Tuesday, August 21, 2012

App Me: The Weather Channel

One of the more popular apps on the iPad market is the one produced by The Weather Channel. While it has name recognition and branding on its side, as well as a few neat bells and whistles, it is a clunky and crash-ridden app that can be a hindrance if you are in need of more rapid weather information.

This was initially one of the first apps I downloaded in the beginning of my iPad life but quickly realized there were better options out there (like wunderground, for starters) for free apps.  It had been a while since I used this app but found a few changes since the last time I had clicked it...the only unfortunate reality is that it took three times to get the app to work.  It crashed the first two times I tried to get in...and on the third time, thinking I would need to delete it and reinstall, it finally worked...but it took a LONG time to load.

Ads are dominant on this app -- you can see the screen shot below showing two ads that dominate.  Ads are ok -- I understand they help offset the costs utilized to run something -- but they shouldn't be a dominant feature everywhere you go.  The only places you don't see ads is on the news (more on that in a bit) and video.

I don't want to sound like I'm badmouthing this app the whole time -- there are some positive functions with the app that are worth sharing.  I did like the contour temperature function -- that was a nice plus to see.  You can click on each of the purple pins to get a temperature for that location (the green pin is where you are).

The other nice feature is the video, which provides a local 60 second spot forecast for major metropolitan areas or regions around the country. You can also see some TWC features and shows on their video tab. This is a nice plus.

Last, the news function.  You can tweet and post photos that would be submitted to TWC but also read their headlines.  I don't like the "flipboard" style format that they present (I'm old school and prefer headlines and a linear format) it in...having options to change the customization of the news tab would be a nice start.

In all, it's an ok app...clunky, a bit crash-happy, but it does have some nice features.  There are worse weather options out there but it isn't geared for the hardcore weather user.