capsule review

WeatherBug

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder WeatherBug

    PCWorld Rating

WeatherBug is a weather app that is rich in features, although most people will probably be interested only in the basics. That may be for the best, because some of the more advanced functions in WeatherBug can be confusing and difficult to use.

The main screen shows you the temperature in your area, the direction and strength of the wind, the high and low for the day, the amount of rain, and the weekly forecast. In one nice touch, WeatherBug displays the temperature on your phone's notification bar, too.

At the bottom of the WeatherBug screen is an unlabeled menu icon for the weekly forecast, a radar map, a picture from a nearby weather station, and a host of other features. Unfortunately this is where WeatherBug gets a little confusing: For example, I couldn't understand why it had a separate section for the weekly forecast when that information was already available on the main screen. After playing with it, however, I discovered that I could swipe the screen to the right to display even more detailed information about a particular day, and then go farther right to display information by the hour. That's a really useful function--but a lot of people could download the app and not know about it. The screen displays some arrows to indicate that you are supposed to do that, but they are tiny and easy to miss.

Similarly, the radar section seems as if it could be pretty interesting, but I'm still trying to figure out how to use it. Perhaps the most annoying aspect, though, is that one of the menu buttons is actually five different buttons that you have to switch through--and you have to select your desired option quickly, before the screen goes away. These features were enough of a pain to select that I didn't investigate them carefully, but in the resulting screens the app again provides detailed information about weather-related phenomena such as the amount of pollen in the air, the humidity, and dangerous-weather alerts.

Despite the confusing design, WeatherBug is definitely worth picking up. Just be prepared to spend some time exploring its features, which are not always well advertised.

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder WeatherBug

    PCWorld Rating
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