Hello Weather has been my primary source of weather information on iPhone for a few months and it has quickly become my favorite app in its category. In an app market, where it is far too easy to download sub-par cookie-cutter apps, Hello Weather stands up as a product with individuality. It also includes a long list of features that suits everyone from the regular joe to those who need to see detailed information for sporting purposes.
There is no dearth of weather apps for both iOS and Android. A quick search for weather brings countless results in the App Store and Google Play Store. Unfortunately, only a few apps look good enough to download. Apps like Dark Sky and Carrot Weather focus on design but they are not available globally. Dark Sky’s data is only available in US, UK and Ireland. Carrot Weather offers Weather Underground as an alternative but it does not provide the most accurate forecasts everywhere either. Most other apps are not even worth mentioning here. Not only do they lack taste, for the lack of a better word, they are filled with ads and design is not even considered important. Pop State Co, the developers behind Hello Weather, have done an outstanding job to make their app stand-out from the busy crowd.
Hello Weather Wins at Design
The app has two section in the main Forecast tab. It shows current weather conditions in Right now, along with any weather advisory alerts. Swiping right here brings up detailed Right now conditions such as wind speed, humidity, pressure, sunrise and sunset times along with UV levels. This method of highlighting only the important information and keeping the detailed information at a swipe away is very nicely implemented and works well for weekly forecasts too.
This week shows the weather conditions for the next week. A short summary gives a good idea of the high and low weathers and chances of rain throughout the week. Underneath you can see the precipitation levels and high and low temperatures for each day. Swiping left brings up the detailed forecast for each day of the upcoming week with shorts snippets like expected amount of snowfall or rainfall or weather conditions such as cloudy or overcast. Again, a nice and clean way of quickly catching up with the weather forecast for the week. The minimalistic icons were updated in a recent update and provide a good at-a-glance view. There are separate icons for day and night app themes which is a nice touch.
There is also a Radar tab in the app which shows weather conditions only for US, Canada and Australia. Really useful if you want to track hurricanes and storms.
Locations can be added/deleted from the Locations tab. Weather Units are customizable from Settings. You can chose from US, UK, Canada and International standards of units to display your weather information. You can also enable extra wind forecasts from this screen. The weather options under Sailtboat Mode are really useful for people who go sailing, paragliding or other such activities where it’s important to check the wind speed and direction.
These are two of my favorite features in the app. A night mode and the option to change forecast data source. The night mode works very well and has the following options: On, Off and Automatic. With automatic, dark mode turns on automatically after sunset. Night modes become almost invisible in sunlight so this is a good feature to have. With Forecast Data, you can easily switch data sources from 5 available options: Dark Sky, AccuWeather, AerisWeather, The Weather Channel and Weather Underground. As I mentioned earlier, Dark Sky is only available in a few countries so this option really helps. You can easily chose the option that you find most accurate.
Once you sign up for the $4.99/year subscription, you get a nice VIP membership card. It is just a screen that shows you that you are a subscriber but it’s a nice little touch. The app also has a number of alternative icons which can be used to display on the home screen. I normally change the icons to match my wallpaper.
Nitpicking issues with Hello Weather
There are not many issues with the app. However, if I have to nitpick, the persistent Locations tab is not my favorite feature of the app. For users who do not regularly need to switch locations, it takes too much space in the bottom navigation bar. Secondly, the Radar only shows accurate data for US, Canada and Australia so I would prefer if it could just not show for users in other regions.
There is a delicate balance between over-populating an app with features while keeping the design clean. Even though Hello Weather surfaces a lot of data, it never overwhelms you. The simple color palette and iconography make it easy to read updates at a glance. At the same time, you are always a swipe away from accessing detailed analytical data for current conditions as well as predictions for the coming week.
Because I enjoyed using this app so much, I felt that it should really have Apple Watch and macOS versions. I spoke to the developers behind Hello Weather and they said that an Apple Watch app is under consideration. For macOS, they will consider an app once Marzipan, Apple’s project to combine iOS and macOS apps, is officially confirmed. It makes sense since it’ll save a bunch of effort required to port the app from iOS to macOS.
Hello Weather ticks the complete check list for great app: beautiful design, attention to detail, depth of features and a well-though user experience. Whether you travel frequently, go for surfing or sailing, or just need to stay up to date with the weather, this app is caters well to a wide variety of users. With a price of just $4.99 per year, Hello Weather deserves a place on your home screen.