Weather applications have a whole App Store category even if Apple provides its own app with every iPhone. I actually like the original concept of "deck of cards" with the forecast for different cities, as I can keep an eye on the weather in locations where I travel frequently. Both iPhone and iPad have excellent apps with more information and detail for the meteorology geek, but today I'm writing about two that stand out from the crowd.
Thanks to a recent article on TUAW, I discovered Fahrenheit [iTunes Link], a simple app that dares to use app notifications to display the current temperature right on your home screen. I say dare, because as far as I know, nobody has tried this idea before and its not really the use that Apple describes for the red badge in its Human Interface Guidelines.
Living in Europe, I was surprised to see that the app wouldn't have support for the Celsius measuring units we use across the pond. For my delight, Twitter user MixedCase told me there was an app by the same company called Celsius [iTunes Link] that did just the same.
International Travel Weather Calculator, the developer behind the popular Weather+, has used a minimalist approach with this pair of apps. Its main feature: displaying the current temperature on the icon badge so you don't even need to launch the app! The simple main screen gives you a weather prediction for the next six days with maximum and minimum temperatures, pretty similar to Apple's Weather. You can tap on a day to drill down more information including wind speeds, UV index and the estimated weather forecast broken down in hours of the day.
When you launch Celsius on the iPad, you get a cloud radar animation and a temperature map for the day, which are not present on the iPhone. The app comes with extra radars with satellite, rain and wind maps that you can add as an in app purchase.
While I'm not too sure where does Fahrenheit/Celsius get their data, I just hope it is from a reliable source that also powers Weather+. Overall, a little great app that you don't even need to launch. I like the idea and I'm pretty sure it will get a precious spot on my home screen springboard in a matter of days.
My other weather pick sits on the opposite side of the spectrum. Not because its fully featured and offers tons of data, but because it's bizarre! Weather Zombie [iTunes Link] (yes, this is not a typo) is the latest app to capitalise on the Zombie trend in the App Store. We've seen everything to do with zombies, but… a weather app?
Supported by Lycos and AccuWeather.com, this free app adds some fun you your average weather report. Under the tagline "The forecast is… bbrraiinnnsss!" zombie characters will announce today's weather in an after-dead fashion. I find it absolutely pointless, but it made me laugh to see a bunch of angry clouds dropping a blood rain.
Just like Fahrenheit and Celsius, Weather Zombie also has its radar. However, the zombie dragon ate it and there's no information left (?!?) If you like this nonsense and don't mind the odd advertising banner, go and try it.