by Staff Writer
April 14, 2010
The Weather Channel Max for iPad (Free) by The Weather Channel Interactive is the big name in Weather apps. The app is loaded with content giving you every weather related thing you could possibly want. You begin by viewing the radar map for your area which there are 8 different types of radar, and you can play the movement of the storms. Then when you go to local the forecast pops up giving you details for the next 36 hours, and then a 10 day outlook.
Video is also included giving you the local forecast for the major city you’re closest to, and you can also watch the region or even nation. You can watch many videos from the Weather Channel itself with forecast, news, storm video, and on TV specials. If there are ever any severe weather alerts you can view those in detail in the app. One odd functionality is the inclusion of twitter giving you tweets from The Weather Channel itself, and people from the channel. The app is extremely deluxe giving you every fact about weather from many different angles, so you’ll never be caught off guard. You can track major storms in your area very well. All this information loads relatively slowly though, so it takes awhile to see the info you’re looking for. All of the features are in different tabs with a noticeable load time to change from tab to tab. When there is a storm on the radar, and you want to play the animation it takes quite awhile to load that you’ll just want to quit the app. The local videos are pretty basic, and only regional videos are from the channel. Despite the load times the app is free, and gives you tons of weather information right at your finger tips.
Weather HD ($0.99) by vimov, LLC changes up the traditional weather app by giving you HD videos of the current conditions rather than just radar maps, and numbers. If it’s sunny it shows a scene of sun, or if raining it shows a video of rain. You can watch the current conditions rather than just seeing a word description. You can finally see a difference between partly cloudy and cloudy.
The app launches with the main city, and shows you the video right away of the current conditions, and in the bottom right presents current temp, high & low temp, humidity, and wind. Then you can show forecast to see the highs and lows of the next three days, as well as the predicted conditions. In the forecast you can tap on any day to see the video of what conditions that day calls for. The videos are absolutely beautiful, and you may spend more time with this weather app than any other. There are about two videos per condition, and they play in very long loops. There is also new video for nighttime giving you the conditions with a night atmosphere whether it’s simply darker or the moon is included. There’s no question the videos are amazing, but there are so few the repetition becomes annoying quickly, and the neat factor will quickly wear off. On top of that they’re great to look at, but there’s no sound at all which could make the HD weather that much more immersive. For only $0.99 this is a great change of pace weather app that is worth checking once a day for the conditions, but nothing more. More videos, and possibly sound will hopefully be included in the future. As it stands it’s worth $1 for your weather fix on your iPad.
WeatherBug Elite for iPad (Free) by WeatherBug gives you all types of weather information in one screen. The main part of the screen gives you the radar map with nine different options to show you humidity, temperature, wind speed on top of the typical radar. Then there is a side bar that has six sections with each showing a mini version, and you simply tap, and they expand to the main screen.
The app provides current conditions which shows temperature, wind chill, sunrise/sunset, dew point, etc. Also included is a detailed seven day forecast plus another section as an hourly forecast. Local cameras are included as well as a weatherbug video which overviews the national weather. If you have any alerts they will appear as another section. The app truly seems to be designed for the iPad with an easy interface whether you’re in portrait or landscape. Just tap on a section for it to appear in the main screen, and then tap on where it left to send it back to the side bar. The forecasts give you description for night and day on top of the typical temperatures. The radar map loads very quickly, and the animated map also loads fast. The best aspect of the map is that it zooms in and out without a hitch to show you very detailed radar maps, or even an expansive look at the globe. This may be the best weather app for the iPad, and it’s completely free. There are quick load times for the tons of weather related info you’re provided all in one easy access screen. Download it today.
AccuWeather.com Cirrus Free for iPad (Free) by AccuWeather, Inc. provides you with a good looking streamlined interface with all kinds of weather information. The app launches with the forecast with great images for each day of a 15 day forecast. Then the hourly forecast gives you a dial to scroll through the hours you’re interested in. The radar map provides a wide look of your current location.
The app includes nine videos from Accuweather.com giving you regional, national, and even breaking news weather. The neatest included feature is lifestyle which gives you ratings green to red for all kinds of activities. Included is dog walking, lawn mowing, sinus risk, stargazing, asthma risk, and more with 26 in total. The interface is well done giving you one button which brings up a huge scrollable icon interface to switch between tabs. When you’re in portrait the current conditions stay on top no matter what tab you’re in. The app loads quickly from the forecast to the map to the videos. The radar map leaves something to be desired giving you only one view that isn’t very detailed, and you can’t zoom it. The videos are well done for each region, and provide more info than even The Weather Channel clips. The forecast is 15 days giving you a ton of future looking though none of it may come to fruition. AccuWeather.com’s iPad app is really well made proving a free and $0.99 version depending on if you want ads or not. The ad is a bare minimum that only appears when you switch tabs. This is an outstanding iPad weather app, and may be the best in the App Store especially for free, but even for $0.99.
OverallAll four of these weather apps are great, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. The Weather Channel gives you all kinds of information, but load times are a pain, and the UI isn’t as slick as could be. Weather HD is a brilliant unique take, but doesn’t provide many varying videos, and sound is lacking. WeatherBug provides the best radar map, the slickest interface all in one screen, and the most detailed forecast. AccuWeather also has a nice interface, and provides a great lifestyle feature as well as the best videos available. Well it’s a tough decision to find the best of this outstanding bunch. Weatherbug is probably the best overall, and it’s free with the only downfall the videos. Accuweather is a close second, but the map is so basic. Weather HD is a great alternative, but for $0.99 when there are these free great ones it pales in comparison. The Weather Channel has great information, but the load times hold it back as it’s really significant in comparison to the quickness of the other apps. Weatherbug Elite should be the one to be your stock weather app on your iPad.
WeatherBug for iPad
Earth Networks, Inc.
Weather HD 2
The Weather Channel® for iPad
The Weather Channel Interactive
ACCU WEATHER Free for iPad