I am a sucker for a well-designed and functional weather app. After having tried dozens of weather apps, I managed to stay faithful to Forecast.io. It’s a wonderful, web-app with a great user interface. However, earlier this week, Yahoo released a new weather app that happens to be fantastic. I wasn’t expecting much since anytime you think Yahoo, the last thing that comes to mind is “great” user interface and usability. That has of course changed since the new Flickr app was released, and with this new weather app, we should begin paying attention to Yahoo.
The first thing you notice right away, is how awful the app icon is. I get that purple is Yahoo’s brand color, but they could have done a better job at this. However, when you open the app, the awful taste of the icon disappears when you begin to see the gorgeous photo that shows up with a brief description of the temperature, and weather conditions. It is absolutely stunning! But what’s even better is their approach behind the app.
Project weather is what Yahoo calls their approach to the weather app. Every photo that is showcased on the app comes from Flickr members who have taken photos under different weather conditions in places around the world. At first, I was a bit concerned that Yahoo would take my photos and post them without permission, but after doing some research, I learned that this feature is available for those who choose to participate. If you do, you can add your photography to the Project Weather group. Each of the photos you share can be showcased with your Flickr screen name and link to the photo within Flickr, giving your photography and account global exposure.
This is such a wonderful approach. In the short time I’ve had the app, I’ve seen photos of New York City under overcast conditions with some beautiful shots of my city. If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine what a weather picture of your town, in the conditions of the weather looks like on the app? Simply amazing!
But Yahoo! Weather is more than a pretty photo with weather. When you scroll down you can see forecast details for the rest of the day and week. Scroll down more and you can see details and a summary of the weather. Keep scrolling and you’ll see a map, precipitation information, wind & pressure and sun and moon details. All this information is presented beautifully with white icons and great animation. I am really surprised at how beautiful the app really is. You can add multiple cities to the app and check their weather by swiping from right to left. Each with its own beautiful picture and weather condition. When you turn your iPhone to landscape mode, you’ll see the full photo in all its glory and the weather condition in small text. To see the photo on Flickr, you simply tap the name of the person who took the photo on the lower right corner.
The only fault I saw in the app is the radar information on the map. Sometimes it showed the conditions and it suddenly disappeared. I’m pretty certain that this can be fixed with an update.
Yahoo! Weather is gorgeous. It’s also a very well designed and powerful app. Add to that the powerful and beautiful images from Flickr, and you start to appreciate the innovation behind it.