Best iPhone Weather Apps
It’s never fun to be caught in the rain without an umbrella, or to not to have a warm coat on a unexpectedly cold day. It is, however, entirely avoidable for iPhone owners— if they have the right apps. A general purpose weather app is essential, and a good one should be able to quickly give the entire forecast for the current day and beyond. Surprisingly, that specificity is difficult to find in a category crowded with image-heavy and radar-focused apps. Ultimately, the sort of weather app you like really comes down to personal taste, and this AppGuide will help you find the weather app that’s right for you.
The Weather Channel® Max
The Weather Channel Max is admittedly more temperamental than most of the Essential apps in our AppGuides, but it (or its free version linked below) is in a class of its own in terms of information. Visually-inclined app seekers may want to look elsewhere, as the Weather Channel Max has none of the beautiful graphics or animations of many of the apps in the genre. Instead, the Weather Channel Max’s layout is straight-forward and in service of the information presented, much of which can be found by scrolling a slider on the bottom that includes the local pollen report, severe weather listings, videos, a radar map, and social connections including local photos. The app opens to the current conditions in your “favorite” location and shows you everything from temperature, feels like, sunrise & sunset times, dew point, UV index, and a few other weather nuances. Hourly, 36 hour, and 10 day forecast information is easily accessible by touching tabs below the current forecast. A couple other things of note about the app: you can receive push notifications for severe weather alerts for one location and you can see your Facebook friends' or contacts' local weather forecast. The app comes in two flavors: Free and $3.99; the major difference is iAds at the top.
Swackett tries to make checking the weather fun, and it usually can be counted on to put a smile on your face. Instead of dryly listing the weather, Swackett makes it an interactive experience by displaying different, scrollable, weather-appropriate clothing options for its “peeps” (think slightly denser stick figures), many of which involve costumes, dogs, or cats. Seeing what the peeps are wearing each day is always fun. Swackett is also a full-featured weather app (with radar even!), although these features are hidden under a poorly-placed ad at the bottom of the screen. If you want to access the full forecast, you’ll need to either click the screen to banish the ad, remove the ads for a $0.99 IAP, or turn your device to landscape orientation.
Weather Live manages the impressive feat of displaying all weather information on one screen in a readable fashion and using a beautiful, weather-appropriate animated background. The main screen of Weather LIve is fully customizable, but defaults to showing all the “widgets,” including current and feels like temperatures, maximum and minimum temperatures, the time and date, humidity, pressure, wind information, daily forecast broken into three hour increments, and a weekly forecast. The layout can even be customized to display all of the information as text only, a convenient option for days when you don’t have time for anything more than a glance. It can also send alerts for certain conditions, and display the current temperature on the icon badge. Weather Live should have something for every weather fan.
Weather Underground is a popular online weather service, and its app doesn’t disappoint. The app is very clear, intelligently designed, and packs a ton of info under the hood for anyone wanting to find it. Weather Underground’s first screen is divided into rows displaying basic information such as current temperature, upcoming temperature, and a map, which is perfect for quickly finding the weather. More detailed information on each row can be found via swipes and taps, or by using a navigation bar at the bottom of the screen. Users can even access the Weather Underground radio and Twitter feed from within the app. It’s important to note, however, that the app is merely an extension of the subscription-based Weather Underground service, and includes ads unless you purchase a subscription or pay a small yearly fee ($1.99 IAP).
Living Earth - Clock & Weather
Living Earth HD is a great option for anyone looking for visual interest and an alarm. The weather aspect is fairly simple, but the animation is amazing. It's an actual real-time globe that you can spin to see the earth bathed in light or dark, depending on what the current time is in that area. It must be seen (and played with) to be believed.
Dark Sky - Weather Radar, Hyperlocal Forecasts, and Storm Alerts
Dark Sky shows the power of good design, as it is not the most feature-rich app, but it is so well-designed that it’s worth a look. As the name suggests, Dark Sky’s focus is on rain, and as such it displays all weather info in the context of the chance of rain. The recent addition of weather information for the entire day makes the app much more useful as a general-purpose weather app.
