The many faces of Hello Weather

“Why are there so many terrible weather apps? Just show me the damn weather!”

That simple question was the start of an unexpectedly long and prosperous side project. A few years ago, my friend Trevor and I were ranting about our inability to find a single weather app that did something obvious—just showing the forecast without gimmicks or fanfare.

Weather apps have long been a playground for tech folks to try making slick designs and data visualizations. So you end up with three categories of apps:

  • Ad-filled privacy sinkhole apps, usually made by big companies like the Weather Channel.
  • Designy apps, with gorgeous but oblique interfaces, and shallow forecasting.
  • Kitchen sink apps for weather obsessives. Great forecasts, but clunky UI, and way too many fiddly features.

We just wanted a straightforward, readable app with a nice design, excellent forecasts, and zero unnecessary BS.

The forecast screen visually adapts to the current conditions.

And thus, we naively started trying to make a weather app on the side. How hard could it be?


We can confidently say it’s REALLY HARD. Making a native app is hard. Running a business is hard. Supporting customers is hard. Surviving in a competitive and price-sensitive marketplace is hard. The only easy part is working with friends and having some fun with it.

Since we launched the app in 2016, it’s been a great success—positive press and features, half a million downloads, and thousands of paying customers.

Over the years we’ve added multiple forecast data sources, radar, themes, custom icons, an Apple Watch app and complications, home screen widgets, and an Android version with our friend Dan.

iOS home screen widgets
Apple Watch app

We also learned how to establish a real company, how to do business taxes, sign contracts, promote the app, hire outside help, open a P.O. box, get domain names and trademarks, operate heavily trafficked data services with 99% uptime, and the countless other things you have to do to run a mini-biz. None of that is straightforward, and it’s no wonder most people don’t have side projects like this.

It’s a lot, but also a lot of fun. And we still have a few tricks up our sleeves for the future.

My work on the project is pretty much anything involving design. I design and code the app UI (mostly in Xcode & SwiftUI, but it’s a mix of different things), icons, website, promo materials, copywriting, blogs posts, release announcements, etc. Also handle a lot of the business nonsense, like taxes, accounting, and so on.

Shoutouts & Credits:

  • Trevor Turk: Rails and iOS programming, Ops, Support, biz & legal stuff, generally being the best person, begrudgingly tolerating puns.
  • Dan Kim: Android programming, viral tweeting.

Related links:

More projects →