Maybe it is just me, but for some reason there is one category of apps - namely weather apps - where I don’t seem to be able find my favorite solution. I have already been through some of these and still I am in search of the real deal.
Here’s what I tried so far:
Apple’s native iOS app
The design is nice, no question about it. But the primary weather information on the app’s main screen is rather frugal.
For more details one has to switch (and this includes dismissing a nagging dialog that asks me to switch my preferred search engine to Yahoo) to some crappy web page “powered” by Yahoo page that I find distractive rather that informative. That is clearly not the way.
And seriously, who wants to make Yahoo the preferred search engine?
Weather XXL is to some extent the antipole of Apple’s approach as it provides detailed information on the main page. However, the information sometimes feels a bit too detailed, especially for the small iPhone screen. To add more to the downside, I don’t like the fiddly way how users can switch between different pre-selected locations.
At least half the time I miss the tap target to switch to a different location. As a workaround, one can launch the search page that also contains the list of pre-selected locations. Sometimes the app comes up with funny bugs:
Also, I don’t entirely like the design, especially with respect to the orange bars on the top and bottom of the screen.
Weather XXL also comes with the ability to display rain radar and also a temperature diagram. Also, the app can show weather forecast video clips. None of these additional capabilities is of much interest to me and therefore I have barely used them so far.
Celsius is my preferred weather app at the moment. Celsius comes with two predefined themes, a dark theme and a light theme. I prefer the dark theme because for my eyes the contrast is much better.
Here is a shot of the dark theme:
And this is an example of how the light theme looks like:
Celsius has the ability to display the current temperature as a badge on the iPhone’s home screen but as the badge cannot display negative numbers1 I consider this a gimmick rather than a real feature.
Animated cloud an temperature maps are included. For more information, Celsius comes with in-app purchases of satellite images and rain radar animations.
The details page available for every day in the timeline has a nice design and provides just the information needed. One exception applies, however, the ability to share the weather on Twitter and Facebook at least to me seems to be the most useless feature of the entire app. Who posts weather forecasts to Twitter, come on.
The app store contains tons of weather apps but the vast majority of them do not look very promising. There is one candidate that I might take into account in the near future: My-Cast.
I like the design of how the information is displayed. However, the app has received some amount of negative feedback thanks to some trouble with connecting to the weather server.
To mitigate this problem the app displays the absolute value as the badge, probably in the hope that the user will be able to figure out whether the actual temperature value is positive or negative.↩