Thursday, March 29, 2012

WeatherMaster for Windows Phone 7 review

There seems to be no shortage of good weather apps on Windows Phone 7. I have been installing and trying out a handful of competent weather apps over the past few months, and of those, at least half of them are good enough to recommend outright. Even Microsoft has stepped up and addressed their free Weather app by making it Windows Phone 7 Mango compatible, with Live Tile and all.

To me a good weather app should satisfy three criteria: provide an accurate weather forecast, a Live Tile (or widget if it is on Android) that is well designed and offers some form of customisation. Most of the free and paid weather apps on Windows Phone do at least satisfy two of those.

The accuracy of weather forecast obviously depends on the source that the app obtains from. Either way, the quality of weather data can't be predicted until one try them all, over as many locations as possible. One weather app may provide an accurate weather data for one geographical location, but not for others. It all depends on where the app sources its data from.

After a couple of months of installing and uninstalling tons of various weather clients, I've finally settled on what I would call the weather app to have if you are on Windows Phone. WeatherMaster by Snocc is a commerical app that costs £1.49/US$1.99. It may sound expensive for a weather app but it satisfy all the criteria that I want from a nice weather app.
WeatherMaster supports the pinning of multiple well designed Live Tiles. Each tile displays the weather, current temperature, maximum and minimum temperature, location and the time of the last update. The back tile on the other hand displays the weather forecast for the following two days, including both max and min temperatures. While the tiles are not customisable like StormGlass (an excellent freeware weather app), they aren't overpowering with information, which makes them easy to glance over - a key philosophy of the Metro user interface.

The one feature that made WeatherMaster stood out over many of their competitors is the ability to pin a Live Tile specific for the location you are in. Most apps allows you to pin fixed locations to the Start screen, but WeatherMaster at least allows me to keep track of the weather from my current location. Locations and forecasts are updated automatically in the background. It supports seven days of forecast, presented in detail in a chart form with all sort of information (including 'feels like' temperature) that would make any weather geek happy. An animated weather map, including radar layer, is also available.
WeatherMaster does what it says on the tin and more. It is simple and powerful. While the core app itself doesn't really conform to the Metro design language, it is still beautifully designed and laid out. Don't take my word for it. WeatherMaster is available to try for seven days on the Windows Phone Marketplace.

In the event that you find the data of WeatherMaster not reliable enough for your location,Windows Phone has plenty of alternative weather apps worth checking out, both freeware and commercial. Weather Flow for example is a beautiful new app by the makers of AppFlow. And if you are someone who swears by Gismeteo weather data, you will be glad to know they have also released their own app.


sell cell phones online_Mapi said...

Great review. The Live Tile support that is hourly refresh is so cool, keeps me on track.

Anonymous said...

Only weather app which live tile changes to current location, exactly what I was looking for!