If you've been reading my blog for a bit, you know I'm a sucker for thoughtfully designed iOS applications - especially weather apps. As creative as Apple is, they lack any kind of oomph! when it comes to creating and designing a weather app for their own phone. Fortunately, every once in a while, an app will catch my eye and I'll enjoy it enough to share it with you.
At the top of my list these days is Fresh Air. Put simply, Fair Weather delivers an experience quite far above the norm for an application of this caliber. Launch it and after entering in your information, you'll be greeted with one of the most beautiful weather screens I have ever seen in my life.
At first glance, you'll notice all the core weather information is there: current temperature, high/low temp, location, and weekly seven-day forecast. What you may not notice however, is the widget next to the current temperature display. Tap it, and you'll be able to cycle through a barometer displaying humidity, cloud cover and precipitation percentages. Likewise, tapping the current temperature will cycle through wind speed and Feels Like temperatures.
One of the things that makes Fair Weather awesome is the ability to check on future weather with a flick of your finger. Let's say you want to know how the temperature will really feel to you when you go outside on your lunch break. You may also know it's going to rain today, but you're not quite sure when, and you don't want to lug your umbrella with you if you don't have to. Simply drag the graph at the bottom over to the 12pm timeframe and the display will update with a forecast for that timeframe. Not only will the temperature update, but all the other metrics too, so you can gauge if the wind might pick up, or if the humidity will increase. Perhaps you find that it's going to rain after all with a humidity index of over 90%. You might just decide to order takeout instead.
Another awesome feature is the ability for Fair Weather to greet you in the morning with an overall indication of how the day's weather might pan out. On your lock screen, you'll find a summary of what you might expect to find the day looking like.
The app was recently updated to include functionality for the Apple Watch. If you're one of the lucky ones to have your's in hand already (or on-wrist, as it were), you can check out some of the screenshots here as I am not in that minority right now.
However, the most killer of features in Fresh Air - and what makes this app different from every other weather app - is how it is able to deliver personal weather reports relevant to your schedule. Perhaps you take the train to work, or you schedule a 2 mile run every morning. If you have that information in the Calendar app, you can easily see what the weather on your morning commute will look like.
I find this feature particularly useful, since I'm an avid golfer who plays just about every weekend in the spring, summer and autumn. At a glance, I can check what the weather will be doing during the time I'm scheduled to play and prepare for any adverse conditions expected along the way. With a quick tap, I can even tell the app to remind me of the weather conditions before a particular calendar event as soon as 2 days prior.
I find Fresh Air to be incredibly powerful, feature-rich application, which was designed with the user experience in mind from the ground up. Data points are available without the data itself and the user interface falling all over each other. The features provided are entirely too useful for me to not have this on my iPhone as my go-to weather application.
The application itself is free from the iOS App Store, however, there is a premium upgrade for $2.99 which will grant you the ability to add more than one city, and enable the calendar feature which allows you to view weather for your calendar events.
In short, Fresh Air is a breath of fresh air.