With the newer versions of Android, ICS and Jelly Bean, along came a brand new UI experience. We know it rightfully as the "Holo" theme, and regardless of what it offers in terms of convenience, it usually offers more striking visuals. Despite the option to use more advanced aesthetics, many developers have failed to update their apps accordingly.
A great example of this is the official Weather Channel app. For some time, the app has been rather popular, and it is actually one of the first to appear in search results when you look for 'weather' in Google Play. Despite the high popularity rating, the app itself has had a large swath of issues in the past. Namely, the user interface, and its basic functionality. I think it's safe to say, in the past the official weather app was pretty awful.
The official Weather Channel app just received an update, which introduced a complete UI overhaul. The new interface is more in line with the Holo improvements, and it's certainly something everyone will be happy to see. The app now has an extensive list of improvements to go right along with the new UI. Here, is what's included in the latest version:
- A data refresh button
- Optimized tablet layout
- Better video selection
- In-depth map overview, and localized maps
- Radar previews
- Detailed Weather forecasts in hourly, 36-hour and 10-day increments
- Rain and snow alert system (down to the minute)
- Lots of advertisements
Probably the coolest feature added in the latest version is a handy weather alert system, that estimates when it's going to rain or snow in your area down to the minute. Personally, I haven't had any real world experience with the alert system yet, so I'm not sure how accurate it actually is.
Surprisingly, there are quite a few reviews on Google Play regarding the new Weather Channel app. Several of which are from individuals that miss the UI from the old app. They've given the app a lower score in their reviews because of the UI overhaul. This is mainly due to the increase in advertisements within the app.
Right as the app loads, there's a pretty massive ad on the front page, and the weather is displayed in a side graphic. These kind of perverse ads appear all over the place in the new version of the app, so it just depends on how you feel about ads. If you're the kind of person that hates blaring ads, then you're probably not going to love the new UI as much.
Overall, the interface and functionality of the app has improved tremendously. My personal favorite is the new and improved narrative of climate descriptions. For example, the app now gives a more precise idea of what to expect from the weather in your area. Things like "dry conditions will continue," and "expect rain until 4 pm," show up to clue you in about local weather. You could say, it pretty much takes the guesswork out of reading weather forecasts.
If you'd like to check out the new Weather Channel app, hit up the Google Play store with our lovely widget below. Once you've given the app a try, be sure to share your experience with the community in a comment. Do you like the new layout or do you hate it? Are you going to use an alternate weather app on your device?