So, what’s the weather like? A perennial question indeed, but somehow in winter it seems to loom more important than usual (especially if you’re used to pleasant weather and don’t take kindly to being surprised by rainstorms). If you like getting your weather information from the Web, we’ve got you covered with Dave’s recent post, What Are The Best Weather Websites. Then again, if you’re an iOS user, you’d do well to check out Yaara’s post covering AccuWeather for iOS.
But if it’s an Android weather app you’re after, well, I think I’ve got what you need. It’s called Eye in The Sky, and it’s got a way of showing you the weather with maximum information and minimum clutter.
I’ve chosen to begin this review by covering Eye in The Sky’s myriad bundled widgets, rather than the app itself. After all, widgets are an essential part of any weather application, and you’re likely to be using the widgets more often than you’ll use the app itself. Weather information is one of those things most people like to have handy at their fingertips, rather than to have to open an app to find out.
If you’re one of those people, you’re in luck, because Eye in The Sky comes with four possible widgets, each very configurable:
That’s the widget selection menu. Just to show you the possible variety, I went crazy and placed all four widgets on one screen:
So, up top you see the 4×1 Forecast widget. In the next row there are two 1×1 widgets, Icon and Temperature, accordingly. And finally, if you’ve got lots of space on your homescreen, there’s the 4×2 Cities widget that combines location, temperature, weather, and a four-day forecast. You’ll note that all three widgets that have icons use different styles of icons.
Eye in The Sky comes bundled with a number of icons packs you can choose from, all quite beautiful. I like the fact you can choose icons on a per-widget basis, and don’t have to settle for a single icon style for the entire app.
Tap the three-dot “menu” icon on the top-right corner of any widget, and you’ll get its configuration menu:
Here you can see the same 4×2 Cities widget shown in the homescreen screenshot above, but with a different icon set (Climacons Dark). Note what a stark difference the selection of icons makes. You can also specify a color for the text and background and set their opacity. You can see this in the homescreen screenshot.
I’ve set the background for all widgets to be 100% transparent, except for the Cities one where I’ve made it a bit more opaque and enabled rounded corners. Lots and lots of flexibility here.
As a side note, if you’re into widgets in general, you’d do well to check out Angela’s recent review of Beautiful Widgets for Android. As the name says, they really are quite pretty (and feature weather information, too!).
There will be times when the widget of your choice won’t offer the information you’re after, especially if you opt for one of the more minimalistic 1×1 widgets. When that happens, a single tap on the widget brings you into the app itself:
The app features three tabs – 48 Hours, Currently, and 15 Days. The middle one, Currently, is where you’ll land by default. You can see the current temperature and condition, as well as the humidity and wind. If you want even more information, tap the top half of the screen to drill in:
You can now see the Feels Like temperature, Dew Point, and other information down to the exact atmospheric pressure in millibar. Throughout the app, tapping a single measurement usually brings you to this extended information screen.
If you swipe over to the 48 Hours tab, you’ll discover this fine-grained list of predictions:
And if you want something longer-range, two quick swipes bring you over to the 15 Days screen:
As simple as could be, really.
Last but not least, I like to take a look at the settings of every application I review. A very complex Settings screen usually means either the app is powerful, or too complicated. For an app like Eye in The Sky, I would expect a bare-bones, minimal settings screen. And indeed:
No sub-categories of settings to drill into, and nothing overly complex here. Nice and simple.
Those two words, “nice and simple,” sum up Eye in The Sky for me. It’s an Android weather app that doesn’t try to do too much, and excels at what it does. Of course, it may not make the prediction itself accurate, but it sure has a nice way of showing it.
Do you use a weather app for Android? If so, what’s your favorite option? Let me know below!