Winter has finally come to New York. We are getting dumped on.
Tree branches are coming down and cars are sitting under inches of slush and snow in the driveways. I’m kind of enjoying it.
For too long have I waited for optimal ski conditions this winter. Mother Nature has given me only a few cold windy days without any real precipitation the past two months. Kind of a boring winter.
Today however she is a cruel mistress.
Snow would be fine and all, but when it is as dense and slushy as today, it makes traveling dangerous.
The conditions are so dangerous that I cannot risk driving to go skiing…at least today that is. How about tomorrow?
Cue the AccuWeather app.
AccuWeather is a free/paid app available to just about every platform you can think of.
The two most polished versions are developed for Android and iOS. With the market share that these two mobile platforms have you can see why AccuWeather put more effort in to them.
You can also find it for Windows Phone. Its design follows the guidelines set by Microsoft and is pretty smooth. However, it seems poorly organized. Most of the content is in the form of a scrolling list that takes up about only half of the screen.
There is one feature that AccuWeather on Windows Phone has that Android and iOS lack. It is called, “lifestyle” and it gives you recommendations on activities for the day. For instance today it says that the “Lawn Mowing Forecast” is poor, but “Ski Weather Forecast” is excellent. I cannot imagine why. I really wish this was available on Android and iOS.
In-app advertisements are at the top of the screen for Windows Phone and at the bottom for Android and iOS. You have the option to buy the AccuWeather Platinum version for $3.99 to remove the ads. I did and I feel like it could have been a bit cheaper.
Now on to the weather!
Most apps honored for Tappday have a common theme: simplicity. I am a huge advocate of simple and elegant apps that still give you a good amount of data.
AccuWeather’s app follows this pattern.
When you first open the app on Android you are met with a lovely home page that has just enough information on it. It does not feel “threatening” by any stretch of the imagination.
There are three cards on the home page labeled CURRENT, MINUTECAST, and LOOKING AHEAD. For about 99% of users this seems like the most relevant information that you would ever need. Clicking on these cards will open up a new window and provide you with more forecast predictions.
My absolute favorite feature for forecast predictions is the MINUTECAST scroller.
Sliding the dot around the circle will tell you exactly when precipitation is expected at that time. It is really neat.
My least favorite thing about the AccuWeather app is that the app is not designed consistently across Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. They have the same information, but it seems like it is all over the place.
I will be honest, I think they did a better overall job with the Android version than the iOS version because it feels a lot more intuitive. For example, you have to “X-out” of the radar map at the bottom on iOS to scroll back to the top. On Android you just swipe left or right between the clearly labeled tabs.
For both Android and iOS though you should be able to pick which tabs you would like to see. I would hide the videos tab on iOS because it kind of gets in the way.
The last feature I would like to talk about is the widget exclusive to Android. They recently added a dark version and I love it. It is very easy to read and only comes in a 1×4 layout. I think a 2×4 offering would be very welcoming.
I have come to 100% trust AccuWeather’s RealFeel® because it always gives a pretty good indication of what the outside temperature feels like adding in the wind, precipitation, and other factors.
Speaking of RealFeel it is supposed to feel like 27 degrees Fahrenheit tomorrow along with a forecast of only about 0.3 inches of snow. It would seem that I may be going skiing. With the push notifications over the next 12 hours I will always stay updated.
Overall I’m pretty satisfied with the AccuWeather app. It has a very modern design and does not exhaust you with too much information. I use it as my daily weather app along with Google Now.
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Winter has finally come to New York. We are getting dumped on. Tree branches are...