Weathercube - The revolutionary gestural weather app ($1.99) by Appsuperb is a new weather app that sports a familiar interface. Remember when I called Solar "the Clear of weather apps?" Scratch that. Solar is in a class of its own. But Weathercube? Well, this is literally Clear in the form of a weather app. And surprisingly, it works pretty well.
There is a brief tutorial that is available when you first launch the app, and it will teach you the basics. Since there are absolutely no buttons or even iOS chrome in Weathercube, the app relies entirely on intuitive swipes and gestures to make your way around … the cube, that is!
First things first — you’re going to want to add some cities. Simply pinch out vertically on the daily forecast side to access the app settings. Then go to Cities, and add up to six locations. You can search by zip code or name, and Weathercube searches in real-time, so you get instant results. Delete a place by swiping to the right on it, and reorder them to your heart’s desire by drag-and-drop with the handle.
To exit the settings, just pinch in vertically to go back to the Daily Forecast. Since this is a cube, there is a top and bottom as well. Swiping down on the cube will reveal the six-day forecast, with each day represented with an icon of the weather. Tap on a cell to disclose the day, precipitation levels, and the high and low temperatures. The side underneath Daily will be Hourly, and you can see what the weather is like (conditions, temperature, and precipitation) in three-hour increments.
However, the main meat of the app will be the Daily Forecast. Swiping left or right on this view will display the forecast for the next three days. There are six cells that contain a different piece of information: condition, temperature, wind speed and direction, precipitation amount, cloud coverage, and humidity. If you tap on these cells a few times, it will show you data for morning, afternoon, and evening.
To switch between multiple cities, swipe left or right on the city name. Currently, you can only do this while in the Daily Forecast view.
If you’re the type that likes to share your weather information with friends, pinch out horizontally from the Daily view. This uncovers the Share screen, where you can edit your message, see a thumbnail of your weather capture, and choose to send it to Facebook or Twitter.
The Settings has the “Advanced” menu that allows you to change the measurement units, toggle sound, and log out of your social networks. You can also access the tutorial once more from here if need be.
Just like Clear, there are also various color themes to use to show off your weather. Currently, these are basic color choices: Blue, Red, Green, Orange, Purple, Black, White, and Random. The app features whimsical sound effects that are heard with every swipe and pinch. I also love the smooth and fluid animations that Weathercube features. There’s even a cute “shake” animation when you try to tap on a cell in the Hourly view. The developers did put a lot of care into crafting this beautiful interface.
My biggest qualm with the app though, is the fact that it could be faster. When you switch themes or change a measuring unit, it takes a while for it to be applied to the cube. It also has to load up data when you switch cities as well. Perhaps all of the data can be loaded once the app starts, and ready to be viewed when switching? I’m not sure if this is possible, but it would be great to see in the future.
During my time with Weathercube, I found the “now” temperature to be fairly accurate with what is shown in the default weather widget in iOS 5 — it was only off by one degree. However, since the main view is Daily Forecast, I would love to be able to see the current temperature there, since it’s more useful to me. Currently, the app seems to show only the daytime temperature by default. I hope that this changes in an update.
I had been following development of this app for quite some time now, and was excited when I saw that it was finally available in the App Store. While it’s pretty solid for a 1.0, it can still be improved. I’d recommend adding this one to your wish lists and be on the lookout for updates.