Available for Windows 10 PC and Mobile, this free app includes a host of radar layers including HD radar and dew points, as well as your current weather conditions and an extended forecast. The app combines the visualizations of radar imagery with forecast charts to deliver a comprehensive Windows 10 weather app.
It could use a little fine-tuning, but overall Echo Weather/Radar stands out nicely in a crowded field of weather apps.
What Echo Weather/Radar is all about
Echo Weather/Radar combines the best of weather radar imagery with modest forecast information. The layout of this Windows 10 app has weather and radar tabs, a location search tool and access to the app's settings at the top of the display. Along the bottom of the display is access to your imagery layers and an animation control panel. Depending on the map layer, a button is positioned in the upper left corner of the map that is used to reveal any map layer keys.
Settings for Echo Weather/Radar include options to turn on and off location services, choose a map theme (light, dark or terrain), choose the units of measurement, choose your startup layer and turn on and off the weather app mode.
The heart of the app rests with its radar images, including:
- Weather radar layers — HD radar (U.S.), classic radar (U.S.) and international radar.
- Satellite layers — Infrared satellite and visible satellite (US).
- Specialty layers — Temperature, wind speeds, wind chill, heat index, dew point and humidity.
- Severe weather layers — Tropical, storm cells (U.S.), lightning strike density (U.S.) and weather alerts (U.S.).
These layers can help you not only see the active weather systems but also analyze patterns to plan your day.
Weather forecast information can be accessed in multiple ways. First, you can tap the weather button at the top of the map to view the forecast information for your location. You also have the option of adding locations to the map (tap and hold) that allows you access to the forecast information. Then there is the weather app mode in Echo's settings that replaces the weather button with a weather tab at the top of the display. Tap on the weather tab and you pull up the forecast data.
Forecast data includes current weather conditions, an hourly breakdown of what to expect from the weather over a 24-hour period and a seven-day extended forecast. Current conditions include temperatures, wind speed and direction, humidity, dew point, visibility and barometric pressure. Current conditions and hourly forecasts also include a chart detailing the expected temperatures and the chance of precipitation over a 12-hour period.
A contender in Windows 10's weather app lineup
Echo Weather/Radar is an impressive Windows 10 weather app. You have a host of eye-catching, quality weather apps available for Windows 10, and while Echo may not win any beauty pageants, it makes up for the lack of window dressing with the amount of content it delivers.
While it's an impressive weather app, Echo has room for improvement. First, the app needs better Live Tile support. Currently, the Live Tile for Echo only displays the current conditions for your location. The Live Tile needs customizations or in the very least a radar snapshot on the flip side of the tile. The app could also use push notifications when a severe weather alert is issued for your location.
Speaking of radar, while Echo has a boatload of map layers, the imagery needs a boost in resolution. For example, using the HD radar to track rain and storms, the radar layer is terribly blurry. You can adjust the opacity from the layer's menu but that just creates a darker blurry mess. This is not a deal-breaker but a crisper image would make it easier to distinguish levels of precipitation. As is, the reds, yellows, greens and other colors feel like a big smear.
I experienced a few instability issues while using Echo Weather/Radar that caused the app to freeze. These occurrences were not very frequent, but they required me to shut down the app and restart things to get the app working again. It's a minor inconvenience, but again not a deal-breaker.
While the app could use a little polish, overall Echo Weather/Radar is a very good option to have when you need to track the weather. The free version of the app is ad-supported with the option to upgrade to the Pro version for $1.99. The Pro version of Echo removes the ad support, allows you to enable multiple active layers on the map, and extends the hourly forecast from one to three days.
If you've tried Echo, let us know what you think in the comments. You can also head on over to this forums discussion to chat it up with the app's developer.
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