One of the sensors Apple added to its newest iPhones measures barometric pressure. That's handy to watch for local weather changes but it's even handier when the data from thousands of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets are crowd-sourced, says Dark Sky.
The company makes what is one of my favorite weather apps due to its very accurate hyper-local weather information. Using various sources and user-reported weather conditions, Dark Sky is often correct in prediction to the exact minute when precipitation will start or stop.
With the latest software upgrade, Dark Sky gains a few visual features -- such as a 24-hour weather timeline for your specific location -- a daily weather summary option and the ability for newer iPhones to send in barometric pressure data.
The company says if you opt in, pressure readings will be periodically submitted to Dark Sky to help in creating even more accurate weather forecasts. Prior to this, Dark Sky relied heavily on what it says are "government run" weather stations as well as user-provided details.
The problem with the former is that there simply aren't enough locations for the hyper-local service to use and the latter required a manual process.
That still exists in the app; at any time, you can report weather for your location but it takes a little effort. By allowing your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus to submit pressure information, it happens automatically.
Dark Sky costs $4.99 on the iTunes App Store and I had no hesitation paying for it once I heard how accurate it was.
I've lost track of how many times I've checked it to see just how much time I have for a run before the rain will start falling. Most times, the app is spot on. Adding data from the barometer in a large number of iPhones will only add to the accuracy, so count me in.