The Best Weather Apps for iOS [App List]

The Best Weather Apps for iOS [App List]

The iPhone comes with a pre-installed weather application that takes its data from The Weather Channel. While it looks okay, it isn’t exactly crammed with features, it doesn’t go into any detail, it doesn’t come with the iPad, and I find its weather forecast to be far from accurate.

That being the case, over the years I’ve been trying out all sorts of third-party weather apps that do a far better job – here’s my list of the App Store’s best weather apps.

Weather Pro($1.99) iPhone / ($4.99) iPad — Weather

Weather Pro for iOS

Weather Pro is a personal favorite of mine, and the application I use to check the weather forecast in my area on a daily basis. The most important thing about this application, for me, is that its predictions are incredibly accurate — more accurate than any other application I’ve tried. It features a 7-day forecast which can be broken down into 3-hour intervals, with reports for over 2 million locations worldwide. It provides an accurate temperature reading in either Celsius or Fahrenheit and a “feels like” temperature. It also displays wind direction and speed; air pressure, precipitation and humidity; sunrise and sunset times; and air pressure maps. It features global satellite and animated radar images for the U.S.A. and much of Europe, with pan and zoom functionality. With an additional in-app subscription you can also get 14-day forecasts, precipitation radars, ski weather, and much more, but I find it’s incredibly useful without that.

Celsius / Fahrenheit — ($0.99) Universal — Weather

Celsius for iOS

Celsius / Fahrenheit is the first application to display the temperature in your area right on your iPhone’s home screen without the need to jailbreak. It uses an online web service together with iOS push technology to send the current temperature of any location to your device, which is then displayed in a badge over the application’s icon. It will provide you with a 10-day forecast, which can be broken down into 3-hour intervals, for an unlimited number of cities around the world; clouds radar for up to 2 days; maximum and minimum temperatures for each day; humidity and pressure readings; wind direction; and the UV index for each day. An in-app upgrade for $0.99 will also get you 3-hourly rain and satellite maps for up to 2 days and wind speed maps. Unfortunately, to display the temperature in Fahrenheit, you’ll need the dedicated Fahrenheit application. Remember these are separate applications when you come to make your purchase!

Weather+ — ($0.99) Universal — Weather

The Best Weather Apps for iOS [App List]

Unlike the other weather applications we’ve chosen so far, Weather+ is designed to be left open while your device is docked on your desk to provide you with the time and weather forecast at a glance whenever you need it. It gives you a 5-day forecast from all worldwide weather stations with 3-hourly breakdowns, which is displayed on your device with a range of beautiful background videos that match the current forecast; along with a fantastic flip clock. You can select an unlimited numbers of cities and swipe between them to see the time and weather for each. It will also provide you with information on wind direction and speed; humidity, precipitation, pressure and visibility; and current conditions and temperature.

Weather HD — ($0.99) Universal — Weather

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL2CrMd_zQQ

Much like Weather+, Weather HD is meant to be left open so that you always have the time and weather at your fingertips, however, it’s a little more subtle. It features beautiful, high-quality background videos with the time and weather displayed elegantly over the top, and while some might say it’s not as clear or as bold, I really like it. You can even choose to hide the weather and just see minimal information on temperature, humidity and wind speed when you want to sit back and enjoy the high definition backgrounds. Select as many cities as you want and swipe left and right to navigate between them, with dedicated backgrounds, information, and hourly breakdowns for each location.

Living Earth HD — ($0.99) Universal — Utilities

Living Earth HD for iOS

Living Earth HD is a unique application that gives you a stunning, live 3D simulation of our home planet at any given moment in time, along with global weather, forecasts, and a world clock for over 22,000 cities around the world. It features realistic live 3D rendering of Earth with near real-time cloud data that lets you view global cloud patterns and tropical storms as they happen. Observe the changing seasons throughout the year and view snow and ice coverage, as well as other seasonal changes, around the globe. It also features an alarm clock that will wake you up with the weather and your favorite music.

Weddar — (Free) iPhone — Weather

Weddar for iPhone

Weddar is a new and unique service that provides weather information powered by the people — not by machines. Rather than the usual report you’d get from your local weather station, you will instead get an account from real people about the weather in their area: “In Weddar, someone, somewhere in Central Park will tell you that the weather ‘feels perfect.’” You can make requests for weather reports for anywhere you’d like to go and a ‘Weddar reporter’ will answer it. The app is currently used in 87 countries all over the world and recently featured in the App Store’s ‘New & Noteworthy’ category in the U.S. Obviously Weddar won’t give you a perfect 7-day forecast, but it’ll give you a pretty accurate account of the current weather. You can even become a Weddar reporter for your area and compete to be the top contributor.

Related
  • JNGold

    Fahrenheit is not the first iOS weather app to display temperature information on a badge. SBSH’s Pocket Weather and ShiftJelly’s PocketWeather World have been offering that functionality for quite some time now.

  • loh_telivant

    Ben Brooks did it first: http://brooksreview.net/2011/0

  • twitter-15864242

    How much of Ben Brook’s posts did you copy/reference to make this?

  • Charlie R.

    C’mon, at least link to the multiple posts that @BenjaminBrooks wrote on this very subject not terribly long ago. Sheesh.

  • David Kilsheimer

    Wouldn’t it be easier to simply cut and paste @benjaminbrooks post? It had more substance than this sad attempt.

  • KillianBell

    Guys, thanks for your comments, but I’ve honestly never heard of Ben Brooks. We have regular app lists here on Cult of Mac and lists of the ‘best’ applications are bound to feature some similarities between sites.

