Lately, I've been hearing about a lot of good weather applications for iOS. I decided to take some time and review four of these apps, either out of suggestion or mention to me, or just out of plain ol' curiosity.
For weather app nerds, Fahrenheit fits the bill perfectly. This app has everything just a glance away. Upon first launching the app, you'll notice that it shows a six-day forecast. To get detailed - and I mean detailed - weather data, simply tap the current day in the list. Down pops a pane with data on high and low temperature numbers, wind speed and direction, precipitation humidity, barometric pressure, sunrise, sunset, real feel, dew point, UV index and mini-forecasts in three-hour increments. As if that weren't enough, Fahrenheit will even display the current temperature as a badge notification in the icon on the home screen. Other related features include detailed radar images of regional weather, temperature, precipitation, wind and satellite imagery, with the ability to share weather information on either Twitter or Facebook.
Despite all this detailed information, I didn't much care for Fahrenheit. For one thing, there is no way to refresh the information from within the app. The only way to refresh the information (that I found) was to enter the application again from the home screen - not a very intuitive method. Secondly, there is no option to change the temperature to Celsius. You have to actually purchase a separate application (called Celcius) to change the scale. This seems like more work for the developers - twice as much code to maintain, update and support. Last, I felt it gave me a little too much information to me. I'm a pretty simple guy when it comes to weather apps on my iPhone and I prefer the basics: temperature, a short forecast for the day and week and weather or not I should bring an umbrella along on my daily adventure outside the house.
If you're a weather nerd or you just have a severe case of OCD and you just have to know every little detail about the weather, then Fahrenheit is the app for your iPhone.
**Pros**: Twitter/Facebook integration, notification badge displays temperature without entering the app.
**Cons**: Information overload for users with an ADHD complex, no swipe-to-refresh method (have to restart app).
**Compatibility**: iPhone only.
###Weather Dial ([David Elgena](http://wthr.co), $0.99)###
Wrapped up in a pretty little package is Weather Dial (formerly WTHR). I've been eyeing this app for some time - since before its name change and I've only recently had the opportunity to try it out. Weather Dial brings a lot to the table through the use of [skeuomorphism](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeuomorph) and Dieter Rams' [10 principles of design](https://www.vitsoe.com/gb/about/good-design).
The first thing you notice when you launch the app is, well, the weather dial. In keeping with a simplistic theme, it gives you one piece of information: the current weather condition. Just below the dial, you'll see the description of the dial with the current temperature reading based on your location, as determined by your phone's GPS.
The subtle details can be seen from the clean design of the weather icons in the dial down to the glow of the indicators on the dark theme. This app isn't light on features: Weather Dial lets you choose from two themes (day/night/auto), temperature scales (C/F), and sounds (on/off), with a flick up of your thumb on your screen. Tap the 7-day forecast at the bottom of your screen to reveal weather forecasts in three-hour increments for the day in addition to the times of sunrise and sunset.
Weather Dial is a solid app for those weather geeks who enjoy an app with clean, functional (not necessarily minimalist) design. It was a major contender in my list and made it to the number three spot.
**Pros**: Clean interface, functional design, WYSIWYG interface.
**Cons**: Doesn't allow for multiple locations.
**Compatibility**: iPhone only.
###Haze ([Robocat](http://gethaze.com), $0.99)###
We all suffer from some sort of information overload with applications like weather or stocks. Haze is one of those apps that aims to simplify matters when it comes to the what it's like outside. From its minimalist design to it's zen-like sound effects, Haze presents the information that matters to you most: temperature, chance of precipitation and sunshine.
If you need a little more detail on any of those three categories, simply tap on the icon in the middle of the screen to open up the extended info view. For example, tapping the temperature bubble will get you other, smaller bubbles with information such as high and low temperatures for the day, what it actually feels like outside, wind speed and direction (powered by the iPhones gyroscope). Tapping the hour indicator on the sunshine pane will get you times for sunrise and sunset and UV factor, among other things.
Swiping down once from the top of the application will display the 5-day forecast of information depending on which pane you're on. Swipe down again to access the application's settings. To refresh the information on the screen, you can swipe up from the bottom of the app.
All together, Haze puts together quite a nice package for weather information on the go. If you're a jet setter, always off to new destinations, you might want to keep Haze handy on your iPhone. The only drawbacks I've found were that the swipe-to-update feature was a bit backward (most of my apps have a swipe down to refresh, Haze reverses this behavior) and the overly-sensitive accelerometer for switching between panes (easily disabled in the in-app settings panel). Fortunately these two issues are not a complete deal breaker and make Haze my number two pick for weather app on the iPhone.
**Pros**: minimalist UX, settings are a swipe away, first-launch tutorial that isn't annoying.
**Cons**: Overly sensitive accelerometer usage for switching between information screens, oddly integrated swipe-up to refresh, inability to add more than one location at a time.
**Compatibility**: iPhone only.
###Sun ([Jakob Henner](http://pattern.dk/sun), free)###
For those as discerning as I when it comes to minimalism in a utility app, rejoice in Sun. Developed by Dane Jakob Henner, Sun is a *web* app and not a native iOS app. However, you wouldn't notice it one bit. Relying heavily on the touch gestures of swipe, tap and pinch, Sun gives you a no-nonsense view of the weather that's quick and painless to use. In-app settings are one tap away and give you a lot of flexibility. Sun goes beyond the usual C/F settings and offers you multiple locations to add, wind speed measurements (M/s, kmh or mph) and 9 color themes to choose from - just enough options to give the app personality without making it a beast to manage.
Remember those touch gestures I mentioned? Those are the subtle-yet-powerful secret to making this app so special. From a city pane, simply pinch to zoom out and display all the cities you have set up in the app on your screen, giving a quick at-a-glance realtime overview of each location.
From an individual city pane, simply tap to pull up a detailed chart of high/low temperature logs. Tap again on any of the data points in the chart to get the high or low temperature for a given day in a seven-day window and the time it was logged. Towards the bottom of this window is a nine-day forecast. Tap again on a particular day and have it show you projections in three-hour increments for weather conditions, temperature and wind speed.
One last subtle feature is that the icon displayed on your home screen is a live icon. Forget a badge notification, this beautiful addition to your home screen shows you the temperature of your location (based on GPS) and the color of the icon changes depending on which color theme you've chosen from within the app's settings. Subtly stunning.
Above all others, I use this app myself and it does exactly what I need a weather app to do: give my the information I need quickly without the UI getting in the way. For this, Sun makes my number one spot.
Pros: Intuitive use of touch gestures, app icon updates with temperature, minimalist, powerful but subtle.
Cons: Weekly view date is in European (day/month) format.
Compatibility: iPhone and iPad