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Unlike the iPhone, the iPad does not ship with a stock weather app. This is actually a good thing. The App Store has many weather apps to choose from. Some are even better than Apple’s weather app. Let’s take a look at the best free weather apps for the iPad.
AccuWeather is the most popular weather app in the App Store, by far. With over 7,000 reviews, the app has a solid four-and-a-half star rating. The rave reviews are well-deserved. While it isn’t the best looking weather app, it is aesthetically appealing. The sliding hourly forecast is innovative and a pleasure to use. This UI control also allows the user to scroll through the data presented in the tabbed display.
AccuWeather features a 15-day forecast. This trumps every other weather app, however, extended forecasts are typically inaccurate. The app also features maps with doppler radar, so you can see where it’s raining and snowing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer an animated visual forecast of precipitation. The animation simply shows the last hour of weather conditions on the map, which is not very useful.
AccuWeather also features news, video forecasts, and social networking options. These additional features make for a very rich user experience. The app has a banner ad at the top of the screen, but does not bombard the user with pop-ups. Overall, this is one of the better weather apps in the App Store.
With an almost-five-star rating and thousands of reviews, Weather+ is the second most popular weather app in the App Store. It’s a fairly good app, but seems to value style over substance. The weather information is accurate, but not detailed. Unlike other weather apps, you only get a 5-day forecast. Instead of an hourly forecast, the details are presented at three-hour intervals. There’s no maps or radar provided.
Some may appreciate the style of this app. I think it looks like an HTC smart phone from 2010. The flip-clock just doesn’t work for me. They clearly put a lot of work into the UI. The animations are detailed and the graphics are professional. The skeuomorphism of the flip-clock is just a turn off for me. The graphics are a bit ostentatious. The app seems over-designed, particularly when compared to the overall look of iOS 7.
Weather+ is loaded with ads. I don’t mind the passive banner ads at the bottom, but this app has pop-up ads, which I find annoying. I wouldn’t put pop up ads on my site, and I don’t like them in apps. You can purchase the ad-free version in the App Store. I would recommend it if you really like the user interface and overall app design. It’s not a bad app, but the skeuomorphic flip-clock and lack of detailed weather information are unappealing to me. Nonetheless, this is one of the most popular weather apps in the App Store. It’s worth downloading and trying. You may like it. I think gold iPhones are gaudy, but they’re also the most popular. (continue…)
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