Those of us who use The Weather Channel Max app for iPhone have seen more than our fair share of undesired changes and even a few washouts, such as the socially focused v4.0. Even so, many of us have not turned away because we feel TWC is one of the best weather apps, and our patience may have finally paid off. Earlier today, The Weather Channel Max v5.1 hit the App Store with a user interface we can finally cheer about.

In this latest version, the appearance is much more elegant and streamlined. The highlights are a reduced number of areas to navigate through, the ability to change locations with a swipe, current location weather, weather representation backgrounds, severe weather badges, and collapsible weather detail panes.

Of course, many of these features aren’t new to iOS weather apps, especially the convenience of swiping to change cities and the weather condition photos. However, it is still nice to finally have them implemented in the TWC apps. The one uniqueness is the ability to replace the weather conditions photo with your one from your camera roll or photo library. It takes away a bit of usefulness, but it does add a personal touch.

Beyond the amazingly stylish and clean look, there are only a couple of things I feel need mentioning. Foremost, v5.1 has a five to 10 second delay when resuming on my iPhone 4 running iOS 6.0. It could be something about my iDevice configuration and processes, but I feel it’s worth noting. Secondly, I remain a bit upset that Max updates continue to be released months after the free The Weather Channel, which had a similar revamp in May.

To summarize, The Weather Channel Max v5.1 is absolutely worth the download for current users and previous TWC fans, but I’d prefer to see a little more premium customer treatment, starting with same day releases for both free and paid apps.

The Weather Channel Max is designed for iPhone and iPod touch running iOS 5.0 or later, and available in the App Store for $3.99.