InstaWeather Pro for iPhone review - the social side of getting wet, soaking up the sun
InstaWeather Pro for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch promises to be something distinctly different from your typical weather related app. "This is not another boring weather forecast app," the Szczecin, Poland based developers byss mobile note as part of the iTunes Preview. Indeed it isn't, offering the ability to take a photo, or choose one from your camera roll, then overlay it with a choice of skins highlighting local weather conditions and more. It's a novel idea, one that has seen the app enjoy top spot in the weather category in the iTunes App Store in numerous countries. The standard collection of skins accommodate most images, with the option to move some skins from top to bottom and vice versa.
Each skin displays information on temperature (Celsius or Fahrenheit) and location without giving your address away, listing Hackney for instance, along with air pressure, temperature, rain, wind power and direction depending on the choice of skins. If you do want to reveal your location, users can turn on location information supplied by Facebook and Foursquare. Some skins are more detailed then others and additionally, a choice of alternative skins are grouped under Atmosphere, Rainbow, Forecast and Weather TV. These include a seven day forecast, which while potentially informative, rather obscures your photo despite a measure of transparency.
Those photos complete with skins can be shared via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, email and text or simply saved to camera roll. Each photo is saved twice, a high resolution photo taken with the app, along with a low resolution image complete with skin overlay. As for selecting a suitable skin, there are many to choose from, currently over 30 with more promised, so can take some time, though we like the idea of taking a recent image from your camera roll and using that, which means that special moment isn't lost. Overall, we liked the quality of skins, which is reflected in the number of fun, attractive and creative images we found on Instagram using the InstaWeather Pro and InstaWeather hashtag.
On the downside, we've found the weather readings, supplied by Weather Underground, to be unreliable at times, showing temperatures that appear a few degrees out compared to other apps with data supplied by Yahoo!, The Weather Channel and MeteoGroup, along with online resources. It's an issue noted by some user reviews on the iTunes App Store, one that frustrates considering that Weather Underground bills itself as the: "Internet's first ever weather site" and comes with a solid reputation for accuracy. This of course will likely matter less if you simply want to record a moment in time, to share online with friends and followers. Those who do get hooked might be interested to know that the developers offer apps dedicated to sharing your current location – InstaPlace, and for sharing meals out - InstaFood PRO.
InstaWeather Pro is a fun, attractive and creative way of sharing your local weather conditions with the world without revealing your actual specific location, especially via Instagram. However, we are less impressed with the actual weather reports, which appear inconsistent when compared to other apps and readings. It's an issue we hope the developers, or the suppliers of that data in Weather Underground, can soon resolve.