[App Fridays] Over 10M users have downloaded this weather app that acts as a daily, pocket-sized geography lesson
Weather apps are among the most downloaded in the world. In fact, their increasing popularity has given rise to security concerns, with a few researchers claiming that Chinese weather apps are compromising user data.
But, that is another story for another day.
Most smartphones today come preloaded with weather apps. However, that doesn’t limit users from installing the weather app(s) of their choice. There’s also Google Assistant that integrates daily weather updates on the user’s Google Feed. Users can even choose from a dime-a-dozen weather widgets on both Android and iOS and add to their phone’s home screen.
Weather & Radar is one such app that brings you hourly/daily/weekly/fortnightly forecasts, alerts on approaching severe weather events (like thunderstorms, cyclones, snowfall, heavy rainfall, etc.), global live weather radar maps (particularly helpful for avid travellers), air quality index, coastal water temperatures (useful if you live near the sea), sunrise/sunset timings, etc.
Now that the southwest monsoon is upon us, Weather & Radar will also let you track its progress, see where a cyclonic circulation has occurred, and when a burst is likely to hit your location. This, in turn, will help you take safety precautions and plan/skip the day’s activities and events accordingly.
The app also has a thunderstorm tracker that lets you observe individual lightning strikes on an animated weather map. It even indicates the strength and direction of winds.
Weather & Radar has over 10 million downloads on Google Play Store, and is rated 4.5 out of 5. It is a free app, but you can pay to remove ads. A subscription costs Rs 50 (monthly) and Rs 350 (annual) in India, and comes with a 14-day free trial.
Let’s take a closer look at it.
After installing the app, you have to set your location. Weather & Radar does not require logins of any kind, but the app does collect your location data. You can either give the app location access or enter any location manually.
You can add/edit/delete multiple locations on the app. Hit the search icon on top of the screen to choose a location.
The homepage displays the real-time weather of your chosen location. Hourly temperature, AQI, humidity level, air pressure, wind speed and direction, and rainfall amount are shown.
As you scroll down, you see a live rainfall map and a weekly weather forecast.
Click on the rainfall map to expand it. An animated satellite map of your region will provide a rain forecast for the next 15 minutes to one hour.
Hit ‘back’ to return to the homepage. Scroll further down, and you come across a section on weather news and a 14-day forecast.
Click on any headline to read the story. This section isn’t regularly updated though. The last news that appeared on our feed was from June 2 (10 days old).
If you want to skip scrolling on the homepage, the sidebar menu will take you to specific sections of the app.
You can access the Settings tab, and set up alerts and notifications.
There is also an in-app camera that lets you click weather-related pictures from your location and upload it to Weather & Radar’s library for editorial use.
And lastly, you can opt for a subscription for a clean, ad-free experience.
No-frills app for live weather enthusiasts
If you’re obsessed with the weather - and there are many of us who are - and want to know more than just the day’s temperature, Weather & Radar is for you.
With huge advancements in satellite imaging, location mapping, and data processing technology (that helps collate Doppler radar data and display it on your screen in real-time), getting accurate weather information is easy now. Hence, the abundance of weather apps.
Most of these apps perform similar functions. But, what separates the best from the rest is the depth of information and the quality of user experience they provide. And, Weather & Radar scores on both fronts.
It is a clean, no-frills, and highly engaging app that takes up less than 15MB on your device. You can also add it as a widget on your home screen.
The ads are an irritant, of course, especially because most users wouldn’t want to pay for something as commonplace as a weather app. But if you do, Weather & Radar is a delight and a daily geography lesson in your pocket!