Some insight about the program, the community, and the competition
Both PYKL3 Radar and its main competitor provide a means of viewing level 3 radar data, but there are a number of enhancements which are provided in PYKL3 Radar that do not exist in the competition.
Both products are designed for the high-end user in mind and a great many emergency managers, storm chasers and spotters, police, fire personnel, meteorologist, coaches, and others have currently chosen PYKL3 Radar as their solution. Part of the reason for this is that PYKL3 maintains a very open development environment.
With niche software products, it is always beneficial to have the users directly provide feedback and be part of the design process. This program has been created out of a passion for weather, not solely for profit. This results in a VERY positive relationship between the author and the user community, of which anyone who has an interest can be a part.
This relationship creates huge dividends in the functionality and usability of software. The users drive the development of the program and what features it supports. We pride ourselves with being very responsive to user questions and support needs as well.
Now that we've covered a bit of background on why the software is what it is, here are some of the highlights of what makes it the best choice for its users.
Both the competitor and PYKL3 display a full range of legacy and dual-pol level 3 radar products. Third party providers offer additional overlays such as lightning data, severe watch box plots, severe weather outlook plots, local storm reports, and deliver an alternative source of radar data (useful during significant outbreaks). Both display SpotterNetwork.org position reports and we believe that both allow one to submit position reports. At any rate, PYKL3 certainly allows sending AND receiving of reports.
PYKL3 Radar has been developed to perform well even in instances where bandwidth is limited. No matter whether one is under 3G or 4G coverage or if it is 1XRTT or straight GSM data, the program delivers data reliably and efficiently. This is critically important in rural areas or when storms may have degraded the cellular network infrastructure.
PYKL3 supports every operational WSR-88D (3 GHz band) and FAA-TDWR (C Band) radar in the nation including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
In keeping with its user's needs, PYKL3 Radar provides SIGNIFICANTLY more roads to aid with orientation and spatial situational awareness. In fact, PYKL3 Uses standard .shp files for roads and it is possible for users to customize their own road maps if they so choose. The competition offers only Interstates and no customization option.
Speaking of customization, PYKL3 is HIGHLY customizable. From the roads, county and state boundaries, NWS county warning areas, colors and line widths may be set to your liking. No such customization exist in the competition.
PYKL3 offers an exclusive continental USA radar overview. Watch, warning (courtesy of AllisonHouse and CaprockWeather), and severe weather outlook data is available from this large-scale view and it is possible to quickly select a radar site from the national view via a long press or pinch-zoom. There is a virtually seamless transition between the CONUS overview and detailed RDA displays while zooming both in and out. This is particularly helpful when significant weather developments may be occurring just outside of your local area.
PYKL3 allows the customization of your radar color tables. So, if you don't like the colors used for any of the radar products, just define your own in the supplied easily editable text files and make it look the way YOU want it to look. You can match the color table to your other favorite programs. Again, no such option with the competition.
PYKL3 offers area localized satellite imagery including the visible, infrared, and water vapor channels. No such option in the competition's product.
PYKL3 will display surface observation plots (data provided courtesy of CaprockWeather.com), another exclusive! This quickly allows the user to determine the location of fronts, dry lines, and ascertain conditions which may signal the onset or change in storm mode. The plots are quickly toggled on or off with the touch of a button.
PYKL3 allows the user to quickly pull up virtually any National Weather Service text product.. Whether you need the latest fire weather outlook, the zone forecast, or tide product, you can get it in PYKL3. You can store your favorite products for quick access.
PYKL3 offers a situational awareness radar product, known as high level reflectivity max. Another exclusive to PYKL3 Radar, for the benefit of its users.
PYKL3 allows the user to not only enable looping, but also single step through the frames of a loop. The competition does not. This is extremely helpful for analyzing the changing characteristics of a storm. Looping parameters such as the number of frames, the step speed, and the last frame dwell time are fully configurable to meet your preferences and needs.
PYKL3 allows the user to quickly toggle between reflectivity and storm relative motion for quickly analyzing critical areas of the storm. Another exclusive. No matter what product you are examining, you can quickly switch back to reflectivity display with only a single click of a button.
PYKL3 features a quick on-screen key to declutter imagery with the touch of the LYR button with 4 levels of decluttering. This allows you to remove GIS layers, Spotter network and storm report icons, and other non-critical data.
PYKL3 offers not one, but two third party radar/data providers. AllisonHouse.com and CaprockWeather.com. A summary of the offerings of these two providers is available on the the following page: http://pykl3radar.com/transitionv2.3.php Why would one want a third party provider? In short, data availability. While these vendors provide add-on products such as watch-box plotting and local storm reports, they also are RELIABLE during OUTBREAKS.During large weather events, the National Weather Service servers will get slow with radar data often being delayed.
These two providers offer the same radar data from dedicated links and not subject to the server loads that public users face. On a normal day, the free data is fine, but when it gets busy, these two vendor are more reliable and timely. For example, when Dallas/Fort Worth experienced tornadoes, the National Servers had radar data delays up to about 45 minutes. These two providers continued delivering the data in real-time.
No Android software reads level II radar data. It is functionally much too heavy for the CPU capabilities of handsets and tablets today AND the network bandwidth required. For example, a level III product is a short 20k-100k download. Level II files start at about 5MB and then require the software to derive everything from three moments, reflectivity, velocity, and spectrum width. With dual-pol, the files are even larger! The only widely available level2 software of which we are aware is GRLevel2 and GRAnalyst for the PC, which starts around $250. For mobile use, Level II is just not a good fit.
Insofar as AllisonHouse goes, any of their plans will provide the same benefits with PYKL3 with one exception. Please check their web site for the latest pricing information.
In conclusion, we invite you to compare PYKL3 to ANY other Android apps. Look at the features of course, but also look at the COMMUNITY. We're here to support the needs of a broad range of users, but we focus on the needs of the weather and public safety professionals. We are confident that PYKL3 Radar will exceed both your expectations and anything the competition offers.