In the world of weather apps, there seems to be a major gap between just the basics (a.k.a. the stock Weather app), and the whole nine yards (this would include TWC Max, and numerous others). The latter of these two have information on nearly everything a weather aficionado could dream of: fully animated radar, barometric pressure, windspeed, 30 day forecast, and more. Those apps are fantastic for those who need all the information they could ever want, and then some.
Enter HD 4Cast, and app that is obviously trying to take the place of the stock Weather app with style and substance. Containing some the best traits of HTC’s Sense Weather app, and wrapped up with the consistent, simple, and beautiful, HD 4Cast contains some eye-catching animations, a couple very clever uses of the multitouch display on every iDevice, and most of the information that you would ever need to plan your day around the weather.
When it comes to simplicity, HD 4Cast isn’t at the top. Granted, it does show some of the most basic info about the weather when you first open the app, but it took a while for me to get how to access the more in-depth tidbits of data, such as the humidity level, visibility, and wind direction. All of that information is displayed when you double tap the big, bright photo that represents whatever the weather currently is in your area. Seemingly obvious, but I would venture to guess that my eyes were glued to the beautiful animations and other eye-candy that were taking place.
Another point of possible confusion is the action of viewing different days’ weather forecasts. To do so, you tap the middle on-screen button and cycle through a 5-day outlook. This one might seem like a, ‘duh,’ but in an app that so heavily relies on double-taps and swipes, the single tapping action feels a bit foreign.
As the name would suggest, the app is fully compatible with a Retina Display. In fact, you might even say it was designed with one in mind: the images really pop on the 960×640 resolution display.
I’ll say it now: there is no radar. None. So, if you are looking for an app that does, I suggest TWC Max. Live radar is the only feature I really wish was included. If there is a way to add it in an update, while keeping the slick look and feel of the app, then I would love to see it soon. If that can’t happen, I’m fine with this strictly being a Weather.app replacement. After all, it kills the stock weather app, both in terms of UI and data.
The weather is provided via AccuWeather.com, which I found to be very accurate in comparison to The Weather Channel and to my own, just as advanced, instruments of meteorology (like a thermometer).
Like the stock weather app, you can add numerous places. Switching between these points of interest is nearly identical between the two apps: they slide right and left like cards, updating as you go.
Do I recommend this app? Like so many others, it depends on your uses: don’t buy this expecting it to do everything. If everything is what you need, I’ve got an outstanding recommendation above. Otherwise, if you need a look-and-go type of app, and don’t mind spending some cash to get it, welcome to the best: HD 4Cast.