There’s a reason why the iPad didn’t come with Apple’s default Weather app. It was just too impractical to use the same interface (or change it) that was on the iPhone app. I mean, I never liked Apple’s default weather app, but the only reason I can think of the iPad not having it would be the awkwardness of having the same interface and UI as that on the iPhone.
Some may disagree, but nevertheless we can all agree on the fact that because of this ‘hole’, weather apps have flocked to the App Store in an attempt to fill the void. Personally, I haven’t bothered to check out any of these for the iPhone but I hear that Outside is the hottest thing right now. For the iPad however, I found Weather Station.
Developed by Nicolas Koenig, Weather Station is by far the best weather app I have seen and used on the App Store. It maintains a minimal look and feel, whilst displaying a bunch of information. First off, the app uses lovely and simple dark blue icons against a light blue background to display the weather and wind direction. You can add as many cities as you like which is a big plus for me since I love to see the weather around the world where family and friends reside. The app also displays the sunrise and sunset times which is quite useful and unique, as well as a typical 5-day weather forecast with the lowest and highest temperature.
As you can see, in portrait mode the app displays all the information for a specific city which you can change by simply tapping the cities button at the top left. In landscape, it follows the same trend as most apps on the iPad with a column view of all the cities you have added and displays the weather conditions for each one when tapped on. One intuitive feature when went unnoticed by me, is that you can change the units used for the temperature and wind speed by simply tapping the icon. It also changes the temperature for the 5-day forecast as well!
There are however, a few things I feel that could be changed. Firstly, the cities bar, when the app is viewed in portrait, is rather oddly placed. It feels misaligned and there’s not a moment when I use the app that I forget this. I’d rather it be placed slightly more left, where it’s supposed to be. Second is the italic headlines for each of the information displayed. It might just be me, but I prefer the headlines to be standard and non-italic. Finally, I’d like the cities I add to be sorted according alphabetically but this is promised in an upcoming update along with chance of iOS 4 multitasking support, chance of precipitation, 3-hourly forecasts, humidity and Spanish and Portuguese support.
So there you have it! Weather Station is a very minimalistic, yet powerful app. The developer has promised an iPhone app, but he’s currently caught up with developing Task Force for the Mac. Development of the iPhone app will begin right after New Year and once released, will be a free update for iPad users. Currently on sale at a bargain of £0.59 ($0.99), Weather Station is an app you can’t afford to miss this holiday season.