The weather isn’t always funny, but there can always be a silver lining of humor behind every dark cloud. A growing handful of apps have taken a humorous bent towards looking at the weather, so we thought it would be a great idea to pit a couple of them head to head and see which one came out victorious. For starters, let’s take a look at Funny or Die Weather.
Funny or Die Weather
Release date: January 21, 2015
Latest update: 1.2 (April 11, 2015)
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
Funny or Die Weather is powered by Weather Underground, an Internet community of more than 100,000 members sending real-time data from their own personal weather stations and a team of meteorologists and climatologists who take that information and turn it into highly accurate forecasts. To go along with the sometimes boring weather data, the makers of Funny or Die have added Daily Thoughts to the app. These are jokes or hilarious (but honest) bits of advice, and there is a large collection of them to go through. Our own Christine Chan reviewed Funny or Die Weather, calling it “a weather app with a sense of humor that most can appreciate.”
FOD Weather features a simple, but elegant, interface that is easy to understand. The color gradient backgrounds are automatically selected to complement the current weather conditions, and the typeface is both highly legible and right at home in the iOS environment. It looks and feels like an app that should come preinstalled on the iPhone or iPad, which is not always easy to pull off.
FOD Weather supports multiple locations, so you can preset your favorite places and swipe to view the weather data across the country or on the other side of the world. You can also easily toggle between Fahrenheit or Celsius with a single tap. Since the data and forecasts are pulled from Weather Underground, the information is up-to-date and as accurate as such predictions can be. The comedy quips are inoffensive most of the time, but sometimes vulgar. The app has never failed to give me at least a chuckle, even when the forecast was calling for torrential downpours.
The only real weakness in FOD Weather is in the age-appropriateness of what should be a family-friendly app. The language used is sometimes inappropriate for children, so you might want to pass on this app if you have youngsters sharing your iPhone or iPad with you. The app is rated 12+ on the App Store for its mature content, so keep that in mind.
Total score: 18 out of 20
Release date: March 19, 2015
Latest update: 1.0 (March 19, 2015)
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
Carrot Weather is another humorous app, but like the other Carrot apps, this one talks to you. When you launch the app, you are greeted by the snarky and ill-tempered Carrot AI. The data Carrot uses is pulled from Forecast.io, the same weather information aggregator behind Dark Sky. This information is derived from national weather services around the world, including the U.S.’s NOAA, the UK Met Office, Environment Canada, the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, and worldwide METAR reports. Christine Chan reviewed Carrot Weather, calling it “a fun weather app that’s worth checking out if you want weather with a side of personality, or are just a fan of the Carrot apps.”
One thing I really like about Carrot Weather is that I can launch the app and hear a spoken overview of the current weather conditions without even looking at my phone. This is great if I’m about to head out the door and want to double-check whether I should grab a jacket or umbrella. The other big strength of this app is the snarkiness of Carrot herself. As in other Carrot apps, she hates having her ocular sensor tapped, and will insult you repeatedly as long as you keep poking her in the eye.
As you use the app more, you find the other source of humor within Carrot Weather: the secret locations. There are 21 of them, including such hot spots as Tatooine from Star Wars and Mount Doom of Lord of the Rings. No, I won’t tell you how to unlock them, but I will say that checking various locations and annoying Carrot enough are important to get the most out of this weather app.
Finally, the graphics in Carrot Weather are elegant, simple, and beautiful. The background color is set to match the current weather conditions for your area, and Carrot’s ocular sensor provides another clue as to what it’s like outside.
The only real weakness to Carrot Weather is the difficulty in checking different locations. Rather than being able to swipe from one location to another, as you can in other weather apps, you have to select it from a menu. The app would score higher in my book if I could swipe from left to right to change locales.
Total score: 15 out of 20
And the winner is …
Both Funny or Die Weather and Carrot Weather are fun apps, providing you with a healthy dose of humor to go along with the meteorological conditions. Unfortunately, Carrot Weather is just a tad bit more difficult to use and more expensive than FOD Weather. That’s why I have to declare FOD Weather the winner of this app smackdown.