In my line of work, I do quite a bit both indoors and outdoors. As such, it is crucial for me to know the weather forecast at the drop of a hat. The weather app built into the iPhone is a simple, no fluff, no garbage, weather app. It does its job well, but any weather app can give you the highs and lows for the day. Oftentimes I find myself needing to know the humidity, wind speeds, or sunrise/sunset times and other nonsensical information.
Below is a roundup of weather apps for the iPhone, with features ranging from video forecasts to airport delays.
Features: Video forecasts, Radar, Severe Weather Alerts, and Weather Indices
This app’s user interface was by far my favorite, but at times it still felt a bit flawed. AccuWeather should have integrated typical iPhone gestures into the application as I often found myself wanting to swipe or enlarge something, only to discover that those features had not been implemented.
Despite this app’s shortcomings, AccuWeather still impresses me by the plethora of weather and climate information it provides. I love when things give me more than I need, it doesn’t matter what the product is. If I get more than I asked for, I am a happy customer, and AccuWeather sees to this.
One of my favorite features is its risk monitoring system, which breaks down severe weather conditions (rain, ice, fog, wind, etc.) and shows the chance of each of them happening over the course of the next 8 hours. Another feature that set AccuWeather apart was its indices feature, which shows UV, Air Quality, Flu, and Arthritis indexes for the day.
Features: Severe Weather Alerts, Weather Cameras, Radar, and Maps
I’ve always been a fan Weatherbug’s desktop variants, and was pleased to find that the iPhone version was comparable. Weatherbug has all the typical bells and whistles you would expect from a weather app, with a few extras, one of which is a real-time wind tracking, which is updated every few seconds, showing wind speed and direction. I don’t fly many kites or participate in many nautical activities, but I still find this to be a cool feature. It has the simplicity of Apple’s (s aapl) Weather app, but with a few extras, and unlike other free weather apps, it isn’t ad-supported.
The Weather Channel (FREE)
Features: Location-based Forecasts, Radar, Severe Weather Alerts, Video Forecasts, and Traffic Cameras
Being the No. 1 free weather app in the App Store comes with a bit of scrutiny. But what can I say? They are The Weather Channel, and they know what they’re doing. This app doesn’t give any more information than the Weather Channel web site, but it’s great to have such information at your fingertip while on the go. The map feature of this app uses Google Maps with a live update of radar, clouds, temperature, precipitation and UV index. I have very few complaints about this app, but my biggest is the large banner ad on top of the application. I understand that it’s a free app and they have to make money, but it’s a bit obtrusive at times.
Features: Weather Alerts, Hourly forecasts, Traffic Information & Cameras, and Radar
This app is brought to you by The Weather Network, which is a Canadian company. Therefore, this app doesn’t have many of the smaller U.S. towns and cities. Regardless, I still liked it. It’s very similar to Apple’s Weather app in that it is as easy as “swiping” your finger across to switch locations. However, like many of its counterparts, Weathereye is ad-supported.
This app does a great job of covering Canada as well as larger U.S. towns and cities. If you live in rural America…sorry, you’re out of luck.
Pascal Dreer: AeroWeather (FREE)
Features: Altitude, Wind Speed/Direction, Sunrise/Sunset Times, Location Awareness, and Runway Reports
I have dabbled in aviation in the past, and have always found it interesting. In the end, my pursuit of aviation was a short-lived one. When I was up there, I could only imagine how crucial knowing the weather could be — literally life or death.
Pascal Dreer took this into consideration by giving us AeroWeather, an iPhone weather app designed with aviation in mind. AeroWeather is a full-service app that displays wind speed/direction, altitude, sunrise/sunset times, runway reports and more. This is the perfect weather app for anyone in the aviation field.
NavClock (99 cents)
Features: Displays Time/Location, Elevation, Coordinates, and Zulu time for aviation
I like this weather app simply because it displays an exorbitant amount of information in an easy-to-read way. There’s no complicated user interface, no gestures, just a page of information, some of which is fairly irrelevant most of the time. Skipping the bells and whistles of other weather apps, this one leaves little to be desired. One feature I would like to see in upcoming versions would be the ability to customize the way NavClock displays the information.
Deluxeware Weather ($2.99)
Features: Wind Direction/Speed, Local Time, “Actual Feel” Temperature, UV index, Dew Point, Visibility, and Humidity.
Deluxeware Weather is a pretty basic app for the weather genre. That means no radar, no maps, no airport delays, or wind direction/speed. What it does have is all of your basic weather information, such as 7- and 14-day forecasts, current time, the “actual feel” temperature outside and UV index.
Weather Pro ($3.99)
Features: Location Awareness, Wind Speed/Direction, Radar, and Satellite Images
When released last October, Weather Pro had more than its fair share of bugs, many of which seem to be fixed now. This app did crash on me a couple of times, while the other apps in this list did not. However I kept coming back and retrying Weather Pro. What brought me back to it time and time again were the small things, such as a great-looking interface, 3-hour climate monitor and up-to-date wind speeds for all locations. So for $3.99, I suggest giving this one a try.
Fizz Weather ($5.99)
Features: Landscape Forecast Mode, Sunset/Sunrise, Radar, Wind Speed/Direction, Barometer, Visibility, and UV Indices
There were three main features in Fizz that set it apart from its competition. One of those was the slick user interface, the other was the creator’s decision to include reported and predicted airport delays. The third feature that appealed to me was Fizz’s landscape mode. If your iPod touch or iPhone is turned sideways, you have the ability to browse through several informative charts and graphs displaying weather-related information, which was a huge plus.
Overall this is a decent, feature-heavy weather app, however there are a few shortcomings. As most of these weather apps have a built-in radar feature, I found Fizz Weather’s to be the most lacking, which is surprising for one of the more expensive apps.
My Weather Mobile ($6.99)
Features: Radar, Wind Speed/Direction, Landscape Mode, and Satellite View
The term “perfect” has earned a certain point of exclusivity in my vocabulary. When I saw the rave reviews this app got in the App Store, I was a bit skeptical. Surprisingly, it lives up to every expectation and is as close to perfect as it could be. This app comes in as the most expensive of this lot, but I will say that as far as paid apps go, it’s easily among the more feature-rich. In fact, it may just have everything you could ask for with a weather app. The full-screen radar and 36-hour trend graphs are extremely beneficial. The graphs are by far one of the greatest features of this application, as they are the powerhorse behind My Weather Mobile’s information. There are graphs for total precipitation, estimated/active precipitation, UV index and more.
Like any iPhone App genre, there are hundreds of options, costing anywhere from small fortunes to nothing. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong choice as far as choosing a weather application, rather ask yourself which app would be more suitable for your situation. But since it’s also hard not to choose favorites, I find myself using Navclock quite often as a desktop weather and clock solution, and I tend to use Fizz Weather and My Weather Mobile while on the go. I love the information My Weather Mobile provides, yet Fizz’s sleek interface keeps bringing me back for more.