accommodate multiple radar views.


Mac Toolbar


The sidebar has been streamlined with a Layers view that more closely matches the one on iOS. Animation settings are still available at the bottom of the Layers sidebar. A few of the less commonly used settings have moved to the Settings tab in the Preferences window.


Sidebar and Preferences


Giddy For GIFs

Animated GIF and video exports are a wildly popular feature on Android and iOS. Version 3 brings that capability to the Mac app, including the ability to post directly to social media. As we’ve learned with large phone and tablet screens, size limits can affect the quality of posted GIFs. The good news is, Twitter recently extended their size limit for posted GIFs from 3MB to 5MB. We’re supporting the new limit in the Mac app and in iOS and Android updates that will be released along with it.


Social Media Support


Seeing Double

Pro subscribers have had the dual-pane feature on Android and iOS since last spring, and have been looking forward to having the same capability on their larger Mac displays. It’s finally here, and it looks great! With a RadarScope Pro for Mac subscription, you can now view reflectivity, velocity and more products side-by-side. It’s going to look amazing on your Retina MacBook Pro or 27” Retina iMac.


Dual Pan View


Auto-Renewing Subscriptions

Apple now allows weather apps to use auto-renewing subscriptions. Pro subscriptions have always been auto-renewing on Android. We moved to those on iOS last summer and we’re doing the same for the Mac. There are a couple of important reasons for this change. Auto-renewing subscriptions are much easier for customers to manage, so you should see fewer situations in which you need help from our tech support staff. 


If you already have a RadarScope Pro for Mac subscription, it won’t become auto-renewing until your current term expires. Once you’ve purchased an auto-renewing subscription, you can immediately cancel it through the App Store and you’ll keep the features for the remainder of the term, but it won’t auto-renew next year.


More To Come…

Now that RadarScope for Mac has caught up with iOS and Android, we’re ready to push ahead with new features on all three platforms. We’ve got a lot of new things in the queue for next storm season, and we can’t wait to share them with you.

Mike Wolfinbarger

Mike Wolfinbarger is VP for Mobile Development at Weather Decision Technologies. He leads the team that develops the award-winning RadarScope and Weather Radio apps and other mobile products. Prior to WDT, Mike served as Director of Technology for the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. He led the team that created the software infrastructure for the Oklahoma Mesonet and the OK-FIRST program. He oversaw technology transfer efforts which led to the use of OCS software by WDT, Mesonet Québec, NOAA, USDOT, and the New York State Mesonet. In 2008, Mike co-founded Base Velocity to develop and commercialize RadarScope, the first mobile app to display native radar data. Base Velocity was acquired by WDT in 2012. At WDT, Mike and his team continue to focus on creating innovative tools for visualizing and interacting with weather data.