Weather HD: Or Pleasant Skies HD (iPhone App)

Weather HD is a very attractive weather App for the iPad. It is so very picturesque that it may replace the photo slide show that I sometimes use while my iPad charges over night. The App has a very nice feel to it, and it contains moving pictures that are very soothing to look at. The App also contains quite a bit more than the native iPhone Weather App does, which is very nice, and the whole app itself is very user friendly. It also has a few nice features that some other weather Apps have not bothered with, which is a shame for sure. Let’s get the short list stared, yeah?

First up; GUI! I love me a good GUI, that goes without saying, but this one is a beauty. When you first install the App and run it for the first time you are treated to a wonderful background with a pop-up element that allows you to edit what City, or how many cities, you want to have weather for. With just a tap of the familiar plus sign, you get a nice little search bar to type in either your city name or zip-code. You can also turn on Location Settings and have it auto-add your current location. Isn’t that nice? Tap one button and it knows where you are, even if you don’t. Once you have added all the cities you are likely to ever visit, or have interest in, and click done, you are booted into the really stunning part of the app. It goes from the top of your list down, just so you know up front, and once it loads the current weather it shows a stunning high resolution picture of what’s happening now. True the picture isn’t local, but who cares, the pictures are pretty. The App tells you the current conditions (i.e. Clear, stormy, light chance of rain, etc.), along with the current temp. It also tells you under that what the expected highs and lows are, the humidity level, and what the wind is up to. Sadly it doesn’t cry Mary. One tap of the show forecast button, and an element pops up showing the options available. Now, and the next seven days. It also has a button on the far left of the new element for “show 3-hourly”. This enables you to see the forecast for what happens in three hour cycles, (i.e. 11:00 pm, 2:00 am, 5:00 am, etc). This option doesn’t seem to be set at your current time plus three, but rather at a set interval which could be helpful for those who get up at say 5:00am and need to be at work or school by say 8:00am. It provides a quick look here. The time/day, the temp, and a picture indicator of what the weather will look like is all that is present, but that is not all. Each little block is a button, in point of fact. With another tap you can look into the future and get all the info, and pretty pictures, that you can get with your current weather conditions. With a swipe of your finger in the main area above, you can easily switch from city to city, station to station, and get both the current conditions as well as the local forecast for that city.

I think the GUI paragraph here almost says enough about the graphics, but I’ll go on and toot their horn just a little more. Each of the little animations I have seen are very stunning. They are almost inspiring in fact. Bold colors, moving scenery, the clouds blowing across the imaginary sky, all add up to a very visually pleasing App. The graphics of the GUI itself are very clean and understated. They are not flashy or full of gimmicks. They are minimalistic in nature, allowing for a nice view of the animations themselves. I have only had time to test it at night so far, and I’m very impressed so far. The iTunes page for it shows some previews of different seasonal weather conditions like snow in winter, and even though I’m not a big fan of old man winter, the pictures they show of it are striking to my eyes. I would like winter just a little bit more, perhaps, if winter looked as gorgeous as this App makes it look.

I mentioned the features that some Apps have neglected above, but I’d like to take a moment here and point out what those are in specific. First up is the 3 hour cycle forecast. Most Apps just ignore that we might really wanna know when that big snow storm is slated to hit us, or what the weather will be like when Suzie is about to go to school and when she gets home. This App, along with only a few others, has helpfully added this feature for our benefit. Another good feature is multiple cities. Some apps do this, but they do it in a very piss poor method. This App does it very well and makes it easy to switch back and forth. One other thing that not many, if any, other App have added is they changing pictures that offer very crisp and clear ideas of what the weather outside would look like tomorrow, or next week. Also, having all the information spelled out in english, and not in some confusing iconic or pictographic language that no one can guess what anything means at first blush, is very nice.

I give this App a perfect score. I can’t say enough about how gorgeous it is, and the low-low price of $.99 is hard to beat. Also, a recent update just added iPhone and iPod-Touch support. So, now you can take this beautiful App with you wherever you go, even if your iPad is still at home charging.

App receives a 10/10 rating – App is rated on a ten point scale.

Weather HD: Or Pleasant Skies HD
An iPad App Review By Jesse Hayges

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