Weather App Battle: Reviews of the top iPhone weather apps.

On October 6, 2010

It’s always helpful to check the weather for your area for a variety of reasons, but why be confined to having to be at your TV or computer to see it? Luckily there are plenty of apps that will let you check the weather at any time from anywhere, and we’ve reviewed a few of them for you below.

WeatherEye (free)

WeatherEye is an easy to use weather app with a simple but attractive interface that gets the job done. When viewing the current weather you are given all the information you need, including the temperature, the “feels like” temperature, humidity, and wind. You are also give plenty of other information like the time of sunrise and sunset, visibility, pressure, and ceiling. The short and long term forecast also show plenty of information. WeatherEye also has an hourly forecast with just the temperature and conditions, as well as precipitation and cloud cover maps. All this is great to have, but it would be nice to have the option to update the information whenever you want. Instead it automatically updates everything hourly, which isn’t always frequently enough.

WeatherBug (free)

The first thing you notice upon using this app is bland interface, which isn’t too enjoyable to look at. When looking at current conditions, you are given the temperature, heat index, humidity, wind, rain, and dew point, which should be plenty of information for most people. You are also shown the forecast for the next day, but only the temperature, right underneath. The 7-day forecast does not provide as much info as WeatherEye does, but does give the temperature and a short description of the conditions, while its hourly forecast provides the heat index, humidity, and chance of precipitation in addition to the temperature. You are also given National Weather Service alerts, can view maps with many different layer options, watch videos, view a camera for your current location, and save up to 10 favorite locations. Weatherbug updates its information much more frequently and you can give it a shake to update the app to the most current info at any time.

WeatherBug Elite ($0.99)

This app looks exactly the same as the free version, but has some additional features. In addition to what WeatherBug does, WeatherBug Elite allows unlimited favorite locations, provides extra map layer options, removes all ads, and allows for cached weather data to allow you to check weather when offline.

The Weather Channel (free)

Just like WeatherEye, The Weather Channel also has a nice interface and provides plenty of information. While looking at current conditions, you are given the current and “feels like” temperatures, wind, humidity, UV index, dew point, visiblity, and sunrise and sunset. The hourly forecast provides not only temperature but also the chance of precipitation as well as wind, while the 36 hour forecast gives a short description of the expected weather for tonight, tomorrow, and tomorrow night. The 10 day forecast simply shows the high and low temperatures and the chance of precipitation. You can view a map with many different layer options, and you are given sever weather alerts for your locations. The video is a nice way to view the current weather and the forecast for the following day, as well as a 5 day forecast. Hurricane information is also provided as well as road cameras for certain location. Another similarity to WeatherEye is the lack of a button allowing you to update the information at any time. Instead you must wait for it to update itself.

The Weather Channel Max ($3.99)

Considering this version of the Weather Channel app costs $3.99, you would think it has a lot of improvements over the free version. Surprisingly, this is not the case. The first thing you’ll notice is that while the free version of the app has a crystal clear, high-quality icon, this one is blurry and out of focus. While some may argue that the interface may be a bit nicer or cleaner, there certainly is no big improvement there either. However, there still are some improvements and new features. All ads are removed from this version, you have some more map features, and there is a beach and boat forecast. Another addition is that you are given many different videos instead of only a video for your local region, including a national forecast, travel forecast, and multiple international forecasts.

World Weather ($0.99)

As soon as you open up this app you will notice its simple, elegant, and streamlined interface. This is the best looking interface of all the weather apps with great background animations, and while it would be nice to see support for retina display, the app still looks stunning. On the main screen, all that is displayed is the current temperature, high and low temperatures for the day, wind speed, time, and when it was last updated. Tapping the area where all of this is displayed will show you more information, including the humidity, pressure, dew point, sunrise and sunset, visibility, and even the moon phase, but there is no “feels like” temperature unfortunately. Scrolling sideways on the main screen will bring you to other locations you have added, and rotating into landscape mode gives you a 6-day forecast. This forecast shows the high and low temperatures and the conditions outside. One great feature is the ability to update the weather information at any time by giving the device a shake, and you can even set it to auto-update at certain time intervals. Unlike all the other apps up to this point, this app does not have any sort of maps, no hourly forecast, and no videos. These may be important to some people, and this app is not for them. If you do not need those features, which many people, myself included, do not use, then this app is perfect for you, as it looks beautiful and is simple to use.

Weather HD ($0.99)

Just like World Weather, Weather HD is a more basic app that lacks features such as maps and videos. Weather HD has a nice looking, simple interface with good-looking background animations and is easy to navigate. The current temperature, high and low temperature, humidity, chance of rain, and wind are shown near the bottom, and again like World Weather, this also does not give you the “feels like” temperature. Underneath the current weather is the forecast for the upcoming week, and it displays the high and low temperatures for each day. There is also the option to hide the forecast, and to show the hourly forecast instead, which shows the estimated temperature at each hour. One complaint is that the entire bottom portion where the weather is displayed can be a little hard to read sometimes. This is because the text is a bit to small which can make it a bit inconvenient to find what you need right away.