If you search the keyword "weather" over at the Windows Phone Marketplace it will yield you about one hundred results. Everything from Accuweather to Nude Beach Weather, the choices cover a lot of territory. But which one is the best?
You've got Windows Phone weather apps that will deliver the basics such as your current conditions and an extended forecast. You also have weather apps that will throw radar imagery, videos, and more weather stats into the mix. Then there are non-weather apps that have weather features.
After taking a look at a handful of the weather apps on the Marketplace, we've rounded up the ones that stood out. After the break, found out which weather apps we think should find their way to your Windows Phone.
Some Windows Phone users simply want to know what the current conditions are and what the next few days will bring. These weather apps present users with the basic information to help you decide whether or not to bring an umbrella or that heavy coat. These apps provide information ranging from specific data (wind, humidity, dew point, etc.) or by icons (sun, clouds, rain, etc.)
*Note: Title Links send you to the Marketplace via Zune.
WeatherDuck is a free worldwide weather forecast application that delivers the basics to your Windows Phone. WeatherDuck provides you with current conditions that includes a condition/forecast icon, temperature, wind speed/direction and rainfall predictions. WeatherDuck also includes a ten day forecast broken down by morning, day, evening and night weather predictions.
WeatherDuck has Live Tile support that mimics your Windows Phone theme color and displays an icon reflecting current weather conditions, the temperature and your forecast City.
Weather4me (here's our review) is a free weather app that pulls its information from Accuweather.com. The multi-page app provides:
- Your Current Weather conditions including temp, real feel temp (what it really feels like outside), humidity, pressure, dew point, wind, UV levels, clouds and visibility.
- Forecast information for the current date, broken down by Day and Evening forecasts.
- Five day forecast showing day and evening forecast and temps.
Forecast locations can be set by specific city or pulled up by your Windows Phone location. Weather4me has Live Tile support that will display your location city, forecast icon, and current temp/real feel temp.
Weather Live (Free w/Ads, $.99 w/out ads)
Weather Live is a simple, no-frills, one screen, weather app that provides current conditions that includes a forecast icon, temperature, wind information and humidity level. Weather Live also provides a three day forecast that provides a weather icon and forecast temperatures.
Weather Live does have Live Tile support that gives you a current conditions icon and temp. You can determine the frequency of the Live Tile updates in the settings (daily, twice a day, four times a day or hourly). The Live Tile will also follow your location to provide the current conditions as you travel about. Weather information can be pulled from either your Windows Phone location or by specific city (supports world wide locations).
NOTE: For reasons explained here, Weather Live has been pulled from the Marketplace. We found it to be a nice, simple weather app and hopefully it will return shortly.
Forecast ($1.99 w/free trial)
Forecast is a deceptively simple, yet informative weather app. Forecast provides your current conditions that includes your temp, "feels like" temp, wind direction/speed, rain levels, humidity, pressure, and dew point. Forecast will also let you break down the current and next day forecast by the hour.
Forecast also provides forecast pages for tomorrow and ten days, each broken down by six hour increments. Settings can be set manually with Forecast supporting seven million locations world wide or you can simply use your Windows Phone's current location.
Forecast does have Live Tile support that will display your location, current conditions icon, temperature and wind information. Forecast's Live Tile will also "follow you", much like Weather Live, to provide your current conditions at a glance.
Now for the big three. These apps rank 1,2,and 3 in the Marketplace and have more comprehensive weather forecasts, videos, integrated radar, and other bells and whistles than the basic apps. It wouldn't surprise me if a tiny little weatherman didn't appear to walk you through the forecast.
Accuweather.com provides weather information to several apps available on the Marketplace but Accuweather for Windows Phones (here's our video walk through) is the companies "official" weather app.
Accuweather provides your current conditions that includes the temp, Real Feel temp (what it feels like outside), wind direction/speed, humidity, visibility, UV index, pressure, and sunrise/sunset times. Additionally, if there are any weather alerts a red exclamation mark will appear that will link to the details of the alert.
From there you have pages for a ten day forecast, hourly forecast for the current day, weather radar (uses Bing Maps), and a "more" page that provides a Lifestyle forecast, weather videos, access to your settings and locations. Accuweather will support up to seven locations plus your Windows Phone location. The Lifestyle forecast is a nice feature that gives you a rating for various activities and health concerns such as bicycling, stargazing, asthma conditions, etc.
