Will it rain today? How many times have we asked that question? I’m actually surprised that as sophisticated as iOS 7 is that it doesn’t display more things on the home screen like current temperature right on the Weather app icon. Seems like a no brainer. While this app doesn’t display temperatures, it does display the current chance of rain as a percentage using the alert badge feature that we see on many apps such as Mail. The app requires zero configuration. Just launch it and grant it permission to know your current location. That’s it. Once you’re in the app you can see a forecast for the current week. Once you return the home screen there will be a badge with a number from 0-100 representing the percentage chance of rain for your current location today. It also works for snow so that you can use the app year round. You can also add alerts so that you can know what the chances of rain will be at a certain time of day. It’s simple and does what it does.
It would be nice to be able to specify a location that your traveling too, but it appears that rather than turn this into a full blown weather app (which there is no shortage of on the App Store) that they decided to keep the focus narrow for Raincast. It would also be nice to see it as a Universal app for iPad too.
I couldn’t help but notice the cool photos my buddy Rufus was posting to Instagram. They were photos of the locations he was traveling to, but they had the local weather information super imposed on them. I finally sent him a text asking him which App he was using and it turned out to be InstaWeather Pro. Like most Apps for Instagram and social networking, this App allows you to take a picture right in the app or choose one of your existing ones. Once you choose the photo you can choose between several themes depending on where you want the info displayed. You can also use the built-in support for Foursquare or Facebook to choose your current location from the list and it will super impose the name also in your shot. I find myself posting to Instagram more and more since it can simultaneously post to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, Flickr and even email. The App also does a great job in letting you customize the settings. If Instagram is not your thing, you can still use the App to post to Facebook, Twitter, SMS, Foursquare, Email or simply save to the Camera Roll. InstaWeather Pro is great for posting travel shots and letting your followers not only get a feel for what you’re seeing, but also how cold or hot it is there. Chances are you’ll make them even more envious!
photo by Rufus Deuchler
There certainly is no shortage of weather apps for iOS. The iPhone has had one built-in since day one and it keeps getting better. So why would you download another weather App for your iPhone? The weather is the weather, so the difference between the apps is how well they present the information. Haze has a very simple and elegant animated interface. Tap it and you have the current temperature where ever you are. Swipe down and get the forecast, swipe through to see the sunshine hours, and chance of rain or you can enable the “Tilt” feature to quickly get to these readouts. The temperature can be set to °F or °C. Again this isn’t rocket science or anything that can’t be or isn’t displayed in countless other weather Apps, but it’s the simplicity of the App that draws me to it each day. It’s uncluttered and not trying to show me too many things at once. I recommend you try it.
There are lots of great weather apps on the App Store today. I use a few different ones mainly because I haven’t found quite the perfect interface on a single one yet. Nonetheless I really like the choices that are out there. Sky Motion is a different kind of weather App. It has one goal in mind. It aims to tell you precisely when it’s going to rain in the next two hours in your exact location. It doesn’t pretend to be the jack of all trades when it comes to weather. It simply wants you to know if your outdoor activity will be rained upon or not. On this one goal, it does so very well.
I’ve had this App for a couple of weeks now and for most of that time my immediate area has been quite dry. So all the App would tell is “no rain”. However, now that we are seeing some rain the App is not only telling when it will rain, but for how long. Also unlike most of the other apps that based on a zip code or city, Sky Motion is using your exact geo location.
How well does it work?
It works well, but keep in mind that it only has a 2 hour window. So if you’re wondering if this Saturday’s game is going to be rained out or not this App won’t tell you. However, if it’s cloudy and you’re thinking about taking a walk or run right now and you want to know if you’ll be rained on or not, then Sky Motion is your app. By being tightly focused on your specific area and a short window of time, it can be very accurate.
You can also use it to search other areas by address, but the UI for that feature could use some help.
Overall, Sky Motion isn’t going to replace your favorite weather App, but it is going to be a nice addition to the one(s) you use now.
If you're like me the first time that you fired up the weather App on your iPhone or iPad you were left wanting a little more. Sure, the built in App shows you the temperature outside and the 7 day forecast but it shows little else. I wanted to see more. I wanted the ability to see the hour by hour, radar maps and more. Unfortunately the App that comes standard doesn't do any of that. I went searching and found the iOS companion for my favorite weather website, www.weatherchannel.com. This App keeps up the standard of the website and more!
The Usual Suspects
Just like the Weather App that's built in to iOS, The Weather Channel shows you the current temperature outside as well as the next 10 days. These are the things that you would expect from a weather App and TWC doesn't disappoint.
Features that TWC offers beyond the built in App are numerous. My favorite feature is the bar at the bottom of the screen allowing you to switch between "Now, Hourly, 36 Hour, and 10 day". These are all different views of the weather showing their respective information. Another of the features that I find really useful is the "Map" section. Under this tab is the radar maps like you find on the desktop version of The Weather Channel. I use the Maps quite a bit and it was one of the features that I looked for when I searched for a weather App.
A Few More
Also housed within TWC are settings for social media allowing you to see tweets about local weather. There are videos to watch including content from your local area, the world, all of the U.S. and "must see" video clips.
The Bottom Line
If you're looking for a free, full featured App that provides just about any option that you could want from a weather App in an easy to use package, TWC is for you.
You can get The Weather Channel for the iPhone from the iTunes store for free here:
You can get The Weather Channel for the iPad from tehe iTunes store for free here: