1. Weather Timeline
Sam Ruston’s Weather Timeline is the best weather app there is on the Android platform if you ask me. Whether Ruston has the Midas Touch since his other app, popular Twitter client Flamingo, is also a favourite of mine, is a question for another day. What I know now, and what you should also know if you have never installed Weather Timeline on your Android device, is that you just can’t go wrong with Weather Timeline. Sure, it costs over $1 but what’s that compared to the kind of quality you’re getting? Plus, anyway, that Kshs 133 (as of the time of writing this) is a one-time payment.
A big adherent to and one of the best showcases of Google’s Android design guidelines, Material Design, Weather Timeline’s key feature has everything to do with that word: timeline. The app has a feature called Time Machine. Using the Time Machine, one can tell what the weather will be like in a particular location many years from the present, a great way to see what awaits those who will be around when the zombie apocalypse strikes or all those dreadful things The Walking Dead has taught us to anticipate.
That it automatically restricts background data usage is a big plus to my data-conscious countrymen. That it is one of the few weather apps out there that lets its users get the same timely weather alerts on their wrists if they happen to be users of Android Wear is a big plus to many an Android enthusiast.
2. Today Weather
I only discovered Today Weather two months after a friend highly recommended it (thanks Joe!). Since then, it’s found a home on the Infinix S2 Pro I have been using. It has taken the place of the ugly weather widget Infinix bundles with its XOS overlay and brought life to what would otherwise be a boring home screen.
Today Weather’s biggest strength is that it is big on visuals. Imagery, to be precise. It takes that a step further by letting users to easily share weather updates with their friends and followers on social media platforms. It produces some excellent Instagram-ready cards that scream “share me” every time you open the app.
Personalization is front and centre of Today Weather. When you fire it up for the first time, it asks for your name. That’s kinda creepy in the post-Edward Snowden world that we live where we are paranoid about anyone asking about any tiny detail of our boring lives but it might be a worthy trade off. Not just that, the app will also let you choose your own photos if you are not pleased or satisfied with the little it has to offer. If the icons don’t impress you that much, you can also pick your preferred iconography from a couple of other options. Just great.
3. Yahoo Weather
Before that news app that has now become my favourite, Yahoo Weather was Yahoo’s best testament that it was actually serious about releasing quality apps for a platform managed and owned by a serious rival in its core search business, Google.
The app, which has dutifully served the nearly 50 million people who have downloaded it from the Play Store over the years, shows no signs of slowing down. It has the best animations of any weather app on this list, it lets users cap data usage to as low as one megabyte in case they aren’t interested in restricting the app’s access to the internet to when the device is connected to a wireless hotspot. It also lets users benchmark the weather at their town/city/locality of choosing with the prevailing conditions in several global destinations. It also incorporates a nice map widget which warns users when they want to use it while on cellular network conditions so that they don’t incur extra unforeseen costs.
4. Weather & Clock Widget
I discovered this app way back in 2012 when I had the Galaxy Note II. Since then, I’ve had it on virtually every Android device I have ever owned/used. While little has changed in the way of aesthetics between then and now, the app and its coterie of widgets, its main feature, has remained largely relevant and appealing. Never mind that we have since been attracted to the catchy Material Design way of doing things.
Being crowned one of the best apps of 2015 by Google Play’s editors means that the developer has put in quite some work.
The app’s widgets, which come in all shapes, sizes and colour, have nice little animations which complement the information overload that accompanies them wherever they are placed.
The app gives a user total control. GPS can be disabled to conserve the battery and the use of cellular data by the app can be limited.
This is the oldest application on this list. How it has managed to stay relevant over the years is a story that should interest and inspire everyone in this industry. While 1Weather’s interface is up to scratch and its attempt to lure those who might have skyved Geography classes in high school when they were explaining certain natural phenomena like hurricanes and typhons is commendable, it fails to deliver when it comes to letting users have greater control of their data consumption, a recipe for chaos in this day and age.