On this farm, I've learned the weather app shapes your day more than the calendar app. Outdoor work is only efficiently executed when cooperating with the elements. Weeding is best done after a thunderstorm. Mowing slopes can only be done when it hasn't rained for at least three days. On 100-degree days, heavy work has to be done in the shade. A fully-laden wheelbarrow can only travel across dry ground. And if a thunderstorm's rolling in, I know there's a chance we'll lose power, giving me some time to prepare.
Long story short, I spend a lot of time glancing at weather apps. Some of them really suck. While they all draw from the same databases, design is the differentiator.
The Accuweather app is probably the worst. Look at this typical screen grab:
You've got this powerful mini-computer and screen that could convey any color you want, yet they've gone with a monotone set-up, a tiny, minimalist font, and difficult-to-parse "flat" icons for the weather conditions. Color should be used to differentiate different weather patterns and/or temperature.
The Accuweather app also commits the sin all weather apps do, which is to prioritize the actual temperature over the perceived temperature:
What good does it do to know that it's 84 degrees out, if it actually feels like 95 degrees? At the 12pm slot, why is 84 easy to read and 95 is tiny?
And look at this stupid circular dial. You're supposed to visually go around this circle to comprehend what the next four 15-minute quadrants of weather are going to be like?
My neighbor swears by the Dark Sky app. I've tried it and find it just okay. It doesn't make good use of color. I don't like that the default setting is to list the conditions in two-hour increments, but at least the temperatures are positioned to give you a visual idea of when it rises and falls. And at least it has a "Feels-Like" button you can hit that only shows you the perceived temperatures. I wish that was the default.
The orange warnings that pop up from time to time are helpful. They're easy to spot, and anytime I see that orange, I know I have some immediate work to do: Closing windows, covering things, moving machines under roofs, warning my wife so she can shelter animals, etc. I also like the visualized graph of rainfall intensity.
I just stumbled across another app, this one called Weather Strip. It was created by Robin Stewart, a data visualization researcher, and it makes brilliant use of color, graphics and the functionality of a swipe-able screen.
Presenting the temperatures on a graph line, and having that line intersect with colored areas representing weather patterns, is brilliant. It is easy and intuitive to grasp what the "shape" of the coming day will be, weather-wise.
It gives you the perceived temperature in inverse for better visual clarity—but only for the current time. Again, I have no idea why perceived temperature is not the default.
I've only just started using Weather Strip, and haven't decided if I'll stick with it or not. The other apps are free, but this one, after the free trial, runs $3.99/year. So far it's promising.
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I've gone through multiple weather apps and am now defaulting to the Apple Weather app.
I used to like Intellicast. It forced me to upgrade to "Storm" It was related to both The Weather Underground and Intellicast, but they forced a change to "Storm Radar" by the Weather Channel.
I hear you! Why don't developers just leave a great piece of software alone? Transit.app was brilliant, until a redesign smooshed the map and the schedule into the same 'page'/screen (before you clicked to access the schedule). The effect was to cause unintended UI events whenever you try to explore the map. Maps always want to be large. Period. In over 5 years they still haven't learned this basic principle. The UI remains wonky.
The problem with software, especially software like a weather app which takes data from a third-party, is it frequently needs to be updated as the environment where it runs changes: OS updates, scripting library changes, and, of course, API changes. So, if software developers did nothing once they hit a home run with an app, eventually that app would degrade and finally fail to work properly at all due to lack of updates.
And I guess no one likes to update old software. They want to evolve it, which means redesign.
I wonder who it is who has the privilege of being the perceiver of perceived temperature? In how many spaces, inside or out, have you been where one person says "I'm cold" and another says "I'm comfortable"? That is, measured temperature seems to be the only common reference that all people can then interpret how they feel. Otherwise it is as if an opinion piece in the newspaper is perceived as fact.
I used to like Weather Underground [*], but they redesigned and turned it into a feemium GUI candy fest.
Have you tried Yr.no (Norwegian-based app)? https://apps.apple.com/jo/app/yr-no/id490989206