BreakingModern — Today’s Android app pick is the one of the most full featured and beautiful Android apps I’ve had the pleasure of watching evolve over the years. It’s called WeatherBug, by the developers over at Earth Networks, and it’s free! What started out as a pretty cool weather forecast app has turned into a fully interactive and informative weather center I find myself checking multiple times a day.
These days we have Google Now, which gives us up to date weather information as a card, but back when I first started using Android with the OG Droid, we weren’t so lucky. Sure we had the clunky news and weather app, but they didn’t have a cool notification bar icon showing the temperature. It’s good to see the WeatherBug app continually updated and gain awesome functionality as Android has progressed. For example, notice how awesome the little temperature icon is in the notification bar.
Now notice how nice it looks when you pull down the notification shade. This is important. It gives you all the pertinent weather information at a glance. Very helpful.
The weather information is always accurate and in real time because, according to the page on Google Play, it has access to “the world’s largest network of professional weather and lightning sensors.” Makes sense that when you fire up the app your location is instantly pinpointed. WeatherBug does have around 2.6 million locations worldwide.
Living in Montana in the winter time, Weatherbug is the first thing I check in the morning, right before the snow report, to see if it’s worth getting up to the mountain for some winter wonderland snowboarding.
WeatherBug also has some sweet, weird features you wouldn’t expect in a normal weather app. Want to know about lightning strikes in your area? Spark has you covered — it basically turns your phone into a lightning detector.
View the map mode to see where the nearest lightning strikes are happening during a storm. Spark will refresh every 60 seconds to keep you up to date.
Ever heard of pollen.com? I hadn’t either until I started checking out the pollen feature in WeatherBug. It basically tells those of you with allergies how many tissues you’ll be needing that day. It’s a national allergy forecast. Right now it seems like my location is experiencing a low pollen count filled with mostly Chenopods, Sagebrush and grass. Luckily for me I only get hay fever if I’m rolling around in it.
WeatherBug has a ton of preferences to set depending on how you like your units measured. Personally, I’m an MPH kind of guy. You can also decide how much of your GPS it will use, and what kind of alerts it bugs you with. If you notice battery drain, you’ll want to go in there and set the refresh time to something more than two hours.
Tap the logo hamburger button thing in the upper left to open up all of the main features in WeatherBug. From here, or the buttons below on the main screen, you can access stuff like Seven Day Forecast, Detailed Conditions and the Radar Map.
If you scroll down you’ll also see the myriad of forecasts WeatherBug offers. I think these are a little gimmicky, as they are all just different interpretations of the same data. I would much rather see the app load a little faster than get bloated with stuff like this. But hey, if most users like it, so be it. That feature’s just not for me.
There’s also a share option if you hit the three dots in the upper right. This will take a snapshot of your weather and send it to someone using all the different ways Android can share. Speaking of sharing, I also like how WeatherBug has a photo section. Users of the app can submit photos of cool weather or sunsets real time, and everyone else who uses the app can check them out.
Have a great app you want to share? Email it to apps@BreakingModern.com.
All screenshots: Mat Lee