Wednesday, August 15, 2012

App Me: NBC 10's New App

I talked about a couple of great apps already -- wunderground, radar scope, but the locals are now getting into the weather app business.  Fox 29 debuted a weather app several months ago (through a partnership with Weather Trends International) and NBC 10 recently debuted its own weather app for the iPad, Droid, and iPhone.  29's app is not free, NBC 10's is...for now, we'll look at 10's since I didn't have to shell out anything for it and I already have familiarity with it because of another app that's out there.

In terms of weather apps, this isn't anything "new" -- WSI (which created this app) has had this app out on the market for a couple of years now through Intellicast (which it owns).  It's slowly been branded in local markets around the country since then, now making its way into the Philadelphia area through Channel 10.  Knowing that it isn't anything brand news and that it merely is a local brand of another weather app, I thought I would highlight the differences between what WSI did for Intellicast and what it does locally.

First, both apps will have forecasts (NBC 10 defaults to Philadelphia, Intellicast defaults to Boston) that show a ten day chart of what will happen -- it's a nice can get a chart that shows what is projected graphically, chart-wise, and in text format.  Both forecasts were pretty similar the time I flipped between the two on Sunday.

The map grid defaults on both to radar.  You can change this by clicking on the icons to flip over to satellite if you want...and clicking map settings will allow you to change the location of what satellite you want to use.  Just like anything Droid or Apple, you can swipe around with your fingers and move the map accordingly.

The radar is nice but nothing overly special -- it does what it needs to do and both WSI apps share the same setup here.

So what are the differences?  NBC 10's app provides some functionality to submit weather photos that you have taken, view video forecasts, and get updated on news.  This is different than Intellicast, which has a blog with national news and information (see below for an example of this).  Intellicast also has a "skytime" function that allows the banner to reflect the cloud cover (or lack thereof) in your location.

In the end, NBC 10's new app is isn't great from a stability standpoint as it crashed my iPad three times within a 30 minute window...but for local media it does provide a pretty decent app at no cost.