Aelios Weather ($2.99) by Jilion is an app that allows you to explore the forecasts of various spots from all over the world with an interactive map.
Aelios for iPad is a new weather app that is unlike anything I've really seen before in weather apps. Think of it like this - an interactive Google Maps that shows you detailed imagery of the world, and you can navigate anywhere and view that location's time zone and weather information.
On the initial launch, you'll see that Aelios Weather is on a spot on the interactive map that is probably not very close to you. If you want to see the forecast of your area, simply tap the crosshair button in the top left corner. The iPad will prompt you for your location services in Aelios, and then the map will immediately move to your iPad's current location.
When Aelios is on your location, or any location you pick by dragging the selector across the map, you get information about the city and country, current time in that area, and a forecast of the weather.
The forecast is one of the great things about this app. You get a 24-hour dial, with the weather showing up eight times throughout the 24-hour period. The forecast will display temperature, wind speed and direction, precipitation measurements, and even display animated icons that symbolize the weather conditions. Daylight time will be displayed in white on the dial, while night will be shown in navy blue.
Is a weekly forecast more your thing than hourly? No worries, Aelios does that too. If you swipe clockwise on the dial, it will take you into a weekly forecast, with high and low temperatures, wind speeds and directions, precipitation, and more beautiful animated icons. Each day will be clearly labeled on the dial, just like with the 24-hour dial.
Want to look up the time and weather of a particular location, but don't feel like dragging the selector across the world? No worries, there's even a search function, accessible via a button at the top right. Type in your location, and you'll be taken there instantly.
As you move the dial across the beautifully detailed map, you may notice that the indicator in the middle of the dial will instnatly lock-on to cities as you pass by them. This is because the app is programmed to lock on to the most highly populated location as you pass by, thanks to the "Smart Location Selector" feature.
In the settings for Aelios, you can choose between fahrenheit and celsius temperatures, inches or millimeters for precipitation measurements, and km/h or mph for wind speeds. The app has some subtle sound effects as well, but if these bother you at all, they can be turned off as well from the settings. Along with these settings, there are options to share the app on Twitter and Facebook, iTunes review, tell a friend by email, and a way to send feedback to the developers.
Aelios Weather draws the weather information from the met.no databases.
I think Aelios is truly unique and a great experience on the iPad. While it may not be the practical weather app that people are looking for on the iPad, it's fun and great for what it is. It also shows that there are still developers out there that are innovating rather than just putting out another app that is no different than the others out there before it.
According to some iTunes reviews, the data that Aelios is pulling in seems to be a bit off for some areas. This would be the result of using someone else's databases, but new users should be wary.
Despite this minor flaw, I still found Aelios to be a pleasure to use. It works great even on the original iPad, so I am sure that it would be even better on an iPad 2. It's a beautifully crafted weather app, and definitely one that can show off the capabilities of what iPad apps can do. For the introductory price of $2.99, it's one to not be missed with its beautiful and attractive interface.