June 13, 2013
Like other native apps, Weather is getting a significant update in iOS 7. However, you don’t have to wait until the fall, or be an Apple developer, to begin experiencing it. The app is already available in the App Store -- and has been since April. It goes by the name of Yahoo Weather. Yahoo supports Apple’s official iOS weather app, like the others before it. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Yahoo Weather and Weather for iOS 7, are nearly the same. Here is what the main screen looks like for each app. [caption id="attachment_429225" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Weather app (iOS 7) vs. Yahoo Weather (iOS 6)[/caption] I know what you’re thinking: they look nothing like each other. Oh, you couldn’t be more wrong, my friends. Once you scroll to Yahoo Weather’s second page, the similarities become much clearer. Wouldn’t you agree? [caption id="attachment_429226" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Weather app (iOS 7) vs. Yahoo Weather (second page)[/caption] This is where the similarities end, however. Apple’s official Weather app provides very little additional information. Humidity, chance of rain, wind, and feels like temperature are the only additions. This information is available by clicking on the current temperature reading. Yahoo Weather, by contrast, go into overdrive, in terms of the additional information it contains. This includes a localized map with current conditions, precipitation percentages, wind and pressure readings, and sun and moon calculations. Many of these are enhanced by graphics. [caption id="attachment_429227" align="aligncenter" width="550"] More features in Yahoo Weather[/caption] It should also be noted that although Yahoo powers both apps, the weather sources for each are different. The official Weather app, for example, uses data from The Weather Channel. By contrast, Yahoo Weather uses information from The Weather Underground. In an interesting twist, if you attempt to drill down further within the official app, you'll receive a link to ... the Yahoo Weather app! Apple isn’t saying why there are limits to the official Weather app in iOS 7. It could be that future iOS 7 beta versions will include the more advanced features. More likely, Apple has decided to stick to the one-page approach it has used on previous versions. More likely still, Yahoo would only go part of the way, and wanted to maintain its own weather presence in the App Store. Whatever the reason, Yahoo Weather isn’t likely to be pulled from the App Store anytime soon, regardless of what happens in iOS 7. After all, it is now an Apple Design winner. We’ll keep an eye on both apps as iOS 7 marches towards its fall release. Were either to change, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, the free Yahoo Weather is available now in the App Store. Please note: All screenshots presented here were provided by our developer sources. More for information, see: BBC Releases Its First Official Weather App For iPhone, How Apple's iPhone Home Screen Has Changed Over The Years, and This Is What Would Happen If We Let Jony Ive Redesign Everything. Update: We've updated this post to include the tools available in the official Weather app when you click on the temperature. Our thanks go to Frank A. for pointing this out in the comments.