Price: Both are $2.49
Weather is one of the 19 categories of apps that cover the 80,000 apps currently available (slight fudging of numbers, www.apptism.com claims it’s tracking 79,962 apps today). This category covers apps showing nothing more than photographs of bolts of lightning to the hyper-specific Adelaide Winds (made for sailors, wind and kite surfers) to the humorous Haircaster the #1 hair app for the iPhone (hint: it’s a hair-focused weather app).
The top two weather apps on the Australian iTunes store are Oz Weather and Pocket Weather. These two are the weather man/girl for your iPhone.
The iPhone comes with a weather app that’s powered by Yahoo – ‘Shouldn’t that be good enough?’ you may be wondering. Kinda, but not so much. I use it as my world weather app, but locally it fails for lack of detail and it doesn’t correspond to the data supplied by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), our local standard.
The local apps draw their data from the BoM (which also has its own radar app), so they gel with forecasts we see and hear elsewhere. This isn’t the case with Yahoo!.
Oz Weather and Pocket Weather are excellent apps with the following features:
- Frequent updates
- Current temperature plus max and mins
- UV index
- Dew Point
- Sunrise and Sunset
Choosing between these apps is largely a matter for personal taste. Those who appreciate good design may favour Pocket Weather, which offers four different themes, animated icons and a landscape view. Oz Weather offers more detailed weather forecasts. For example, for each Australian city they offer six screens covering different locations within the metropolitan area.
A weather app to a smart phone is what a calculator is to a regular mobile phone. But not all are created equal. For $2.49 you get a great app and the warm feeling of supporting and Australian developer.
Michelle Matthews is the founder of the Melbourne-based publishing company Deck of Secrets. In November 2008, the company launched its first iPhone app – DRINK. Melbourne. It now offers 10 apps, with more on the way. Michelle’s iPhone has all 11 app screens filled, with dozens more in iTunes.