With over 2 million apps and climbing, the Apple’s AppStore is flush with Weather Apps. And we’re going to tell you which is the best weather app for iOS in 2017! This review gathers 9 of the more popular weather apps for iOS. The apps were judged based on usability, design, and information and were all updated in the last year; to exclude abandonware. Included are:


The Winner: Dark Sky

Close Second: AccuWeather

The Free Winner: Apple Weather


The Freebies

Apple Weather vs Yahoo Weather vs Weather Fine

User Interface

They all offer clean, good looking interfaces. Yahoo’s being the most attractive; it’s just nice to look at! The widget’s are comparable but we like Yahoo’s showing the evening and tomorrow’s temperatures. Apples widget gives you a few hours forecast, but we find breaking it down into evening and tomorrow makes more sense.

Where Yahoo fails however are the advertisements and product placement. Yahoo tries to sell its products through the app and it detracts from an otherwise fluid experience. We understand the app is free and beggars can’t be choosers but we can’t help but think they should offer a paid upgrade to remove ads. The others do.

Information

All three offer 10 day forecasts and ancillary info such as wind, sunrise/sunset, and precipitation. In our testing we found Apple’s app to be the most accurate of the 3. It aggregates data direct from Weather Channel and provides solid results. Weather Fine had issues with GPS locations, and Yahoo’s weather results have the occasional strike.

WeatherCube – Nice, but don’t bother

WeatherCube is a nice app who’s generous free offering makes it a possible contender. That said, it doesn’t have a widget, or use Apple’s latest APIs, and doesn’t offer a nice enough interface to make up for the lack of information.

Considering other apps offer better experiences with more information; look elsewhere.

Summary

iPhone’s built in weather app has come a long way. It offers accurate information aggregated from the Weather Channel and a clean interface; though it’s a touch too vanilla. And how after 7 years have they not offered an iPad version?

Yahoo’s app is clean, uses beautiful photos from Flickr, has snazzy animations and an iPad version, and offers enough information any normal user could want. Both offer widgets that give users a simple glance at current weather info.

Weather Fine is a decent app, however we noted issues with GPS accuracy. Out location registered 50 miles away from where we tested the app. It doesn’t offer a widget – a deal breaker for some people – and easy to implement in this day and age. The UI is clean, but has some goofy nuances.

Were it not for the ads and product placement, Yahoo would be the winner here. It’s more fun than Apple’s but…

App Pros Cons
Apple Weather Clean UI, Accurate Info Bland experience, lacking helpful information, no iPad version.
Weather Cube Interesting Concept Distracting/Outdated UI, not enough relevant info.
Yahoo! Weather Beautiful UI, Good information  Ads and product placement ruin experience.
Weather Fine  Clean UI Something feels off about it, accuracy problems, no widget.

Winner of the Freebies: Apple Weather


Free with Paid Ad Removal – Weather Channel vs. AccuWeather

Weather Channel

Weather Channels app is accurate and has a decent interface. It’s not as intuitive as AccuWeather, but offers a wealth of information including Allergy, Cold & Flu, and Outdoor Activity metrics. It has Maps, videos, and more information than most people will need (or want). All this comes at the cost of tons of advertisements and they do get in the way. That said, Weather Channel offers a 1 year subscription of ad-less information for 3.99/year. Pricy considering its less expensive competitors. We liked the Weather Channel app and its wealth of information, but given its price and user experience, we say skip this one. Another thing to note are potential privacy concerns. They don’t have the best reputation as it is, e.g. the PC app, but using the app, seeing their ad disclosure and the necessity for signing up for an account with them, make us eerie.

AccuWeather

An accurate, nice to look at, informative contender. It gives you a majority of the same information Weather Channel does, including radar, but does so with a better interface, and costs less money if you go ad-free. That said, if you don’t pay for ad removal, expect some big ads. They detract from the experience, but don’t nest their way in the interface in a way to detract you from your information. Still, it’s a superior app to Weather Channel.

Swackett Review – DON’T Download

Swackett offers a unique approach to weather. Rather than giving you metric details, it tells you what to wear based on conditions. Cool, right? Could be…

Problem is the developer has adulterated the app with gratuitous ad placement. Right off the bat I’ll tell you not to download this app. Even if you pay to remove the ads, it’s still a billboard for Ministry and Victoria Secret – you’re wasting your money to remove ads; a cheap shot by the developer. It’s AppStore reviews agree.

The UI is outdated and unpleasant. The app hasn’t kept up with Apple’s APIs and their widget goes against App Store regulations so I’m not sure how they’ve remained in the “walled garden”.

Concept aside, there is nothing good about this app. If you haven’t already, skip it!

Accuracy

Both companies have pedigree for results. Both apps tend to be accurate and with little error. You can rely on both apps to deliver solid information.

User Experience

AccuWeathers is better. It just is. The initial screen is easier to read and looks better. Its typeface isn’t hard on the eyes and intuitively tells you what you need to know. One thing we were fond of was the MinuteCast feature. It’s in their widget and the app itself. In a nutshell, rather than give you an hourly forecast and filling your screen (and head) with (maybe) useless info, it’s a simple way of telling you it will either rain, snow, or be nasty out and will tell you when it will be. E.g. It will rain in 3 hours.

App Pros Cons
Weather Channel Accurate Info, Tons of Features/Information UI is rugged, price.
AccuWeather Clean UI, lots of accurate info, MinuteCast feature. If you don’t pay for ad removal, they’re large in size.
Swackett Concept Everything else.

Winner of Category: AccuWeather


Premium App – Dark Sky

At 3.99 it’s inexpensive so far as premium apps go, and they make an iOS and Android version of the App. Its interface is easy on the eyes, and the information is accurate and digestible.

We like the cues taken from our favorite feature of AccuWeather – the “MinuteCast”. It tells you when its going to rain or snow and will let you know within a minute or several hours. Helpful so you don’t get caught in the rain as a walker, biker, or motorcyclist.


Bottom Line

If you need a simple well performing app, the stock Apple app works just fine. If you’re looking for a free app with a wealth of info, go with AccuWeather. Otherwise pay for Dark Skies. Its a damn good weather app for a decent price.

The Winner: Dark Sky

The Free Winner: Apple Weather

Close Second: AccuWeather


Encouraging Good Design

How These Apps Could Improve Themselves.

AccuWeather – There isn’t much we recommend changing in AccuWeather. It’s a smart cookie. The interface takes cues from Google’s card interface, but it’s sensical and pleasant to use.

Dark Sky – Same goes for Dark Sky. It’s easy to look at and enjoyable to use. That je ne sais quoi makes it nicer than AccuWeather. Consider adding an Allergy or Pollen meter to satisfy those who like info overload. Otherwise a great app.

Apple Weather – Consider spicing up your UI to make it more fun and interesting. Add an Evening and Tomorrow glance in your widget. 

Swackett – Do away with the advertisements and update your UI and APIs. Concentrate on your user experience rather than your ad revenue. Or do you not care?

Weather Channel – Lower your price and consider having less information in the app. Also change your typeface to something easier on the eyes and update your photos to something less distracting and nicer looking.

Yahoo Weather! – Offer an upgrade for people to remove Ads and App Product placement. Otherwise you got a good thing going on.

WeatherCube – Rework yourself from the ground up. It was novel in the earlier days of iPhone when it was first released, but there are better looking, better functioning competitors. If you stick with the Cube paradigm, add something more substantial.

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