March 24, 2012
The Weather Channel apps for iOS appear to be in a state of constant flux. I wish I could say that the end result is a better experience, though I can't. Before I get into some personal observations and opinions, let's take care of the recent app update details. Both The Weather Channel and The Weather Channel for iPad have modified pollen reporting systems, but the iPad version also now has Retina support. For iPad users, v3.0 of The Weather Channel app introduced a highly revised user interface and v3.1 added the In-Season tab, which currently provides pollen reports. Released March 23, the v3.2 update contains a more fanciful UI for the In-Season area. Instead of simply listing the three upcoming days with color-coded weed, tree, and grass pollen levels, the new look provides large U.S. maps for each and a colorized bar graph to warn users of pollen intensity. Swipe left or right on the map to change the pollen type. Along with the new visuals, the app now offers optional pollen-specific push notification options, adjustable by tapping the details arrow of a location in the favorites list. Today, those In-Season section changes are now available in the iPhone and iPod touch version of The Weather Channel app, however, I dislike the continued inability to zoom or otherwise enlarge maps on small screen devices. And with that mention, I'll begin with my opinions of the situation. Ever since I can remember, I've been a big fan of The Weather Channel, and always felt they were the most accurate. I even splurged on The Weather Channel Max app for iPhone. Over the past several months, I've quickly begun to phase them out, although, not entirely. So, what's wrong? The lack of consistency across the three TWC apps, quality issues, and Max owners rarely getting premium treatment, such as early access to and exclusive features. In fact, the Max version doesn't even yet have the new In-Season UI, though it isn't the first time Max owners were neglected. As I noted earlier, I still occasionally check The Weather Channel app to compare information, but I stand by my choice of switching to Intellicast HD. What about for iPhone and iPod touch? I've been using WeatherBug. I realize there are a lot of weather apps out there, some very beautiful in their presentation. However, the data is the most important to me, and I want it in a very easy to read and access manner. What are your favorite weather apps? Maybe more important, which do you find the most accurate? The Weather Channel for iPhone and iPod touch is compatible with iOS 4.0 or later, and available in the App Store as a free download. The Weather Channel for iPad is compatible with iOS 4.2 or later, and available in the App Store as a free download.