Yesterday’s post included a pair of screen grabs from The Weather Network app for Android. Available for every major mobile OS (sorry, Firefox), in my opinion it’s the most accurate source for weather data if you live in Canada.
But man, is it ever ugly to look at.
Here again is living proof of just how ugly it is.
First, the ads… I use AdAway so I don’t normally see them, but blocking ads leaves a big empty space at the bottom of the screen. I’d happily send the developers a couple of bucks for a premium version that uses all available pixels—that way they’d also have some extra cash to invest in graphics that don’t look like clip art from an old version of MS Office. Just a thought.
There is no shortage of apps that give you basic weather conditions and a forecast of some sort, but the ones I’ve tried are lacking—especially when it comes to additional and fairly critical information. I’m talking about humidex/wind chill and hourly precipitation.
Yahoo Weather is the antithesis of The Weather Network’s app—beautiful to look at and a joy to use. But the data provided isn’t accurate or even useful. There’s no indication of humidex or wind chill in the app’s hourly forecast, but there is, at least, a “feels like” addendum to the current temperature.
That reading is provided by a service called “Weather Underground”, or Wunderground for short…
Wunderground seems to be the go-to solution for hardcore weather geeks. Unfortunately you’ll need to pay for an ongoing subscription to get rid of the ads. If you opt for AdAway instead there will be more blank real estate on your screen, just like The Weather Network app—only this time it will be at the top of your display, not the bottom.
I gave Wunderground a good trial run over the summer, and found their data to be inconsistent. A big part of my problem was finding a reliable weather station—if you didn’t know, any registered user can upload weather data to the service.
1Weather—at least they didn’t call it AAA111Weather—has a reasonably priced ad-free version. I also gave it a good test over the summer, but found the projected hourly humidex readings to be too conservative. If I’m going to sweat my face off I need to know in advance, so I can bring along a bandana or a bottle of water or just stay home.
It was a busy summer for weather apps; in July The Verge offered their recommendations via this YouTube video:
The MinuteCast™ feature is innovative but not all that handy; when I go out I’m often out for more than ninety minutes, and the weather here in Toronto has a habit of changing a lot in the space of a few hours. And again, it just doesn’t beat The Weather Network for accurate data.
Is there anything that does?