This uniquely visual weather app stands out from its contemporaries like a ray of light – but is it actually any good?
Price: Free (+ IAP)
Size: 16.5 MB
Developer: Alfred Astort
A Weather Way helps you to visualize your day to see how the change in weather will affect your planned activities. It presents a cute visual timeline of events alongside hourly forecasts, helping you know if it’s likely to hail while you’re out to lunch, or if it’s better to take a rain check on your weekly tennis match.
You define daily routines, which will automatically repeat so the app knows what time you usually take your work breaks and when you’re commuting. You can also customize specific days if you have plans to head to the beach at the weekend. These routines are created by dragging cartoon icons onto a timeline, creating a graphical depiction of your plans. Diary meets comic book.
Cycling to work at 8am? Just drag the bike graphic onto the scene. End-of-the-week drinks on the cards? Pop the bar graphic into Friday’s evening slot. In this way you build up a cartoonish representation of where you plan to be at all times, meaning the hourly weather forecasts become a lot more relevant to your actual life.
It’s a neat idea, and certainly helps to visualize a whole day at once. The color-coded background changes in hue with the ups and downs of the temperature, while animated rainclouds or beams of sunlight shine down on the custom-built landscape at the right moments.
One thing to note is that although the app itself is free, you’ll need to pay a small in-app purchase for Premium, which grants access to the full customization options. Without this you’re stuck with the default sample routes which are, frankly, useless. It’s better to consider the IAP as the price of entry to the app.
Though it makes sense for the long visual timeline at the app’s core, we think locking it to landscape mode is a sin. Weather apps should be a breeze to check, and portrait mode is just so much more natural and convenient. For planning your day in the morning it works fine, but it’s not the sort of app you’ll want to check up on throughout the day.
Despite a strong concept and a lot of promise, the app suffers from a series of small annoyances which quickly add up. Time slots only in full hours, the icons are kind of inconsistent (only some actions are animated) and bizarrely there seems to be no way to delete an icon after placing it on the timeline. We also found a handful of small bugs which will hopefully be patched out, such as the backspace key not working properly when renaming a routine, and activity icons aligning differently in the preview compared with the main timeline.
Overall this is a really great concept but feels very much like the version 1.0 implementation that it is. A sweep of minor improvements would go a long way, as would some additional content, but right now A Weather Way feels distinctly undercooked. It’s smart, functional and completely unique – we’re confident many people will be willing to overlook the inconsistencies and lack of portrait mode to experience a personalized cartoon forecast.
- Interesting concept
- Clever visual timeline
- Lacking in features
- No portrait view
- Somewhat buggy