| Cult of Mac

Best weather widgets for iPhone

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Four apps that make checking the weather on your iPhone quick and easy.
Four apps that make checking the weather on your iPhone quick and easy.
Photo: Ally Kazmucha/The App Factor

app-factor-logo-thumbnailI don’t like spending a lot of time inside weather apps. Instead, I’d rather just swipe down and view current and impending conditions within the Today view section of Notification Center.

That’s why, when looking at weather apps to try, one of my criteria is that whatever one I choose, it comes complete with widget support. Depending on what kind of weather data you need, these weather apps currently have the best weather widgets for iPhone.

SnowCast will help you find (or avoid) the powder this winter

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SnowCast warns you if a warm fireplace is in your near future.
Photo: SnowCast

Shake hands with SnowCast. Make some small talk. It’s in your best interest, since this app is very quickly going to become one of your best friends as the winter season rapidly approaches. SnowCast very simply lets you know how much snow you’ll be getting over the next 48 hours at any given time.

Depending on where you are, that snowfall amount could be nothing. If you live in a mountainous area, that could be two feet. Maybe the amount is exactly 6.37 inches. Either way, SnowCast will keep you in the loop so you can decide whether to light the fire or go skiing.

Forecast Bar is the next best thing to having Dark Sky on your Mac

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Forecast Bar brings loads of weather data your Mac's menu bar.
Photo: Forecast Bar

Forecast Bar brings all the features you love about awesome weather app Dark Sky to a Mac app. Not only does it look similar to Dark Sky, but it’s powered by the same Forecast API, which means you’re getting the same accurate weather predictions.

Forecast Bar also works the way you want it to. Keep it in the menu bar or let it sit in your Dock. Enable certain notifications and display a three-day, five-day or seven-day forecast — up to you. With its detailed weather and range of customization options, it should very quickly take your Mac by storm.

Weather Network app claims it can tell you when it is going to rain

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Back to the Future Part II weather network app
The Weather Network's latest app update might make this a reality.
Photo: Universal Pictures

We’re not quite through 2015 yet, so app developers still have time to make the prophecies foretold by director Robert Zemeckis’ documentary Back to the Future: Part II come true. And to that end, The Weather Network’s latest app update uses radar and algorithms to predict when, exactly, it is going to start and stop raining.

The new feature, appropriately called “Rain Start Stop,” claims to give you a few hours to finalize the details on your outdoor activities.

Carrot Weather’s sassy forecasts storm onto Mac

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The "Maker" of sassy robot Carrot brought the Weather app to the Mac and updated the iOS app with new goodies.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

The sassy robot that got its start on iOS has started taking over the Mac too. Carrot Weather launched in the Mac App Store today complete with tons of features and even more snarky comments about the conditions. The self-proclaimed “weather robot with a personality” has plenty to offer.

Radar Cast lets you Watch for bad weather

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Radar Cast can make you feel like a meteorologist on the five o'clock news.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

If you’re like me, you spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to pick out the perfect weather app for your iPhone. Apple’s Weather app just doesn’t cut it and it’s very hard to find something that has a little bit of every detail without being cluttered or downright ugly. That happy medium for me is Carrot Weather but unfortunately it’s been crashing on the iOS 9 developer beta. In its place I’ve been testing Radar Cast, a slightly unusual weather app that attempts to deliver all the most crucial information to your iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

One of the best weather apps for iPhone just got a huge update

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Dark Sky 5.0 displays 24-hour forecasts in a new timeline.
Dark Sky 5.0 displays 24-hour forecasts in a new timeline.
Photo: DarkSky

The Dark Sky app — famous for its crazy accurate weather predictions that give you down to the minute details on everything — has been updated to version 5.0 today, bringing with it an awesome new design and feature improvements.

Among the most noticeable differences is a new vertical timeline that dispenses weather predictions over the next 24 hours. It’s also adjustable so you can view precipitation, temperature, wind, humidity or the UV index.

Dark Sky is the best weather app for iOS 8

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This morning I woke up and slide my finger down my iPhone’s lockscreen to see the weather. With a single line of text, Dark Sky told me what it felt like outside and that it would be overcast for at least the next hour. No need for sunglasses then.

There are a lot of weather apps out there to choose from, and I’ve tried a lot of them. But in terms of features, design, and actual usefulness, none comes close to being as good as Dark Sky.

App Watch: Plain old text and widgets (lots of widgets)

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FULLSCREEN

Widget, widgets, widgets. Boy, have we got some widgets for you. And text. Plain text. Plain old text, turned into a calculator. And widgets. Did I mention those? Weather widgets. Battery widgets. And yes, text widgets.

Read all about these new widgets and other new apps in this week's App Watch.

WunderStation from Weather Underground hooks into thousands of privately owned weather stations and presents their data in an iPad app. The smoothly animated graphs are beautiful and can tell you way more than you’d ever want to know about rainfall, barometric pressure and even UV. If you have stations near you, it’s pretty rad. If not, no biggie – the app is $Free

Filthy name, great app. Droool is a “photo gallery for your social networks.” Browse pictures from Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook and more, and index pictures from iCloud and other local folders without moving or copying the files. It’s fast, simple and looks great, and it’s free with in-app purchases. $Free

Terrible name, great app. iBetterCharge monitors your iOS devices’ battery level over your Wi-Fi network, using the same connection that iTunes Wi-Fi sync would use, if you still synced your iPhone with your computer in the space year of 2014. It can pop up warnings when the battery drops to a preset level, and a click on the menu bar shows you the level of all the devices on the network. $Free

This is what the Internet is made for. Photogrammar puts 170,000 Depression-era photos in a searchable, browsable archive. Explore on an interactive map, search or get into the Labs section and browse by metadata sourced from the U.S. Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information archives. Warning: serious time-sink. $Free

PlainTextMenu takes the text on your Mac’s clipboard and transmogrifies it into something useful. It strips out formatting, so you never get big ugly Comic Sans when pasting from a colleague’s Word report, and it can turn the text to uppercase, lowercase or title case along the way. From the school of One Thing Well. $1

Web service re/spin takes Spotify playlists and transforms them into Rdio playlists. If someone’s going to share a playlist, it usually comes from Spotify, and re/spin works with published Spotify playlists. Or you can just paste in a track list copied right from the app. It also works with Last.fm. Remember when PCs couldn’t read Mac floppy disks? It’s like fixing that all over again. $Free

You know all those hard drives grafted onto your Mac? Keep a close eye on them with StorageStatus, an app that turns hard drives into traffic lights in your menu bar and changes their colors when they do something. It knows when they are sleeping, it knows when they’re awake, and it knows when they’ve been good or bad. $3

Not new, but awesome nonetheless. Calca is as close as you’ll get to a plain text calculator. Tap in complex formulas or simple sums and see the results right there in a plain text document. Set variables or just add numbers. And see all your pages synced over iCloud between Mac, iPhone and iPad versions, as well as Windows(!). I love Calca for its balance of simplicity and power. From $3

Finally, a version for the iPad. TVShow Time tracks your favorite TV shows and tells you when they’re on. Browse shows and show synopses, and get notifications when something is about to air. See the shows on a calendar, view news about your shows and read about new shows. It’s pretty comprehensive, and looks great on the big iPad screen. $3