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The Forecast Calls For A High Chance Of Haze

February 15, 2013

Haze ($0.99) by Robocat and Taptanium is a beautiful new take on the weather. Yep, even though we’ve had stunning weather apps in the past, such as Solar Weather, and even incredibly nifty ones like Today Weather, there is still always room for competition, and that’s a great thing.

Robocat is no stranger to weather apps. Some of you may even remember their other weather apps, Outside and Thermo. But with Haze, they have truly outdone themselves.

In a way, the interface of Haze reminds me a bit of Solar, but there are enough differences to set it apart. A tutorial will start once you launch the app for the first time, and it will show you the basics. It’s a bit different from the standard weather fare you’re used to, so I definitely appreciated it.

Haze will need your current location in order to get the weather. By default, you will see a circle on the screen with the current temperature, and the position of this circle represents the current degrees (nice touch). The ambient background of Haze will use colors to represent the temperature as well, so if it’s hot, you will get shades of red, orange, and yellow. If it’s colder, you’ll get some nice shades of blue. There are also additional themes that you can unlock (think of the themes in Clear) to customize how your Haze looks.

You’ll notice that the background will have an arrow-patterned design, and it may be flowing up or down. This animation is supposed to represent the trend for tomorrow. If it is going up, that means that it will be warmer. If it’s down, then it will be colder. The speed of the animation also matters — if it is slow, it will only be a little bit, but if it’s fast, then it will be much more. And when there is no animation, that means that the max temperature won’t change tomorrow. This beautiful animation can definitely tell the user a lot, and it’s quite intuitive.

You’ll notice that there are three buttons at the bottom as well. The button on the left (with the sun on it), will give you information such as the condition, sunrise and sunset times, cloud cover, UV strength, and sunshine hour (tap on this to expand and reveal the other information). The button on the right (with the raindrop) will show you the precipitation chance.

Optionally, you can also swipe the screen left and right to navigate between these different views as well. You can also toggle Tilt Control in the settings, and you can navigate between the different screens by just slightly tilting your device.

If you switch between the views, there will be a gorgeous raindrop effect animation for the circle, which I love. It looks great and is incredibly fluid, and it transitions into the regular screen quite well.

If you pull the screen down a bit, you will reveal the five-day forecast. It’s a quick and easy way to get a glance at what the next five days will bring you. Pulling the screen further down will reveal the Settings panel (make sure the sticky thing touches “Settings”). From here, you can toggle sound, choose Celsius/Fahrenheit, select your theme (more can be unlocked), tilt control, get support, share your weather (email, message, Twitter, Facebook, or copy), rate, play intro (if you’re confused), and gift the app.

I have been really enjoying Haze so far, and it’s actually very close to being my go-to weather app, which is currently Today. However, it needs a few things before it can be perfect.

I would like to be able to save multiple locations, because currently, the app can only get the weather for your current location. This isn’t very useful if you go to other cities around you daily and need to know the weather ahead of time to plan accordingly. Also, I was confused at first at what the left side of the app was (the hours of sunlight), as it wasn’t explained at all in the tutorial. And while you can see if tomorrow is warmer or colder, you can’t see if tomorrow will bring rain or snow, which should be a no-brainer.

Having Haze on the iPad in the future would be incredibly nice as well.

Still, Haze is incredibly polished for a v1.0 app, and I can only expect greater things from it in future updates. If you want a fresh new look on the weather that brings a user-friendly experience, then I highly recommend checking out Haze. It’s also currently 66 percent off, at $0.99 in the App Store. After the introductory price, it will be $2.99, so I’d grab it while it’s cheap!

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