I had a ton of questions come in after researching the iPhone weather apps, none more frequent than people wanting to know what I thought about iPad apps. I left them out for many of the reasons that Marco lists here. I was turned on to one app from a follower on Twitter called: Seasonality Go for the iPad. It costs $9.99 and it is just a weather app. Here’s what I downloaded, installed and tried before Seasonality Go (along with a one-line review of sorts):
- Fahrenheit: Like the iPhone version, only bigger.
- Weather HD: Nice if all you do is rest your iPad in a stand and look at it like it is art.
- Weather+: No thanks, same as the iPhone version.
- The Weather Channel: Hideous, but again useful.
- Weather Forecast: Oh god this is ugly.
- AccuWeather: The layout is just confusing, as is the “tab-switching” interface they made. Very non-standard.
- Pocket Weather: Portrait only… on the iPad. Doesn’t come close to making use of the iPad screen size.
- WunderMap: Not my cup of tea, but at least they tried to do something different.
- The Weather: They still insist on shoving data that could all fit on one screen on to others. Even in the custom view things are tiny and that ghost view of the next tab is just stupid. Stupid.
- WeatherStation Pro: I have always been a fan of how this app looks, but I never use it. Not sure why, I guess to me all the information feels static and not dynamic — this is a personal thing, nothing against the app itself.
- Easy-Weather: The colors are gross, the current temp is in a silly spot and hard to see.
- My Weather: When I reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Tab, I noted how many apps looked stretched to fill the screen. I get the same feeling with this app, it’s just really, really bad.
- WeatherBug: Why exactly do we need the map to cover up 3/4 of the screen? How often do you open a weather app with the first thing you want to see being the doppler?
- Weather Pro HD: Nice graphs, but blue overload.
- SimplWeather: Well, it is simple, but I would hardly call 48° “pretty cold” — chilly, yes but not cold.
So that’s what I tried and tested out. I was so dismayed that I finally went back to the app that cost an arm and leg, thinking that at the very least I could be accurate with my conclusion: “all iPad weather apps suck balls”. Luckily for me Seasonality Go turned out to be a very strong offering.
Let’s get one thing straight from the get go: that icon needs some serious help.1
When I launched the app I thought: “damn that was a waste of money.” I flipped through the different pages you could add, but was dismayed by the lack of the perfect view. Then I hit the settings pane and noticed an ‘Edit Layout’ button. Oh boy, everything changed.
Turns out that each pane can be moved around and resized. You use pinch-zoom gestures to resize it and you can get a really sweet layout. This still doesn’t address all of my complaints, but it does come closer than any other app that I have tried.
Here’s what the default view looks like for me:
That’s very good, but not great. I like that the current conditions are the focal point, but there are some odd things going on. Why is the temp so small? The dew point is just as large and that seems wrong. Why are the arrows for the wind indicator cut off? That seems terrible. Still though, I get most of the info I want in a fairly scannable format.
Then you get the two graphs, the largest of which is scrolling and shows me how the temperature will be trending. The neatest part? You can pinch and zoom on the graph to see it by day, or down to hours and minutes — fantastic. Same with the wind speed graph, which is not completely necessary, but I found it fun to keep on the screen.
Last pane is the forecast, which is a bit odd. You get the daytime, then night positioned below that in a new column, then a new day — that is not really standard and takes a bit of getting used too. What that layout does do is gives you easy way to scroll with a flick and see if you are getting clouds or sun during the day — I do like that. So while it takes some getting used to, there is a clear benefit to presenting the data in such a way — you can scan the data quickly to see what will happen during the day versus night, once you get used to the formatting.
Overall this is not a perfect app, it is not even great — it is very good and better than any other weather app I tried by a long shot. At $9.99 though? That’s tough to pull the trigger on.
You already knew I wouldn’t like it though. ↩