App: Yahoo Weather
Platform: iOS, Android
The preloaded weather app in iOS is pretty good, and when you just need to check the high and low for today, it gets the job done. As of iOS 8, it does give hourly forecasts for the next 24 hours, as well as a 10-day forecast. However, it still lacks more in-depth info. Most people turn to The Weather Channel app for more extensive forecasts, but I don’t like that app very much. A while back, I went looking for a new weather app. What I found was Yahoo Weather. This app is simple, has a beautiful interface, and gives good, comprehensive weather forecasts.
The Yahoo Weather app has only one main screen. Swiping left and right shows you the same screen for all your saved locations. The screen gives the current temperature, the day’s high and low forecast, and a short description of the current conditions (i.e. Partly Cloudy). In the background is a photo reflecting these conditions. What’s cool is that these photos are drawn from the Yahoo-owned Flickr, so you always get a different photo. Scrolling down on this screen shows you much more info. There are small “modules” for Forecast, Details, Precipitation, Sun & Moon, Wind & Pressure, and a satellite Map. Aside from Forecast (which remains at the top), you can drag these modules into any order by dragging on the little dots in the upper right corner of a module. This is a small feature, but it’s well thought out, and gives a nice level of personalization.
The feature of the Yahoo Weather app that I use most is the extended forecast. Yahoo Weather gives a 10-day forecast (though to see it you’ll have to click the small “10D” button in the lower left corner of the Forecast module), as well as hourly forecasts for the next 23 hours. I also like seeing the the wind speed, the time for sunset, and the radar map.
The Yahoo Weather app also has optional twice-daily forecast notifications. You can get a morning notification telling you the forecast for the day, or an evening notification giving the forecast for tomorrow (or both if you like). Both can be set to go off at any time (in 15 minute increments, that is). I know the app used to have alerts for severe weather, but it seems they removed this feature. This is a shame, since I liked having those alerts. I didn’t get too many of them; they seemed to have a higher threshold before they went off than The Weather Channel’s app did. I sort of liked this; it seemed like I got severe weather alerts all the time from The Weather Channel when nothing much was happening. In addition to these push notifications, the Yahoo Weather app also has a Notification Center Today View widget. This gives the current temperature and the high and low for today and tonight. It also has a Flickr image, similar to the main app screen. The widget is nice, but I wish it took up a little less space. It’s honestly more than twice as tall as it needs to be. I assume they did this so that they could fit in the nice picture, but I wish they’d just crop the shot and take up less space.
The forecasts seem to be accurate enough, though I can’t say that I’ve done any testing to confirm this.
All in all, I really like the Yahoo Weather app. It’s uncomplicated, looks nice, and gets the job done. My only complaint is the missing severe weather alerts I mentioned. However, I still like the app, and I use it relatively frequently. If you need a more comprehensive weather app, I definitely recommend Yahoo Weather. ••