Good Weather: Great Forecasts Just About Anywhere

I check the weather constantly, and I prefer the app I use to look nice. If I have to be constantly peeking into something ugly, I’m going to stop peeking. That’s how I end up in a rainstorm without my umbrella or wearing three cardigans in blistering sun. Apparently, “the sky looks cold” lacks accuracy, and I really need help finding a good weather app.

Speaking of good weather apps, Good Weather looks great, stores multiple locations, has built-in minigames and comes with more whimsy than you could shake a very whimsical stick at. But how does it hold up as a weather app? Let’s try it out!

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How’s the Weather Up There?

Good Weather will find you wherever you are and serve up your current weather, complete with a modern graphic to give you an idea of what it’s like outside. You’ll also get some information about the current conditions, including wind speed and chance of rain. Tap the current temperature to get the five-day forecast, with highs and lows and conditions. Search for more locations by tapping the icon in the upper right. You can search by U.S. ZIP code or city name. Not wanting to be America-centric, I tried a couple of Canadian postal codes, and those seemed to work out fine, so punch in what you’ve got but remember that your mileage may vary.

It's cloudy, but my weather still looks good.

It’s cloudy, but my weather still looks good.

If you take a look below the search field, you’ll see some places that might look familiar. Yeah, Good Weather has pre-programmed in Neverland from the Peter Pan books, Oz from The Wizard of Oz, and Winterfell from Game of Thrones. You can get the weather for all of them. I just sort of accepted it and would periodically check the weather in Winterfell — winter is coming but it hasn’t arrived, yet — but the report never really changes. Then I got a wild hair and did a search for Narnia; sure enough, Good Weather will give you the weather in Narnia, and unlike the other fictional locations, Narnia’s weather isn’t static. (Unless there’s a real place called Narnia, but I’ve done some pretty extensive Googling that seems to rule this out.)

I'm pretty good at weather games; they even gave me a rainbow.

I’m pretty good at weather games; they even gave me a rainbow.

So you’ve got your weather, and that’s great. Now you can go about your day, right? But why would you do that when there are fun weather games to play? That’s right, besides telling you the weather in an attractive way, like a really banging weather app should and giving your weather reports for lots of made up places, Good Weather is also a game. Each set of weather conditions gets you a different game, so you can get really good on the Oz and Neverland games, since the conditions there never change. If you want to master all the weather conditions though, you’ll have to be alert and hop into Good Weather before the sun comes out.

Too Hot to Handle

You can see all of the weather games on your high scores board, so you can be on the lookout for the weather conditions you’ve missed. Chances are, though, you’re living in a place that won’t see every weather pattern Good Weather has imagined. I live in New Orleans, where we have sun, a lot of sun, rain and a lot of rain. Sometimes it’s cooler than other times, but it’s hard for people who aren’t from here to call our winters cold. I’ll likely never open up all the games in Good Weather.

Search for more cities and check your top scores.

Search for more cities and check your top scores.

Sure, I can globetrot, looking up the weather conditions for other cities so I can get their cool weather games. That just feels like cheating, though. There are really only three types of game anyway, you’re just playing them with different sorts of weather formations. What Good Weather is really missing is similarly fictitious weather to go with all of its fictitious locations. It doesn’t look like I can open up a “rain of toads” or a “raining cats and dogs” minigame. That’s a real shame too, because Good Weather is so much more than a weather app; I wish they’d bring even more of the whimsy of the weather reports into the games.

A Place With No Weather

If you’re waiting for the other shoe — rain boot — to drop on this adorable app, here it is. It got my weather wrong! And not by a little. It was off by 30 degrees, and whether Celsius or Fahrenheit, that’s a long ways off the mark. I just couldn’t believe it, but I verified it in the app, by searching surrounding locations and my ZIP code, and by checking a couple of weather websites.

Okay, so it couldn't tell me my own weather, but I know what it's like on the Death Star.

Okay, so it couldn’t tell me my own weather, but I know what it’s like on the Death Star.

I can’t really account for the huge error, but I can’t ignore it either. I poked around the developer’s website and tried to figure out where they were pulling their weather data from, but if that information was there, I couldn’t find it. It’s important to note that I got the bad weather forecast when Good Weather pulled my current location; when I did a location search, all seemed well. This may be a problem with Good Weather getting confused about where I was, though it had the name of my neighborhood down pat and all of my apps that depend on Location Services were working fine.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to say that a hugely wrong weather forecast was a minor hiccup for a weather app, but everything else about Good Weather was so charming, I’m almost willing to overlook that snafu. In fact, because it gave me a forecast that was so far removed from reality, it actually helped me identify that there was something wrong and get a good report. So there’s that, at least.

Plus I can get the weather for Vulcan and the Death Star, so at the end of the day, I’m almost okay with Good Weather telling me whatever it wants. I said almost, because I’m not quite there, and the saving grace for Good Weather, besides the adorable minigames and awesome made-up worlds, is that it seemed to be pretty much spot on everywhere I checked that was real. And I can get the weather for Camelot, so that’s pretty cool.


Summary

This is such a fun weather app, with great minigames and make believe places. For the most part, it's accurate, too.

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