Hey Internet, are you tired of reading about iOS weather apps? Well, too bad. I spent a long time trying to decide on what weather app I should use. What do I want? Forecasts? Style? For a long time I just stuck to the notification center weather widget but I've finally made up my mind... kind of. If you're willing to spend a bit more money on weather apps than you usually would, there exists a holy trinity of applications that have literally solved all my weather needs.
The first two weather apps on my phone are Dark Sky ($3.99) and Weather On (Free, $1.99 full version unlock). These two apps are unlike any other on my phone because they exist almost entirely for push notifications. I've only really spent any time in these apps configuring settings. However, they both serve very unique functions. Weather On provides me with a push notification every morning at 6:00am predicting the day's weather and temperature. On the other hand, Dark Sky takes a more immediate approach and tries to give you 10 minutes of warning when it's about to begin raining or snowing. The first is simply a fantastic and simple way to get your forecast in the morning. Most smart device power users (myself included), have developed a habit of starting the morning by scanning their phones, Twitter, email, missed messages, ect. Weather On makes the day's forecast another accessible part of that morning routine. As for Dark Sky, nothing reminds you that we're living in the future more than your phone predicting the weather moments before it happens. Dark Sky uses a very recognizable notification sound. I get a smile on my face every time I hear this sound briefly play over my music, take my work inside, and watch the bottom fall out of the sky moments later. As for interface these two apps are... not great. Dark Sky has a sleek UI but does little other than what it already does through push. Weather On sports a tile based UI that feels incredibly cluttered and unintuitive. It's almost never clear what information you're seeing and accessing different parts of the app feels clunky. Neither of these apps excel when you try to use them. This brings me to my third weather app...
Haze ($1.99) is the app I use when I want to use the app. It is beautiful, intuitive, and powerful. If you only end up considering one of these apps, this is my favorite. Upon opening, Haze appears almost simple to a fault. But a single circle tells you everything you need to know. Swiping left or right will change the information displayed between sun levels, temperature, and rain. The color of the background gives you a moment's glance idea of the information (red = hot, blue = cold, ect). The direction the animated background moves provides a simple forecast. For example, if the background flows upward on the temperature screen, then it will probably get hotter. Tapping once on the screen expands the information, providing information like the time the sun will rise, the highs and lows of the temperature, and the speed of the wind. This is all contextually based on what screen you've swiped to. Finally, a quick swipe down will pull down a forecast bar that will give you an idea of what to expect for the rest of the week. Again, based on the context of the screen. This app is a joy to use on the go because there isn't one function you can't do with a quick gesture. You can even turn on tilt controls if you don't want to touch the screen at all. Oh hey! As an added bonus, there are unlockable color schemes similar to those in the to do list app, Clear.
So that's it. Those are my three weather apps. Sure, it may seem a bit pricey But hey, if you're as geeky about iOS as I am you may already own one or two of them. And if not, $8 is a pretty good price for a set of apps that is this all-encompassing. I'll always be on the lookout for something better but for now, my weather needs are satisfied completely.
Written by Samuel Strickland