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Tech review: These apps will help you weather the storms

The Dark Sky app offers hyperlocal forecasts, beautiful

The Dark Sky app offers hyperlocal forecasts, beautiful animations and Apple Watch functionality.  Credit: Newsday/Apple

Winter is coming ... and a good forecast can keep you forewarned. Weather apps have been among the most downloaded smartphone add-ons since the mobile era began. Here’s a look at four that can be your ports in a storm.

The Weather Channel

(iOS, Android; free)

The venerable weather app that has been a go-to forecast tool on mobile devices since 2008 received a major update last month. The iPhone version has new widgets that work with iOS 14 and can appear on your home screen. (The Android version has had this for a while.) The app still has some of the best forecasting tools, including local maps, NOAA alerts and storm trackers.


(iOS, Android; free)

Along with The Weather Channel, AccuWeather is one of the oldest apps available for mobile devices. But if you haven’t used it recently, you might be surprised at how different it looks. The app has undergone a major redesign that makes its local MinuteCast more prominent. Along with excellent forecasts and charts, it includes its exclusive AccuWeather RealFeel temperature that takes into account wind chill and other factors.

Dark Sky Weather

(iOS; $3.99)

Dark Sky began as an iOS sensation in 2015, and the Android version was snapped up by weather nerds when it was released a year later. But it became a fair-weather friend for Android users: It was pulled from the Google Play Store in August after Apple bought Dark Sky. What makes Dark Sky so special? Users love its hyperlocal forecasts, beautiful animations, custom notifications and its excellent Apple Watch functionality.

Appy Weather

(Android; free)

Android users looking for a good alternative to Dark Sky should give Appy Weather a try. Its hyperlocal forecasts are built from the same data Dark Sky uses, and its design is simple yet elegant — it gives you all the information you need at a glance. It is ad supported, but if the advertising becomes too intrusive for you, an upgrade to the premium version ($3.99) makes it ad-free and adds some extra features.

Amazon: 1M workforce

Amazon says it now employs more than 1 million workers, the first time it has hit that milestone. The retailer recently added hundreds of thousands of warehouse workers to meet coronavirus-fueled demand from shoppers worried about going to stores and those beginning holiday shopping. On Long Island, Amazon has warehouses in Bethpage and Shirley and plans to open facilities in Carle Place, Syosset and Westhampton Beach.


Hackers hit academic institutions

With many students doing classwork remotely, hackers have ramped up attacks against educational institutions. Security researcher Check Point says cyberattacks against schools are up 30 percent. Meanwhile, attacks against all other sectors are up only 6.5 percent. The rise was sparked by DDos attacks, which overburden resources and bring down networks. Several Long Island school districts have recently been hit with DDos attacks.


Apple to replace defective earbuds

Apple said a “small percentage” of AirPods Pro earbuds have sound and noise-cancellation issues and the company will replace the products for free. The Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant cited issues including crackling, static and noise cancellation not working as expected. AirPods are one of Apple’s fastest-growing products, and the company is working on two new models for next year.


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