    Killian

  • michaelramm

    Awesome review…when I read it TWO WEEKS ago on The Brooks Review [http://brooksreview.net/2011/0...]

  • JNGold

    I enjoyed your review (regardless of the aforementioned review on the other site), but you should really correct the Fahrenheit comment.

  • Victor Healey

    I find it hard to believe there are two ‘serious’ reviews of weather apps for the iPad that are this bad. I have been a volunteer severe weather spotter for the NWS in the SE USA for over thirty years. As I read this post and review of iPad Weather apps all I could hear going through my mind was these people seem clueless.

    The iPad is an awesome tool with the right apps at the right time but not a single one of those mentioned are ones I would turn to and I have or had them all. Some I have already deleted as a total waste.

    If you want detailed weather in a clear format on a day by day basis for your ZIP code you do not even need a weather app, but know how to use the mobile version of WeatherUnderGround dot com from Safari or your desktop. I would create links on your home screen of particular WUG sections for fast access.

    During a time when weather is bad and you need more right down to where you are standing in real time you need their iPad app called WunderMap. That is a little complex and you should play with it some before you are exposed to significant severe weather. Even a NOOB could follow the Weather Channel on TV and by using that map zoom in on a problem area and learn what to look for using Doppler radar. It helps that you can toggle severe on and off over top of the display as needed. Sometimes all you may want is to see the progression of severe plotted against a map. Tap on any of those alerts or watches for more detailed information for that location you are concerned about. It is all there.

    There are better even better weather apps with more radar details for pilots and storm spotters but for the average person in the USA, WunderMap is the biggest bang for the buck.

    For these people I also recommend The Weather Channel’s own iPad app, TWC MAX+, with tons of video that is one click away similar to what you see on the air. Also on my list of semi recommended apps is the WeatherBug, used by some TV stations, AccuWeather, and Hurricane HD.

    Add push notifications from places like ‘Digital Cyclone’, some local TV stations in your area, and other sources that will popup on your iPad display as needed.

    Subscribe to WeatherAmerica based in Texas, and read Larry Nelson’s take on upcoming weather extremes in various places in the world. If you get a notification from Larry on any day other than Saturday, somebody is probably going to die in the near future from weather extremes and there is going to be lost of property. TWC and the Weather Under Ground also have meteorologists willing to share their understanding of developing weather in some detail. But I have to give the metal to Larry for his specialty in spotting upcoming extreme weather and its probable impact.

    There is a wealth of other tools and information sources all web based. You can often get a TV app fora particular spot and watch continuous coverage on the iPad of SuperCells or Hurricanes tracking across a state. ABC 33/40 had fantastic live coverage to the Tuscaloosa -Birmingham supercell for hours. I spotted it on WunderMap when it formed at the Mississippi line and using other resources determined that there was an app for local live TV coverage and downloaded it so I could jump into the live video and back out again as needed without having to have a FLASH PLAYER on the iPad.

    Also as a ham I like the iPad app called ActionScanner which I program on the fly to cover those areas impacted or about to be impacted if possible. If I notice there is an especially appropriate channel like live storm chasers, local police, or ham radio spotters on the scene, I force that into background mode and switch to WunderMap and one of its views for the area.

    I bought a RAM MOUNT, TAB3 for the iPad so I could monitor everything while mobile using 3G without killing myself trying to juggle the iPad during bad weather.

    I didn’t mean to write so much in a rambling post but the bottom line is if you are serious about the weather there are good iPad apps out there and its long battery life can be a real life saver.

    If you do it right you can be notified on the iPad even before The Severe Weather Center in Norman Oklahoma issues a public warning over your local NWS WX radio. Not by much, sometimes mere seconds but the iPad can be a real winner.

    BTW I can easily email photos, screenshots and comments to others when they need to know right away, another nice feature of the iPad.

    ki4je

  • Geeksaresad

    Tough crowd tonight – you folks should chill out (pun intended)

  • Simon

    Have to say the reviewers favourable impressions of Weather Pro have not been borne out by my own experiences, in fact I’ve now ditched it for the free AccuWeather app which is far more accurate. The problem was temperatures being wildly out. It could be because I’m living in Asia and Weather Pro’s data is flaky from the developing world but then how come AccuWeather does a much better job? Disappointing.

  • abstrakted

    I know this is 3 months later (1.8 years in internet time), but I’m curious why–as an NWS collaborator–there is no mention of WeatherBug. Is WeatherBug not quite what it appears?
    As I understand–7 or so years ago, NWS approached WeatherBug to be able to use its network–which supposedly was considered the largest weather monitoring network in the U.S.–and the NOAA in general has worked hand-in-hand with WeatherBug (aka Earth Networks) ever since. Subsequently, numerous other relevant entities, including government agencies, have partnered with them. Perhaps its the cutesy name that makes them seem unprofessional, but from what I’ve seen and read in top tier publications, Earth Networks is the leading source for atmospheric data in the U.S., and perhaps the planet. I personally use WUG on mobile, or the NOAA site directly, but I just find it interesting that there is no mention of WeatherBug anywhere on this page.

  • Jeffrey

    How about this weather app? http://sdk.co/weather/

  • WeatherNuts

    nice work … but i am missing one app (the one that impressed me the most this year).
    i am talking about the Nooly Micro Weather app.
    this app is amazing, to the best of my knowledge, it is the only app that predicts the weather for every  city block and it does so in 5 minutes accuracy.
    this stuff is amazing! this app predicts the exact time rain starts, it does so for any location in the US – that is absolutely amazing, and it definitely get’s its high rank among the best weather app of the year in my book.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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