Weather Planet is a fairly recent addition to the weather app line-up over in the Windows Phone Store. Available for both Windows Phone 8 and 7.x devices, Weather Planet has some interesting features and a visually appealing main page.
While Weather Planet makes a snazzy first impression some may find the user interface a little cumbersome. The weather app has potential but I couldn't help but think things could be a little more fluid.
Weather Planet Main Page, Four Day Forecast and Settings
The main page for Weather Planet has a neat looking animated globe that reflects your current conditions. If it's storming, lighting and dark skies will encompass the globe. Snowing? The main page will resemble a snow globe. Scattered about the main page you'll find your current temperature, wind speed/direction, barometric pressure, night forecast with moon phase, temperature forecast and a series of button boxes.
The button boxes launches your city page, a four day forecast page, and Weather Planet's menu. You can have up to four forecast cities with Weather Planet switchable through the cities page and a set of tiles. City choices are set from this page by keyword or by using your location services.
The Weather Planet's menu gives you access to the app's feature set. This includes refreshing the weather data, access to the settings and viewing the app's about screen.
Settings include setting up your cities, choosing your temperature units, turning on/off the live tile and turning off your Windows Phone location services. Other features found on Weather Planet's menu page includes:
- A Simulation Page that cycles through all the animated graphics on the main page
- A Speak option that will generate an audible version of the current weather forecast
- Moon phase chart that covers the next seven years
- Pollen count map
- Four day forecast
- Thunderstorm tool
- Precipitation map for Germany (handy if traveling to Germany)
- Barometric pressure chart
- Ice forecast for your city
The thunderstorm tool is kinda neat. It helps you calculate the distance from a storm by measuring the time between a lightning strike and thunder clap. When you see a flash of lightning tap the Start button and when you hear the thunder tap the Stop button. The range of the storm will be displayed at the bottom of the screen. For added effect, a lightning bolt will flash on the screen and a roll of thunder will sound as you press the respective buttons.
Weather Planet Menu Page, Thunderstorm Tool and Moon Phase Chart
While Weather Planet has a nice feature set, it does lack a weather radar and weather alerts. The Live Tile will display the globe, current conditions and the forecast for the day.
Again, Weather Planet makes a nice first impression but I couldn't help but thing navigating around the app could be more fluid. Why not have a panoramic set of pages to transition between cities or the main page and menu page? As user friendly as the Metro/Modern design lends itself to be, it just seems odd that such a feature rich app like Weather Planet doesn't take advantage of it..
Still, when all is said and done Weather Planet is a nifty little weather app for your Windows Phone. The main graphic is well done, the thunderstorm tool can come in handy, and the app does present a respectable amount of weather information.
There is a free, five day trial version available for Weather Planet with the full version running $1.99. You can find Weather Planet here in the Windows Phone Store.
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