NOAA Hi-Def Radar

By Daniel Rubino
December 15, 2014

For day five of our 12 Days of Hidden Gems, we are briefly moving away from connected devices to some useful apps. Even better, the two apps we are highlighting today are universal available on Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone, bringing a unified experience to your multiple devices.

Today's Hidden Gems are NOAA Hi-Def Radar and Hilton HHonors!

NOAA Hi-Def Radar

Weather apps are a dime a dozen these days, but what is harder to find are official radar apps. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a US Federal scientific agency focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere as well as alerting and tracking dangerous storms.

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NOAA Hi-Def Radar is the official app for NOAA for those in the US, bringing highly-detailed radar and weather reports right to your Windows Phone or Surface. The unique features of NOAA Hi-Def radar include:

  • Automatically augments land-based radar images with latest images from NOAA satellites covering the Atlantic/Pacific oceans into one single screen. This lets you track and follow the upcoming hurricanes and storms all from the same map.
  • Control the loop speed, and also choose the interval between individual frames from 5 minutes all the way to 1 hr, and also change the number of frames shown in the animation.
  • Easily bookmark multiple locations so you can do a quick radar + forecast check for all your important places in just a few seconds.
  • Choose between Radar layer for rain or Cloud Coverage layer.
  • Check the current weather + forecast for any point on the map

Overall, NOAA Hi-Def Radar for Windows and Windows Phone are a great pair of apps for those who need some serious weather forecasting power. If you live near the coasts where hurricanes can be an issue or interior where tornados or heavy snowfall occur, having direct NOAA weather and radar at your fingertips is highly useful.

NOAA Hi-Def Radar runs for $1.99, and it is not free. However, that cost includes both versions of the app for Windows and Windows Phone. Buy once works everywhere. Considering a cup of coffee often runs you more than two bucks, if you need a solid radar app, NOAA Hi-Def Radar fits the bill.

QR: NOAA Hi-Def Radar

Hilton HHonors

Hilton HHonors

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When planning a trip or if already on one, worthy hotel apps are always a necessity (we hear Hotel Tonight is good for finding rates). You may not know it, but Hilton HHonors has an official app for Windows and Windows Phone. Even better is the fact that both apps are highly rated by users with a 4+ (out of 5) average rating.

The Hilton apps are easily some of the nicest built apps for Windows and Windows Phone, with an exquisite design and fluid animations plus excellent features.

The Hilton HHonors apps let you login to your HHonors account (if you have one, or join if you do not), book a hotel, find existing reservation, discover offers and locate hotels around you. Interestingly, a new update just rolled a few days ago that lets you pick your room number and location using Hilton's interactive floor maps. The last feature is an interesting twist on getting that perfect room for your trip.

The best part of the Hilton HHonors apps is that these are not just ports or clumsily put together website wrappers. You can easily tell that the Windows 8.1 version was designed for touch and devices like the Surface, whereas the Windows Phone version is laid out differently to match the smaller screen. With maps integration, excellent graphics, and a clean design, these apps standout as an exemplars for the Windows/Windows Phone design esthetic.

Because of the care in design and quality level of these apps, we are happy to highlight them here and let you know about them. Hopefully, you can give them a shot and find a use for Hilton HHonors!

Win a $500 Hilton gift card in the 4th day of Hidden Gems!

We are continuing on with our 12 Days of Hidden Gems series this week. First we focused on the emerging world of IoT (the Internet of Things) with fitness accessories that work well with Windows Phone and Windows 8.,1 and then took a look at the connected home. You can catch up on the articles to date on our Hidden Gems page.

Day 5 brings us to a couple of great apps for travel, Hilton Hotels and NOAA Weather. Combine them and you have a powerful set of tools for planning any adventure that might come your way.

Enter to Win 1 of 2 $500 Hilton gift cards

There are two ways to enter the sweepstakes, and both need to be completed using the widget to the right/above. Full terms and conditions can be found here.

First chance to win: Log in to Windows Central and leave a quality comment on this very article (just scroll down). Are you planning a big getaway? Let us know in the comments how you'd use a $500 Hilton Hotel gift card.

Second chance to win: Use the widget to tweet out the phrase of the day. Today's tweet should look like this: Unwrap the 5th #HiddenGemsApp for a chance to win a $500 Hilton gift card #sponsored #sweeps http://is.gd/NFEwyk . Remember to use the widget to send the tweet, otherwise you haven't entered.

Once you've entered by leaving a comment or tweeting (or both!), you can refer your friends and earn up to ten additional entries when they enter. That's a total of 12 entries into the sweepstakes! The sweepstakes runs through the end of the year, and the winners will be announced in January. Good luck everyone!

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