One of my favorite things about the iPad (and, I suppose, the iPhone) is that it makes it much more convenient to get the information I need in the morning. No more booting up the computer and finding websites. No more turning on the TV and waiting for the report I want. I just turn on the iPad, launch the appropriate app, and get the information I need in seconds. One of the first things I check is the local weather, and I do that with Bigsool’s WeatherStation Free.
What is it?
WeatherStation Free is a free weather station. It really doesn’t need much explanation beyond that. When you launch the app, it pulls in the current temperature and weather conditions from the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), and gives you for the forecast for the daytime and evening, as well as the next five days. You’ll see your high and low temperatures for the day, but not for the five day forecast, unfortunately, where only the high is reported.
It does, however, give you some information that other paid weather apps don’t: wind chill / heat index, wind speed and direction, humidity, barometer and dewpoint. All of this is presented in a clean, ad-free layout that gives you a few basic display options.
How does it work?
Weather Station uses your iPad’s WiFi or 3G, if you have it, to determine your location, and then automatically displays the weather info. You can override this by hitting the Update location button and dropping a pin on the Google Map display. This is fine if you’re in the location of the weather you want to see, but not at all convenient if you’re in, say, Ohio, and you want the weather for Seattle or Betws-y-Coed. In the Settings app, you can manually enter your latitude and longitude if you happen to have that information lying around.
While you’re tapping buttons at the bottom of the screen, you can also change the display theme, although your options are basically just minor color variations. Weather Station can be displayed in portrait or landscape mode, and back in the Settings app, you can switch it between Fahrenheit and Celsius, and you can adjust the refresh rate.
Is it contagious?
Well, I wouldn’t say it’s contagious, but it certainly does the job. I’d be happier if setting up new locations (and saving them for quick reference) was easier, and showing both the high and low in the five day forecast would be helpful. But as it is, WeatherStation gives you more information than some of its competitors that aren’t free, so you should certainly start here when looking for a better way to get the weather.