Application Review: HD 4Cast2

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With the introduction of iOS, many updates were announced… Some huge like Maps, some small like VIP (which I don’t get). However, many were not announced, actually, over 190 weren’t announced publically. Opening up the new Weather app gives a beautiful new UI for users. However, the Weather is still crippled in one way, features. We have seen many apps try to outdo what Weather can do, but none have come close to having the simplistic interfacing with the features packed together. HD 4Cast2 tries to fix this.  Read on for the full review:

Features

HD 4Cast has a nice feature set to it. After the weather has been loaded up, you are instantly connected to the 10 day forecast. Scrolling left and right gives you information on the weather predictions for the next week and a half. Like the stock Weather app, all it can do is give you predicted weather conditions as well as highs and lows for the given day.


The app offers users the standard 10 day forecast that most others do.

There are 4 other tabs on the bottom of the screen; the next one is the day overview. This gives you an hour by hour outlook on what the day is going to be like. Once again, Apple’s app does this as well (starting in iOS 5). 4Cast will give you, just like the stock app, just the temperature as well as weather conditions. However, 4Cast will only give you the next 10 hours while the stock app will give you 12.


Although it’s not 12, HD 4Cast is still able to offer users 10 hours of weather data.

While the stock Weather app stops here with information, HD 4Cast doesn’t. A radar can be used to see what is happening around you. You can play it to see where the nastiest storms are headed. Like Apple, OMG Apps has decided to walk away from Google (and Apple’s) APIs and use Bing instead for mapping.


Radar is a nice bundled feature in the app, it can come in use, if the sky wasn’t clear.

The next tab is the current weather conditions. Although the big picture will give you weather and temperature, this info tab will give much more. Everything from humidity all the way up to sun rise/set hours can be viewed here.


It may be too much info for some, but I’m sure someone will want to know the… air pressure.

There is one more major feature however, weather alerts. This is something I rarely ever see in any weather app. The national weather service has issued a weather alert… A massive hurricane is heading your way. This app will allow you to view this warning. Hopefully, you already know the hurricane is coming and have found safe ground. If you haven’t, this app might be of great help. Some may say that it might be a good idea to get push notifications for these alerns.


“Did you know there is a tornado warning?!”“Nope, but look over there, a tornad…”

Although this app has a heap-load of features, it still isn’t complete. Things like location services are not implemented into this app in any way. Just about every other weather app has this feature, this one lacks it.

Features: ★★★★½

Graphics

I’m sure that just about everyone will agree that the graphical updates to the iOS 6 Weather app is beautiful, this app tries to outdo Apple by offering high-res stunning imagery. It works too; the graphics used in the app are crisp and clear. Not only that, they are simply gorgeous. I really don’t want to say much, just let the screenshot do the talking.


Detailed and clear images… I like having this stuff in my headphones, but need it in graphics too.

The animations between cities as well as hiding and showing information is done in a nice manner as well. The animations are smooth and clear. No problems here whatsoever. Gorgeous graphics mixed with slick animations work well to make this graphically pleasing.


Animations from place to place is clear and implemented well.

I do have one problem with how the app works though. At start, instead of loading the weather for all your cities, it will only load one. This is the only downfall. The stock Weather app is simply faster if you wish to view weather for more than one country. The fact that it insists on reloading all the weather when you go add more is also quite annoying.

Graphics: ★★★★½

Audio

4Cast offers 3 different sound effects for various animations that happen. It actually works quite well, however, some users may not way a weather app with sound. There is no way to shut them off. The animations work well and are good quality. There is a bug with the audio though, they randomly shut off for some odd reason when going back and forth through the tabs.

Audio: ★★★★

Reuse

While the audio problems may not deter anyone from using the app, some of the other things may. The first is location services… People who travel don’t want to look up where they are. They might not even know. The other main one is that the app won’t load in bulk; instead, it’ll only load weather for a certain city when you scroll to it. This is a waste of time as the app should be doing this in the background when it starts. To add, the app stalls when it’s reloading, so no scrolling. Both of these may deter a user from using the app. Otherwise, HD 4Cast does offer a nice set of features that would make the stock app, and many others, scream in fear. The gorgeous graphics don’t hurt in any way either.


Haha! You now have to wait 4 more seconds for your weather… This does get annoying though.

Reuse: ★★★★

Value

The app costs a little less than a bottle of soda, so price isn’t that high. It’s priced accordingly, however, there are still a few bugs that can be hammered out (quite easily actually). Otherwise, the app is worth the pennies you save up to download it. The bundle of features coupled with the graphics creates a pleasing user experience.

Value: ★★★★½

Final Thoughts

Is it absolutely perfect? No. However, it’s a darn good weather app. Although it’s bugs may hinder the power-weather-followers, for most casual use, this app is bomb. High-resolution, detailed images coupled with the large feature set is what they got right with this app.

Overall Score

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HD 4Cast2

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
All accessories, applications, themes, tweaks, or other products were purchased by iFans at their respective prices unless stated otherwise.
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