Always Know the Weather with The Weather Channel App

Total Score: 29

I love, love, love having weather apps on my iPhone and iPad.  I have written about a number of them, and found another great option. The Weather Channel offers a beautiful display with all the information you need readily available for both the iPad and iPhone.  The iPad version is more full featured, but both versions work well.   

Price Rating = 5     Free.  You will have the temperature, forecasts, maps and videos at your fingertips.

Ease of Use Rating = 5     Movement around the app is accomplished by taps or swiping.  It is very easy to move around.

 Readability Rating = 5     On the iPad it goes from a medium to very large font.  All fonts are very readable.  The text on iPhone is a little smaller, but still very readable.

Will You Use It Rating = 5     This app will save you time.  When you want a good weather forecast it used to require turning on the TV or your computer.  Now you can easily find out all the same information through your phone.  

 Downsides Rating = 0     Both versions have ads.  It is the price you pay for a “free” app.  I did not take any points off for it because it does not impede the usage of the app.

  Consumer Review Rating = 4     For the iPad version, there have been over 51,000 reviews.  The overall rating is three stars.  The latest version, with 9,508 ratings is four stars.   Most, if not all, of the negative ratings were related to updating the app.  Hopefully, all of those things are solved now.  The iPhone version has had over 300,000 reviews and has the same ratings – three stars as an overall rating and four for the most recent download.

  Why Do You Need This App Rating = 5    Knowing the weather can be not only handy, but a safety issue.  I know I feel more comfortable having this app as a backup.  If the power goes off, I can still know what is going on.  Believe it or not, I check the radar often.  Before I go for a walk I like to see whether I can expect rain.

How does it work?

  1. When you open the app it asks you if it can use your current location.  Once it has that, it can display all the critical (or just interesting) weather for your area.  The iPad screen shows the city name, weather and an animated view of what is happening in your area. The first time I saw this app was a windy, rainy day. The animation was quite active. For the iPhone, you have a photo representing the weather and information about the forecast (sunny, rain, etc.) and what the temperature feels like.  You also have the expected low for the day.  It is not as dramatic, but it gets the job done. You can click the plus sign to get information that is more detailed.  (On the top of the iPhone screen there are ads.)
  2. On the home page of the iPhone there is a camera icon.  You can snap a picture of the weather and then share it via The Weather Channel, Twitter, Facebook or email.   I haven’t found this option on the iPad, but it could be there.
  3. On the bottom of the home screen on the iPad version is more information about wind, humidity, dew point, UV level visibility and sunrise and sunset times.  On the bottom of the home screen for the iPhone there are tabs for map, video, social media and seasonal weather information like pollen. It opens on the map tab.
  4. In order to get detail information on the iPad you simply tap the middle of the screen.  (At this point, you see ads at the bottom of the iPad screen.)  A display pops up with four (or five depending on how you hold the iPad) days of information.  You see the high and low for each day and the chance of precipitation.  There is also a representation of the weather – full sun for mostly sunny day, clouds over the sun for partly cloudy – all simple graphics.  If you tap any day you get hour-by-hour forecasts.   You can scroll up and down to find just the time that interests you.  Tapping it again closes up the day and returns to the four-day view.  Tapping above the graph brings you back to the home screen.
  5. When you are in the detail screen you also have tabs at the bottom for maps, news, video and seasonal information.
  6. If you tap maps you see your geographic area and any cloud activity.  You can pinch and zoom to see more or less information.  On the iPad you can set additional points of interest on your maps like schools, airports and parks.
  7. If you tap news you can see weather-related articles and tweets.   You can swipe left and right to scan through the articles.
  8. If you tap video you have several options.  You can click “TV” and see recent news stories.  The tape is a little slow due to the download time, but it can be viewed if you don’t mind a small wait.  The “Forecast” button allows you to choose from various weather stories.  Examples are Focus Forecast – Weather in the South East, Travel Forecast or National Forecast.  The “News” option offers you top news stories.  It is not quite as robust, but the iPhone has a video button that lists “must see videos.”
  9. The In Season button shows information specific to a season.  I just downloaded the app, so I am not sure what seasonality will be featured in other seasons.  Right now, in my area, I see pollen alerts throughout the country.
  10. Like other weather apps, you can also add additional cities.  Once they are added you can swipe left and right to view them.
  11. The app can be set to either Fahrenheit or Celsius.  .

This is a visually interesting app, particularly on the iPad and is loaded with weather information.  If you are a weather junkie like me, you will love this app.

Devices:  Designed by The Weather Channel, this app is compatible with iPad and requires iOS 4.2 or later.   The iPhone and iPod Touch version also requires iOS 4.2 or later.


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