Aero (US$0.99) is a new weather app that's taken many design cues from the upcoming release of iOS 7, particularly the redesigned weather app that was demoed at Apple's last media event and is currently demoed on Apple's iOS 7 info page.
From the icon to the font to the live animations that illustrate whether it's snowing, raining or sunny, at a glance, you could be forgiven for thinking Aero is the new iOS 7 weather app. Even the menu and option buttons look and feel similar to what's expected from iOS 7. But on closer inspection, it soon becomes clear that, though heavily influenced, Aero is an independent weather app and not entirely a carbon copy.
In terms of forecasting the weather, Aero ticks all the boxes a standard weather app does. It's got five-day and hour-by-hour forecasts, humidity, wind and pressure indicators as well as sunrise and sunset times. It uses GPS to locate your current location's temperature, which is clearly displayed in a large font in the upper half of your iPhone's screen.
You can add unlimited city forecasts, and get to them by swiping through or tapping the button at the top-left corner of the screen to enter a small menu and index to scroll through the cities you've added. An extra touch is that the time for each city you view is displayed too, doubling the app as a world clock.
Similar to Solar and others, and the iOS 7 weather app, the background illustrates the current weather with moving graphics / live animations, like rain, snow, fog or wind. The graphics look great and add a nice depth to the interactive experience, with a parallax effect when you tilt your iPhone in different directions.
Another prevailing trend in weather apps is a squiggly line that's indicative of how weather will change over a period of time. In Aero, the line represents the temperature over a five-day forecast, making it easy to see if things are going to cool down or heat up in the coming days in an easily perceivable way.
Aero has a few extra features, which help it stand out. The Aero icon displays your current location temperature in a notification badge. Push notifications need to be enabled for this to work, but it's worth it just to see the temperature at a glance from the home screen, without even opening the app. Within the app, to refresh a current location, swipe down. To view a Wikipedia info card for the city you're currently viewing, long-press the city's name.
Aero is a beautifully designed weather app that takes full advantage of the iPhone's Retina display. It looks fantastic and has some interesting extra features that place it a cut above many other weather apps out there. If you're a weather-app junkie, or you're just looking for a taste of what iOS 7 could bring in terms of design and feel, Aero is worth checking out. Or you could wait a couple more months for the release of iOS 7 and Apple's own free, re-designed weather app!