Solar’s weakness is in the number of features that the app actually has. That said, it has the same amount of features in comparison to the stock app, but still shows less information.
At first glance, the app will show you basic information you want to know. The temperature and weather are shown prominently in the upper right hand corner. Centered, in large writing on the lower portion of the screen is your location.
At first glance, users can see very basic weather information.
Swiping upward will allow users to view weather at a future time. The app will support up to 24 hours of advancement, but no more. As users swipe, they can select a time, accurate to the minute to see weather for.
The clock in the corner shows a visual depiction of the time you want to see in the future.
Swiping down will allow users to view an additional 3-day forecast. A simple depiction of the weather, as well as the highs and lows for the given day, are shown to users.
A 3-day forecast is also available for users to see.
Users have the ability to add as many locations that their hearts desire. An additional location based on location services is also available to weather-viewers as well.
Those are all the features. They are very slim, and small in quantity. Adding in something as simple as additional information can become really useful to some users, but not necessary for all users. It would still be nice to have this additional information.
Solar takes simplicity and uses it to it’s strength through the graphical nature of the app. At first glance, users may not think much of it, it’s a gradient with text. However, the gradient goes much, much deeper. It is a cunning display of the actual weather that is live at the given location. The lower portion of the gradient measures the temperature. As it grows redder, it is hotter; blue, colder. The top of the gradient shows the actual weather conditions. Graphical symbols for the weather is dead right simple, but intuitive as well.
Rain graphics, like this one, are just beautiful. The grey background also flashes like an actual thunderstorm too!
Solar takes big advantage of gesture based controlling. As we’ve seen with the 3-day and hourly forecasts, swipe gestures are used throughout the app. Swiping between cities can be done as well. Pinch gestures allow users to view all their cities in a grid layout while a tap, hold, and drag allows reorganizing of this list.
Dragging and dropping is simple, and straightforward.
I honestly have very few problems using the app. I did find that the temperature wasn’t always equal to what I found in the weather app. I believe that they use a “feels like” temperature rather than an actual. Still useful, but an option would have been nice. Other than that, users that need weather at a glance, as well as future weather with a swipe of a finger will find this app extremely reusable.
With a smaller set of features as a downfall, the actual graphical power and intuitive UI stands tall to make up for all of this. Slight loss of accuracy with the use of the “feels like” temperature can also downplay the overall value. I still feel that this app is well worth the buck that I paid for it. It’s cunningly gorgeous, but also useful in its beauty.
Solar brings weather UI to an all new level. With its simple gradient that is brilliantly selected to show both weather and temperature at the same time, it shows graphical strength. It’s sly, but also useful at the same time.
*Price shown is an “introductory price”.