Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

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June 23, 2009 • Reviews

WeatherBug for Android Review

When outside or planning to go outside, checking the current weather conditions is usually the first thing I do.  With WeatherBug for  Android , it’s a simple swipe and a tap to find out what is going on outside.

weatherbug

The WeatherBug app is a lot like the desktop counterpart.  It has the current temperature in the notification area and it will optionally use the integrated GPS to change it’s location automatically.  That is a fantastic idea and one I use a lot when traveling through the greater Columbus area.

If you always want to use the central city for your location, that is easily done by turning off the GPS updating in the settings menu.

You can  check weather in any location in the US – just tap  the triangle near MyLocation to change  locations.

Now that we know it’s a warm 82 degrees, let’s see if it’s going to rain.

weatherbug2

As you can see, the map is a Google map and WeatherBug overlays the current radar over the map.  You can zoom in and out to see if there’s anything on the radar further out.  You can also tap on the satellite icon, it will change the map to the satellite view of Google maps.  There is no weather satellite layer for this feature.  It’s only radar.  I wish there was a storm so you could see this, but alas the sky’s are clear.

Now we know the statistics, let’s take a real look at what it’s doing out there right on the phone.

weatherbug4

This is just like the WeatherBug application on your desktop.  For example, here’s the current web cam capture from the  nearest WeatherBug station. Tap and you’ll animate the image by cycling through the most recent captures.  This way you can see the storm come in at that location on your phone.

Let’s see if we can have a cookout on Friday shall we?

weatherbug3

This is the default 7 day view for the forecasts.  Tapping on any of the days  takes you to a more detailed view for that day which you can scroll up and down to check the whole week out.   Uh-oh!  I see there’s a 30 percent chance of storms on Friday!  Maybe we should wait until Saturday?

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You can also share any of these screens with anyone via E-mail, Gmail, MMS, Picasa, Twidroid (an Android Twitter client) and a bunch of other apps as well.

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One feature I could not capture while writing this review is weather alerts.  While you are out and about, if a tornado warning or some other type of warning is about to affect your location, your phone will make an alert noise and put a red icon in the notification area alerting you to the impending weather.  This is EXTREMELY handy to have as you can dash for cover if needed.

The best part of this application is that it’s free.  You do have ads on screen while using it, but they are unobtrusive and do not take away from the functionally from the application.

The WeatherBug application is in the Android Marketplace.

What I liked: Uses the GPS and network features very well.  I liked the ability to share images via Twitter and other methods.

What needs improvement: It is a little unstable occasionally causing the app to force close.  This is a minor annoyance and does not happen often.  Even when it does, the alert features still work well.  The only other problem is occasionally, the notification area will not update it’s location via GPS.  All you need to do is open the app and it will update the location.  It doesn’t happen often, but I thought I should mention it.

13 Responses to " WeatherBug for Android Review "

  1. Christopher Gavula says:

    Excellent review – I’d love to see more reviews of Android apps!

    If you needed to show an alert we should have had you bring up any city in the south – we have weather alerts every day for the high heat we currently have!

  2. Joel McLaughlin says:

    Good point! No worries though. It works! 😀

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