Most iPhone users like to keep track of their local weather. With the introduction of Notification Center in iOS 5, some people were happy with the new forecast features that were available natively in the OS. But geeks wanted more. There are a slew of weather apps on the App Store, and finding good ones can be difficult. There’s so much that can hurt the usefulness of a weather app, from bad APIs to an over-crowded or complicated interface. Something as simple as your local weather can quickly turn into a headache. I’ve often switched back-and-forth between most of the popular apps over the years, and finally decided that I needed to find one I liked and stick with it.
For some time now I’ve been using Weathersnitch from the guys at Snitchware as my main source for weather information. Version 1.0 was a nice simple default-style app, but had limited functionality. Version 2 brought a revamped interface and tons of detail oriented features to find out what your forecast looked like. The biggest issue with v2.0 was there was often some inaccuracy, which for a weather app can make it rather useless. I’ve been able to beta test Weathersnitch 2.1 over the past few months, and I’m happy to report that the development team have brought a ton of great improvements to the app, including much more accurate forecast information.
While testing, I often checked the stock Apple Weather app and compared it to the data in Weathersnitch. Virtually every time both apps displayed the same information, which put me at ease that I could rely on Weathersnitch to give me what I needed. After Apple added Siri to iOS, some would say that the native iPhone weather features integrated in Siri and Notification Center are adequate, but for geeks like me granular information is key, and we’ll take as much as we can get. Weathersnitch 2.1 delivers in a big way. With 2.1, Snitchware has again introduced some significant UI changes, hand-drawn weather artwork, and added a ton of new features, all of which greatly enhance the application.
Month at a glance.
The month view has been in Weathersnitch since the beginning, but starting in version 2.1 you get much more accurate information with a nice HUD-style popup with the high and low for the day. This popup can be dragged to another day to get the information for that day as well. The ability to glance at a monthly forecast is a great tool for planning trips or other activities. You also now have the ability to swipe the UI to view the moon phases for the month. I can’t say this is useful for me personally, but it’s a nice touch.
How’s my week look?
The week view is handy for quickly checking what your week looks like. New in 2.1 is the ability to scroll down and dismiss the current weather at the bottom of the screen to get a better view of the weeks ahead. You can look as far forward as two weeks down the road, and I have to add that I matched this data against The Weather Channel, and they were very close. Again, it’s a great feeling knowing you’re getting accurate data from your trusted weather app. Also much like in the month view, you can get moon phases by tapping the moon icon while in the week view.
What’s the weather like today?
The default daily view gives you a nice overview of the day’s weather. You can see what it’s like currently, and also what it will be like a few hours from now. You are also presented with wind and precipitation information. The hourly bar (on top) is horizontally scrollable, so you can see days into the future and plan accordingly. The detail bar (on the bottom) when scrolled will take you to the next location, provided you have multiple locations stored in the app preferences.
New in 2.1 is the text forecast. While in day view, you can scroll the middle-section to the right or left to see a new text forecast. This gives you a concise description of the day’s weather. It’s a nice touch and I found myself using it quite a bit. Swiping to the right gives you a daytime forecast, and swiping to the left gives you the outlook for the evening. You can also swipe the section up and down for additional information.
Let’s take it fullscreen.
My favorite new feature of Weathersnitch 2.1 by far is the brand new double-tap fulscreen UI. From anywhere in the app, in any view, you can double-tap to bring up a quick 12-hour forecast. Everything else is pushed out of view and you’re given a very simple look at what’s coming up. You can swipe down for hourly details. This is where the hand-drawn art really shines.
Overall, Weathersnitch 2.1 is a huge improvement. It’s packs far more punch than your average app point release. The developers have left no stone unturned when it comes to forecast information and have even localized the app in 13 languages. Some would say it’s information overload, but I think it’s perfect because it covers all bases. Along with the other new features and an all new icon, you can now share your weather with friends on Facebook and Twitter. The only downside to Weathersnitch 2.1 is its size. It weighs in at a little over 100 mb. This is due to the highly custom crafted UI. Outside of that, Weathersnitch 2.1 is a pretty fantastic app which I recommend trying out. I’ve stayed in close contact with the developers, and they promise quicker updates in the future. Like I said before, 2.1 feels much more like a 2.5 or 3.0 release. This is definitely something you’ll want to check out. Weathersnitch 2.1 will be available on the App Store on June 18th for $2.99, but you can grab the current version for $0.99 until the 18th and get 2.1 as a free update.