[REVIEW] The Weather Channel

Discussion in 'iTunes App Store Reviews' started by obliterate, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. obliterate

    obliterate New Member

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    The Weather Channel


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    Category: Weather
    Release Date: Nov. 4th, 2008
    Version: 2.01
    Size: 5.0 mb
    Developer: The Weather Channel Interactive, Inc.
    Website: http://www.weather.com/
    Pricing: Free​

    What is The Weather Channel?
    The Weather Channel is a complete, user-friendly weather information application. It competes with other apps from the iTunes App Store such as WeatherBug and RadarScope. The main difference between The Weather Channel and those other apps listed: it's free. But, don't let this fool you. Free apps aren't always apps to be thrown away.

    Features:
    The features of this application are what's key. You get localized forecasts for your particular location, user-customizable animated radar maps, severe weather alerts (both local and national), video forecasts, traffic cams, and the option to store locations. Additionally, you can share forecasts via email if desired. In total, there are 5 tabs at the bottom of the screen: Weather, Explore Map, Video, Severe, and More. This makes it easy to locate the section you want to view in seconds. That's what sets this app apart from related apps offered from the iTunes App Store.

    Forecasts: 4/5
    The first tab at the bottom of the screen is dubbed Weather. There are 4 different types of weather forecasts you can view: Current, Hourly, 36 Hour, and 10 Day. Current forecast shows the conditions for that particular time of the day, such as clarity, temperature, wind speed & direction, humidity, etc. Hourly shows you the predicted conditions by hour for the next 12 hours; it's displayed in row format. 36 Hour gives you not only the next 36 hours-worth of forecasts, but it includes a brief description of the predicted weather (i.e. Cloudy with a few showers. Low 65F.) Last but not least, the 10 day forecast is just like the name describes it: The predicted weather for the next 10 days. This, like hourly, is displayed in row format, making it easy to scroll through and view it with ease. This is all displayed on a comfortably-designed, simple-to-use graphical user interface.

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    Explore Map: 4/5
    The weather Explore Map is a very helpful tool included with TWC app. Just click the Explore Map tab at the bottom and you've got detailed, high-definition radar frames designed over an equally detailed world map, complete with roads and town/city names & locations. You can view this map still, at the latest available radar frame, or in motion with frames from past radar locations. You also have the option to select 8 different modes: Radar, clouds, radar & clouds, temperature, feels like, 24-hour rainfall, 24-hour snowfall, and UV index. Radar mode allows you to view the most detailed radar images from the past 25 minutes, at 5-minute intervals per frame. If you switch to clouds mode, it shows you images at 3-hour intervals from that day (i.e. 8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm, 11pm). Radar/Clouds mode isn't very useful, in that the images tend to be choppily-spaced, thus providing an uneven stream of radar movement. The map in temperature mode is color-coded with a number of different colors according to the specific temp. of that region. It gives you a multi-colored temp. key at the top, with colors ranging from black and purple/pink for extremely cold, to blue for moderately cold, to warmer colors such as yellow, orange, and red symbolizing warm/hot temperatures. This mode is only really useful for viewing from farther away, as the color disappears as you zoom in. Feels like is not a practical map mode at all; it only shows Wind Chill data for -40F to 40F, and Heat Index data 80 degrees F and above. 24-hour rainfall/snowfall does simply what the name describes: shows you the predicted rain/snowfall for the next 24 hours. Lastly, UV Index is another color-coded map mode showing you the UV Index for the current time.

    You can also choose to show different neighborhood points on the Explore Map, such as: Cities, schools, airports, parks, golf courses, and lakes. Below that is a slider to raise or lower the map transparency (useful if you want to view the city/road names below the radar).

    (Note: Explore Map pictured at top of page).

    Video: 4/5
    This next feature is particularly simple and most effective if you want a short, summed-up version of the weather forecast compiled into a customized, region-appropriate video (usually about a minute and 30 seconds long). Just click on the Video tab at the bottom and it automatically starts the video for you. It starts off with current conditions for your area, followed by up-to-date radar frames. Next, a Weather Channel meteorologist comes on and briefs you about the forecast for the next 2 days on a green screen. Following is the hourly forecast, spaced 3 hours apart; lastly, it provides the next 4 days worth of information regarding weather, hi/low temps, and percent chance of precipitation, if any. So if you don't have time to spend looking through individual sections of the application, just click on the video tab at the bottom and you're set! The only downside to this feature is that it doesn't cover everything, so you might miss some information that you would've liked to get.

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    Severe: 5/5
    This is the fourth (4th) tab located at the bottom of the app. Viewing this brings you up-to-the-minute Severe weather alerts for your area. When not viewing, if there is an alert, a small red badge will appear with the number of alerts currently issued for your town. Types of alerts include (but are not limited to): tornado watch/warning, severe thunderstorm watch/warning, flood watch/warning, etc. This is very useful, in that it provides you with crucial information that could be a deciding factor in the safety of you and those around you. Also, the alerts are extremely detailed, so you're never left in the dark. This is one of the most important and savvy features of TWC app.

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    More: 4/5
    The last tab at the bottom is an extra tab dubbed More. When clicked, you are presented with 3 selections: Help, More Video, and About. Under Help, it gives you a guide to assist you with becoming familiar with the application. You can view Tips & Tricks, and help info about Search, Maps, Weather and Severe Weather, and Video. At the bottom is TWC's contact information, where you can send questions and comments to their e-mail address. Next, under More Video, you can select different videos based on your region. Listed are: United States, UK, France, Canada, Bahamas, and Caribbean forecasts.

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    Usability: 5/5
    TWC app has complete usability. It's both user-friendly and easy to navigate. It's hard to get lost in this application, considering all the controls are right at the bottom of the screen, allowing you to switch between features at the tap of a finger.

    Design: 5/5
    The application is comfortably designed. It's not the least bit gaudy or overpowering, but designed to put minimal strain on the eye while providing a unique, informing experience. It has nice menus, sleek edging, and great color combinations.

    Overall: 5/5
    Overall, The Weather Channel app is a great weather information terminal for getting localized forecasts complete with radar and severe alerts.

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  2. MacPwn

    MacPwn Banned

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    Great review, thanks.
  3. studangerous

    studangerous Super Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    Nice review. Very detailed. For some reason your thumbnail isn't showing up in the main thread though. I'll try and fix it.
  4. obliterate

    obliterate New Member

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    Thanks guys!

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  5. Radish

    Radish Banned

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    Wow. Very detailed and informative, good use of images also.

    http://i43.tinypic.com/io137k.jpg <--- your five star image but without the black background, might look better, it's up to you.
  6. obliterate

    obliterate New Member

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    Thanks a bunch, I really appreciate it. And I liked your idea, but in the linked image you gave me, the stars' edges are choppy. So I just edited my original image in IrfanView (very simple image editor), and turned it negative.

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  7. Radish

    Radish Banned

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    Dang, that looks good, compliments the font color.
  8. obliterate

    obliterate New Member

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    Thank you. I hope I can continue to write halfway-decent reviews; I really want to be a part of the MR Team. That would make my day (and many more days to come).

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