Android users have an overwhelming number of choices when it comes to weather apps. But when it comes to usability and depth of information, nothing beats Weatherbug.
- Current weather conditions, hourly and detailed seven-day forecast
- Real-time severe weather alerts
- Animated radar and satellite with multiple layers
- Lifestyle and health forecasts that include conditions for golf, outdoor nature, aches and pains, or allergies
- Live weather cams to see the weather in any area
- No ads (Elite version only)
Weatherbug presents all the information you need in an easy-to-read layout. The home page has lots of information about the current conditions (focusing on the stuff you actually want to know), as well as the day’s forecast and a quick look at the next few days. You can tap on any of the items for more detail, then tap on them again for an hourly forecast.
The strip along the bottom takes you to the more detailed sections, including the week-long forecast, the super-customisable radar map, lifestyle information, and even a weather camera.
WeatherBug’s main issue is its speed. The app feels a little slow when you try to navigate through it; tapping on an item in the navigation bar takes a second or so to “register” and switch to the screen you want. Once you load the information for the first time, it becomes a little faster, but there is a persistent feeling of sluggishness. However, it organises its information better than any other app, so we’re willing to put up with a little bit of lag.
Of course, WeatherBug isn’t the only weather app on Android. WeatherBug is an app that provides lots of information, but if you want something a bit more minimalist, Eye In Sky Weather is our pick. Eye In Sky has one of the cleanest, most easy-to-read interfaces around, and it’s super customisable when it comes to icons and widgets (in fact, it’s a staple in our weekly featured home screens). Honestly, it’s a pretty tough call between Eye In Sky and WeatherBug. If you don’t need things like the moving radar, lifestyle info and other advanced features, Eye In Sky is what you should download.
Most of the other apps are similar to WeatherBug, with very minor differences. AccuWeather isfaster than Weatherbug, but it sacrifices readability in the name of looking “cool” with its giant icons and colourful layout. It does have video forecasts though, which is a nice feature.
The Weather Channel app gives you all the information you need too, but it wastes a lot of space. It has a top bar that the other apps don’t have, as well as a second tab bar where you can choose your type of forecast. It seems OK at first, but you eventually get annoyed with how much screen real estate is taken up unnecessarily.
These are far from the only apps in the Play Store, but they are the most popular and the best of the bunch. If you use something else, be sure to mention it in the comments below.
Lifehacker’s App Directory is a growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools in a number of given categories.