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Let me get one thing straight: The last thing that the world needs is another minimalist weather app. Honestly, take a quick look at the App Store and tell me the Weather category isn’t a little overcrowded. It used to be that weather apps were made for pretentious snobs who wanted to be able to tell their friends that the wind wasn’t just a little strong — “in fact, it’s blowing 55.3 km/hr northeast and it’s coming from the coast!” But maybe that’s overkill. Maybe minimalist weather apps have their place, because there’s something to be said for getting only the information that you need.

With that in mind, the most recent minimalist weather app to really trend the charts is Conditions. The basic idea is that Conditions only gives you the information that you need to get through your day: Temperature and, of course, current weather conditions. Can an elegant design outshine apps with more information? And more importantly, should it? (more…)

Its seems like every other week I learn about a hot new weather app that’s just launched in the App Store, and for some reason I’m always excited. But when I look at the list of weather apps I’ve purchased, I find myself asking why I even bought them. The Weather Channel — an app I review in June 2012 — provides a lot of information, but often more than I need on a daily basis. Dark Sky is an app I’ll use for its unique radar map, but only during times of inclement weather. Solar is a beautiful app and I love the hourly report feature, but unlike The Weather Channel it offers too little information.

The hot new weather app right now is Haze, which, according to the App Store description, is built on the premise of providing a “radiantly crafted forecast at a glance.” So of course I had to buy it immediately and take it for a spin, so to speak. After spending a few days using it as my No. 1 source for weather information, I’m ready to share my thoughts. (more…)

Check The Weather is one of those rare apps that gets a lot of attention for outdoing Apple at their own game. These are apps like iA Writer — apps that are minimalist but focused, and excel at the things they do.

Check The Weather fits those criteria. Not only is it a great way to do what the app’s title suggests, but it’s also managed to replace the stock Weather app on my iPhone. For me, this is the first time one app has ever wholly replaced any of the stock Apple apps. Let’s find out why Check The Weather is the only weather app worth your hard-earned cash. (more…)

Let’s not beat around the bush here: The default weather app on your iPhone is — in a word — crap. It gives you a pathetic hourly forecast for the next few hours (which I only discovered how to access recently) and a pretty vague forecast for the next few days, and that’s about it. As a Brit, I want to know exactly what the weather is doing as it dictates pretty much everything I do, what I wear, how I am going to live my life for the next couple of days and so on (OK, the last one was made up, but you get the picture).

You’ll be glad to know that there are plenty of alternatives to the default Weather app so I’ve gone to the trouble of trawling through the App Store and picked out the 10 best for you. Here they are. (more…)

Living where I do, we have two seasons: summer and slightly less summer. Still, I like to be prepared for the two weeks a year it gets cold enough to put on a coat and ear muffs, while the rest of the country calls us pansies and says it’s only “sweater weather.” My foul weather preparations include not one but three weather apps, and that’s on top of the iOS default.

I’ve got to have one for radar and all that fancy stuff, and because I live in New Orleans, I also need a hurricane weather app. My third app is always something that can give me a quick glance at the weather right now, while looking a lot better than the other two. That’s where the good looking Solar : Weather comes in — but is it all beauty and no brains? (more…)

The App Store does not have a shortage of weather apps. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of good weather apps in the App Store. It is also apparent that weather apps go through trends. First there were the expected apps from The Weather Channel and AccuWeather. These apps provide a one-stop shop and a lot of detail, but will include ads and usually will have usability problems. Next, powerful radar apps starting to make more of an appearance. Now it seems the minimal weather app is making the trend through the App Store with the release of Kelvin and others.

One app that bucked the trend of how apps are developed is Dark Sky, which started out as a KickStarter project. The developers presented their idea and met their funding goal to finish the app and bring their idea to completion. The developers also decided to only focus on one aspect for their weather app: precipitation. Sound interesting? Read on to find out if DarkSky can help keep you dry. (more…)

When it comes down to the weather, everyone has a different opinion. What is perfectly relaxing to one person is tropical heat to another or chilly to the next.

Weather apps for the iPhone don’t usually mix emotional interpretations with factual data, but swackett X is different. It’s not just about giving you the facts, it’s about making it fun. After the break, we’ll take a look at how well this approach works. (more…)

When it comes to checking the weather on your iPhone, there are way too many solutions. You can use something like Wunderground to get the most accurate reports, or Weather 2x, a less precise and more beautiful alternative. Then there’s the boring old app that comes with your iPhone. It has a rather stale design and doesn’t offer many details, but that’s mainly because it’s taking a minimal approach to things.

Nubilous and WTHR are two minimal, but beautiful weather apps. Is one better than the other, though? Let’s find out. (more…)

The Weather Channel first launched in May, 1982 and since has become one of the most prominent sources (if not the most) of weather news. Nowadays, The Weather Channel has become more than just a cable network, providing consumers with multiple methods of weather news, including browser plugins, desktop widgets and even SMS text updates. So when the App Store was first introduced in July, 2008 The Weather Channel app was released four months later to eager iPhone users.

Since its release, The Weather Channel app has maintained a three and a half star rating from nearly 350,000 ratings, which is respectable considering most apps from big name companies usually do not fare well in that system (e.g. Facebook and Twitter). Recently, version 5.0 was released, offering “the first major redesign since [The Weather Channel’s] initial launch in 2008.” So does the redesign mean an approved user experience? Let us find out after the jump. (more…)

Congratulations and welcome to the club — you’re now the proud owner of a new iPhone. And right after your figure out how to add your contacts, make phone calls, set up your email and send text messages, you’re going to wonder, “Which apps should I download?”

That’s where I come in. I’m here to save you from embarrassment. That’s right, because all your already-have-an-iPhone friends are going to bombard you with “Haven’t you downloaded that app yet?” until you’re fully dialed in. So here are 50 common yet useful and well-known apps to get you started covering many of the bases you’ll likely use your iPhone for: social networking, entertainment, news, productivity and more. And the best part? They’re all free.

Click through to take a look at your starter kit. (more…)

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