Carrot Weather gets an chatbot powered by ChatGPT
The popular weather forecasting app, Carrot Weather, now has a chatbot. Everyone and everything is using ChatGPT, why should a weather app be any different?
In case you don't know about it, Carrot Weather is an app with a customizable personality. You can set it to be normal, a little snarky, or downright crazy. It's a humorous app, the weather info it provides is mostly accurate, and the interface is pretty well polished.
But most of its features are locked behind a paywall, including something that I consider to be a very basic feature, and is also probably the most useful one, a home screen widget. Many people would gladly pay a one-time fee to unlock the widget, but Carrot Weather doesn't work like that. I'll get to this in a bit.
The latest version of Carrot Weather, 5.10, brings a high-quality radar map for most countries in Europe, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. It also includes access to the Inspector feature, which is exclusive for premium users. The update introduces a chatbot powered by Open AI's ChatGPT language model. It still has Carrot's sassy personality, but that's the charm, right?
To access the chatbot in Carrot Weather, open the app, and tap the Carrot button on the toolbar. You should now see a "Message Carrot" option at the top, with a text box. Tap on it to initiate the chat. There is a caveat to it, you can only chat with the bot 5 times. After the 5-turn limit ends, you will be required to donate some money to get more turns.
This is where I should point out its flaws. Carrot Weather's Premium plan costs $4.99 a month and $19.99 for the annual plan, while the highest Premium Ultra plan costs $39.99. If you think that's costly, wait till you hear this. Carrot Weather's chatbot isn't free, even if you are a Premium or Ultra subscriber. You will need to pay some extra money because the chatbot's API isn't free to use, you may choose to pay for it via the app's Tip Jar. There are various tiers for these donations. Personally, I wouldn't mind this if the app had been completely free to use. But it already requires a premium plan to unlock most features, so why ask for even more money? I'm not a fan of these app subscriptions, they kind of feel like a gacha game or something with an energy-limit, with all these in-app purchases to unlock stuff.
I understand the need to support an app's development in the long-term, and all the additional features that the premium plans offer, in this case the advanced radar maps. But these features for weather enthusiasts, I don't think the expensive subscriptions are justified for an average person's usage, which as I mentioned earlier, could be satisfied with a widget. How often does one check the weather every day, once or twice? In comparison, Bitwarden password manager, which most people would use several times a day, just costs $12 a year.
You cannot change weather sources in Carrot Weather without a premium account, and some of those locked sources are free to use. I'd advise sticking with the free version of the app, but since it doesn't have a widget, you'll need to open it to check the current weather and the forecast. You can download it from the iOS App Store. Or may can use the Apple Weather app on Mac, iPhone, or iPad, it's completely free and works just fine.Advertisement