David Barnard explains that he made Perfect Weather for iPhone (US$2.99 and new from Contrast), because he's a Texan. "Most weather apps cater to the idyllic climate in Silicon Valley," he says. "In places like Texas, where big thunderstorms and surprise rain showers are common, the current temperature is often immaterial."
Here on Cape Cod, MA we're preparing for hurricane season, so I can understand where he's coming from.
What's it like outside?
Perfect Weather combines three things that I love: real-time forecasts, a live radar and good looks. First, let's look at setup.
I live in the middle of nowhere and apps that pull data from location-specific sources often struggle to info that's relevant to me. I was happy when Perfect Weather had no trouble. It's always going to find the weather for your current location, so you needn't worry about that. You can also track what's happening on other locations.
To add a new spot, tap the "Edit" button and then the "+" icon. You can then search by city name or zip code. Once that's done, each location your'e tracking is represented by a colorful title bar. These can be re-ordered to suit your needs. Tap any one to see the latest weather information.
Here's where it gets good. The weather screen features three components: Drop-down forecast and real-time information, a map and radar controls. "Drop-down" isn't entirely accurate, because this information center really "folds" four times to reveal more or less information. When totally unfurled, Perfect Weather shares all it has, including temp. highs and lows (Fahrenheit only), chance of precipitation (percentage) and six-day forecast. There's also a really cool slider that you can swipe across to see the temperature at any point over the last 24 hours. The high and low temperatures are clearly marked.
Swipe that slider out of the way to gain even more info, like a humidity reading, visibility, wind speed and direction, sunrise/set and dew point.
Now, start "folding." After the first fold, you see the high, low, precipitation and six-day forecast. One more hides the forecast and the final fold reduces that whole panel to a handle, providing a great view of the map. Speaking of the map, you can watch an animated satellite image of your area that reveals either rain or cloud cover over the last 20 minutes. Finally, a slider lets you increase or decrease the opaticy of the cloud/rain animation.
This app is pretty. It's flatter than a pancake and is completely at home on iOS 7. Everything's legible and feels very lightweight. The colors are pretty and look nice in the background when you're using Siri, for example.
Perfect Weather also tracks and reports on weather alerts. You'll find a lightning icon next to the name of each city you're tracking. When it becomes more pronounced, there's an alert. Tap it to pull up the Alert Report screen, which lets you read about what's going on.
This is a nice weather app. It manages to provide a whole lot of information in a neat, organized layout that looks great. I definitely recommend it.