Accuweather does have Live Tile support that places your forecast city's temperature on you Home Page. Should a weather alert be issued, that red exclamation mark will also show up on the Live Tile.
The Weather Channel (Free)
The name says it all. The official Windows Phone app for The Weather Channel allows you to take your weather information on the go. From the main page you will find current conditions that includes a weather icon for the current conditions, temperature, a "feels like" temperature, wind speed/direction, Humidity, UV Index, Dew Point, and sunrise/sunset times.
The Weather Channel app also includes pages for a five day forecast (with details), radar map (provided by Bing and has multiple layers), a Menu page and your locations page. The Menu page includes links to the forecast details, a severe weather center, weather maps, weather videos, social connections where you can email or post to Facebook the current forecast, and the apps settings. If you pull up the forecast details you will have access to an hourly forecast, 36 hour forecast and 10 day forecast.
The Severe Weather Center provides you with information on a National scale, any tropical systems as well as local storm watches. While you do have weather alerts noted on the main page and Live Tile, having a dedicated severe weather section is a nice touch.
The Weather Channel supports multiple locations (no telling what the limit is) that can be searched by keyword or zip code. You also have the GPS icon that will set your forecast location to your Windows Phone location.
The Weather Channel app does have a Live Tile that will display your forecast city, a current conditions icon and the current temperature. Should a weather alert be issued for your area, an alert symbol will appear as well.
Weatherbug is an ad-supported, free weather app for your Windows Phone that is a carry over from the Windows Mobile days. The Windows Phone version presents you with current weather information and observations that include the current temperature, heat index, highs/lows for the day, precipitation amounts, humidity levels, wind speed/direction, sunrise/sunset times, and pressure levels. From the current weather information or "Now" page you also can see an abbreviated five day forecast.
Weatherbug also offers a seven day forecast that can be broken down hourly or a detailed summary, nine weather map layers for Bing Maps (includes animated weather radar), weather cameras, weather videos and pollen forecasts.
Weatherbug supports unlimited U.S. locations but lacks the ability to key in on your Windows Phone location. There is an alert for weather advisories that appears on the "Now" (main) screen and Live Tile. Speaking of which, the Live Tile displays your forecast city, current conditions icon and current temp.
There are handful of Windows Phone apps out there that feature weather information that stand out in their own rights. These range from news apps that have a healthy weather section to radar apps that bring you current weather systems headed your way.
For those with Windows Phones by HTC, you have a pre-installed weather option in the HTC Hub. Designed after the Windows Mobile Sense UI, the weather page of the Hub is graphically animated cool, provides your current conditions, supports multiple locations and displays a four day forecast.
While USA Today is better known as a news app, it has a decent weather section (information provided by Accuweather) that pulls in the current conditions for your location that includes a current conditions icon, current temperature, the feels like temp, wind speed and direction and the precipitation. The weather section of USA Today also provides a five day forecast, various weather maps and supports multiple locations.
If all you need is weather radar, RAD Now! and MyRadar are two good choices.
RAD Now! is a free app that provides animated radar with support for hybrid and road maps. You have the ability to set the opacity levels and frame rates of the radar. RAD Now has a gps button to center the map on your current location and the map is touch navigable. Oh and did we mention Rad Now! was recently updated?
MyRadar is another no-frills weather radar app for your Windows Phone. As with Rad Now!, MyRadar supports hybrid and road maps and is always animated. You can center the map on your location or navigate the map by touch. Another nice feature of MyRadar is a temperature overlay that will show temps in the major cities in the U.S.
RAD Now! is a free app while MyRadar has a free, ad-supported version and a paid, ad-free version (MyRadar Pro) that runs $1.99.
Wrapping it all up
While Accuweather, The Weather Channel and Weatherbug may be the big three, the other apps can hold their weight as well. These apps fill particular niches. For example, if all you need is the basic weather conditions Weather Live is a good choice and has a nice Live Tile. Forecast is another favorite of ours and has the ability to follow your travels, updating the weather conditions as you go.
So with so many weather apps on the Marketplace, we've only scratched the surface. These apps do stand out but what did we miss? Did your favorite weather app make the round up? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments section or send us a tip.
Post Script: We've been contacted by the developer of Weatherman. An interesting weather app with customizable Live Tiles. We didn't have time to look at the app in enough time for the roundup but we are putting it through the works and will have a review posted shortly.