Fahrenheit - Weather and Temperature on your Home Screen
Fahrenheit was one of the first weather apps to offer the current temperature on a badge on the app icon, and the app has a lot more to like. Fahrenheit is simple, clean, gives you the weather forecast for the next ten days, and hourly forecasts for each day when you tap on them. The Universal app has several maps for each day, which should appeal to map fans. There are actually quite a few features tucked into this very clean-looking app. For those outside the U.S., there is a sister app called Celsius (see link below)
eWeather HD - Weather forecast Premium
eWeather HD has an impressive amount of information in an unfortunately confusing package. The app stands out from the rest by using graphs and displaying the hourly forecast as part of the hours in an analog clock! It also has maps, information about earthquakes, weather alerts, and possibly more. eWeather HD needs a tutorial or a thorough manual to explain exactly how it works and how to customize it, because then its true potential can be realized.
Beautiful Day takes the opposite approach of many of the apps in this Guide— it uses text, not images to display weather information. Surprisingly, the result is an attractive app that loads quickly, gives all the necessary weather forecast information, and doesn’t overload you with too many visuals or too much information. The black and white app is the weather app for minimalists, but it would be nice if it displayed more than three days of weather information.
Weather+ simplifies the navigation process by cramming a lot of information onto one screen, which helps users get an overview of the weather conditions just by looking at the screen. The information displayed is customizable, but at most includes the necessities: the current weather conditions, a breakdown of the day’s forecast, and the forecast for the next few days. To display all of this information and allow users to see the beautiful animated background, the text is extremely small and requires more than one glance to read. Weather+ is still a great marriage of stunning visuals and information, though it lacks a radar and a “feels like” temperature reading. Adding a new location is very simple, and within the settings you can customize the layout for content, placement, and brightness. This app comes in a free and paid version; see the link to the free version below.
This is a beautiful weather app that covers all the basics. Animated backgrounds give you a visual on the current weather conditions. Get a four day forecast in multiple cities. QuickWeather doesn't have a ton of features, it's just simple and pretty.
AccuWeather has the essentials of a weather app—and very little else. It contains RealFeel temperature and a radar map when you rotate into landscape orientation. In the bottom left corner you can toggle the footer from hourly to daily forecasts (you can scroll horizontally). Interestingly, the free version of AccuWeather (see the link below) displays more information about weather conditions than this paid version.
Weather Time Machine Light
Weather Time Machine Light is a different kind of weather app, in that it can give forecast information for the last five years and the next three months. The free version lacks hourly weather data, but it’s a great resource for anyone needing weather information to plan a trip.
If you're looking for a basic, free weather app with more visual appeal, check out the universal Weatherwise. Weatherwise includes basic weather information only, but its draw is that it’s designed around unique artwork that moves and changes based on the current weather conditions. It comes with a "Zen Tree" theme; three others are available for in-app purchase.
Weather HD - Live Weather Forecast with 3D NOAA Radar
Weather HD will appeal to the visually-minded who value beautiful visuals over tons of data. The app uses HD animations of the current time and weather conditions as the background for the temperature, humidity, chance of rain, wind, and a footer that you can toggle to show an hourly or three day forecast. Weather HD has some customizable settings, such as local time, show/hide clock, clock size, data shown and night mode (double tap to dim screen). The animations do come at a cost: the app is 301MB, which may be too high a price in precious iPhone disk space.
WeatherSnitch™ 2 — Detailed Weather Forecasts
Weather Snitch 2 manages to display both a large amount of information and beautiful images, but it comes at the cost of the app’s usability. The app’s main issue is that it’s very difficult to glance at it to find the current weather forecast. The ability to display the current temperature as a badge on the app helps, but doesn’t alleviate the underlying complexity of the user interface.
Weather Zombie capitalizes on the zombie trend by making over a traditional weather app with a zombie theme. All of the art and much of the text is designed to look like zombies, a cute idea that doesn’t really add much. Still, Weather Zombie is an interesting twist on the genre that has all the necessary features (a daily, hourly, and weekly forecast, and a radar).