Yahoo! Weather for iPhone review - Winner of an Apple Design Award 2013
Yahoo! have been providing data for Apple's native weather apps, both iOS and desktop Dashboard, for some time now without much fanfare. Functional at best, the iPhone version particularly lacks any thrills or real customisation, which has likely fuelled the interest in third party weather apps, a growing selection of which fill the iTunes App Store. Launched in April, Yahoo! Weather for iPhone, is a vast improvement on Apple's Yahoo! powered effort, an app which combines plenty of weather junkie data with attractive views of the UK and beyond. Apple was impressed enough to award Yahoo! Weather an 'Apple Design Award 2013' at the recent Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), insisting the app: "Stands apart with its simple, uncluttered, and beautiful visual design."
Yahoo! Weather offers the usual location based reports, providing hourly forecasts over a 24 hour period along with a 10 day daily forecast. You can enter and save further locations by simply searching via 'city or ZIP code,' including national and international locations. Although it’s been consistently and wonderfully warm and sunny throughout the test period, we can confirm from friends in various locations that recent forecasts have been accurate. Yahoo! finds space for additional useful information covering precipitation, wind and pressure, along with sunrise/sunset times and interactive radar maps, which can be clicked and zoomed on, simply by scrolling down the apps interface. Scrolling left or right shows data from all your saved locations, seemingly without delay, something which is ideal for anyone who travels frequently or wants to stay in touch with hometown weather conditions when away. Overall, the app offers a good balance of information, one that will likely appeal to the majority of users, without being too slight or over stuffed with details likely only of interest to would be Meteorologists.
Yahoo! Weather uses user generated images from its own online photo management and sharing applicationflickr and something called Project Weather, to ensure information isn't as dull as the weather can often be. These sit like wallpaper behind the forecasts, although slightly softened so not to distract from all that data. Users can see the full image by simply scrolling up and then across to see images from all favourite locations. It’s a great idea, especially as each chosen image includes a link to the relevant flickr user's photostream, while the Project Weather flickr page provides details on how you can submit your own images. The only downside here, beyond the lack of Notification Center integration and lack of weather alerts, which will likely be rectified in the next update, is a small one. It appears from some users, that following a 1.1 update, the new Yahoo! icon is simply too purple. It's a minor grumble, one which shouldn't deter from what is an excellent weather app, one that is free and currently without any banner ads.
Highly rated by Apple and iTunes App Store customers, with the exception of the purple redesign, Yahoo! Weather stands out amongst the crowd thanks to accurate forecasts, good balance of information and an attractive yet simple design. The addition of flickr photos reflecting different times of the day - morning, afternoon, and night - from across the world, is both a worthy addition and distraction on days when you wouldn't want to go out unless you had to.