When I bought my HTC Wildfire S it came pre-installed with a weather widget. The graphics of this widget were about the finest I'd ever seen – magnificent animations and beautifully drawn. The way these swish and artistic little videos blew me away left me thinking "Who needs an iPhone?". I don't think I have ever seen such a well put together app.
Nevertheless the weather app on my Android is, without doubt the dumbest thing I've ever seen on a smart phone.
Firstly… New York was hit by a hurricane (Irene) this weekend. Knowing that this might happen, I set my Weather App to New York, NY and as Coney Island got swamped by Irene my little Android App kept me informed. "Raining" it told me and occasionally "Cloudy". Really? Is that how a useful app reports a goddamn hurricane? Didn't they have to shut down an entire public transport system? Didn't Barak Obama have to come back from his holiday? Shouldn't a useful weather app tell us, first and foremost, when we are walking into a danger zone? If I'd been planning to visit NYC this weekend, wouldn't it be nice (useful) to know that I was walking into 115 mile an hour winds?
It doesn't end here… One of the most sophisticated features of our weather app is its ability to utilize GPS and locate our phones so that we can get accurate, up to date, meteorological data about our own weather conditions. Think about the technology needed, the satellites, the databases, the data input – and for what? So we can tell what the weather is like where we are. I don't know about you but when I look out of my own window (and on the rare occasions that I step from my own doorstep) I can see whether it is raining or not.
So.. Thanks Weather Widget for telling us what we already know but not telling us what we need to know. Thanks for the great graphics, the great animations, the wonderful application of international, meteorological databases – maybe one day you can tell us something useful.