The weather is one tap away
Android is a virtual paradise for weather geeks and anyone who just wants to know if it’s going to rain today. Between all the weather apps out there and Google’s built-in tools you’ll never be short of meteorological data to help you decide if you need to pack an umbrella or grab extra sunscreen.
Here are our ten favorites, which should ensure you’ll have plenty of information to satisfy your appetite for the day’s forecast. Most are free, but usually there are extra perks worth having if you can spare a few dollars to support development.
If you desire a smooth and clutter-free weather experience, you’ll really like Weather Timeline. The app uses pleasant animations for rain, snow, and sunshine. You’ll also get good details about the forthcoming precipitation, temperature, and many other data points. It will make those iPhone fans who brag about how great Dark Sky just a little bit jealous, especially since this is one of those rare apps that’s an Android exclusive.
Weather Timeilne also has a great selection of widgets if you want the forecast right on your homescreen. Android Wear support is also top notch, with current and daily weather report cards shrunk down for your watch.
Fresh off of a Material Design-inspired revamp, AccuWeather is built with the weather geek in mind. It offers plenty of videos, forecasts, and projections to fully explain the weather scenarios. There's also a useful Android Wear app, which gives you a dedicated tool to check out the current temperature or upcoming forecast on your wrist.
There's a free version if you want to try AccuWeather out, but it's worth the modest expenditure for no ads and the full experience.
The Weather Channel
The name “Weather Channel” is for many people synonymous with weather forecasts. The app is a pretty solid option, with lots of video, maps, and other data.
There’s a lot packed in here, including a persistent temperature reading that lives in the notification bar. There are also many different alert options, allowing you to select notifications for rain, lighting strikes, or breaking news.
The app also has a monetization scheme called mPoints, which has a scroll of offers from other apps and companies. It lives to the right of the app’s main screen, but fortunately you can turn it off.
If you have an Android tablet the app is one of the few optimized for bigger screens. Included are plenty of widget choices to put all that screen real estate to work.
Google's quest to organize the world's information extends to the weather.
Google's weather information can be found a few ways. You can issue a voice command by asking, "How's the weather?" Or launch Google Now to see a dedicated weather card that offers brief weather details based on your location. If you've installed the Google Now Launcher, you'll get a notification from time to time about the day's forecast.
On Android Wear, you'll see a weather card that tells you the current temperature and expected weather for the next few days. If you just want to be able to find out the temperature and what the weather might look like tomorrow, Google may be all you need.
Maybe you don’t want to just see the weather. Perhaps you want to hear it also. YoWindow is a pretty unique experience, as it fills the screen with a live background which mimics the weather conditions.
Some cities like New York have a customized backdrop, while other locations will send you into the woods where you might hear the coyotes howl.
The images also use a Parallax effect, so move around your phone to see the stars in the sky move. It’s a pretty fun app—check out the free version if you’re not sure you want to get all that noise with your daily forecast.
Weather Underground just got a nice overhaul that will make Material Design fans happy. I find the new look makes it very easy to navigate, as all the content is focused into one stream, whereas other weather apps sometimes shift content into multiple areas. You’ll find Doppler radar, detailed forecasts, and rather easy-to-read charts.
I also appreciate the health section, as it has good information about the air quality, UV index, and influenza details. You also get some widget options, though it would be better if the 4x1 would stretch over one more space for larger devices like the Nexus 6P or Galaxy Note.
The app is ad-supported, but you can nix them with a $1.99 per year annual subscription.
If you like your weather app dark and to the point, then 1Weather is a good choice. The black background makes the text easy on the eyes, although you can customize some elements of the view with landscapes, live weather views, or cats (it's still the Internet, after all).
The app also follows the new permissions model in Marshmallow, so you can agree specifically to each request for your location or other personal data.
The widget choices are good, especially with some larger ones that would stretch out on a big phone or tablet. If you want to nix the ads (there’s a fake Facebook notification that’s particularly annoying) it’s $1.99.
If you enjoy being wowed by visuals, then you'll enjoy Yahoo Weather. If it's raining your screen will mimic a window that's dripping with water and condensation. Scroll down for a five- or ten-day forecast, maps, wind, pressure, and sunset information with a pleasant aesthetic.
Unfortunately there's no way to kill of the ads, and the slide-out menu carries plenty of Yahoo propoganda. But it's still a great option if you want a simple, and free, weather app.
Eye in the Sky Weather
Here’s another nice Android exclusive that you can show off to your iPhone-using friends. Eye in the Sky scraps all the extraneous detail and focuses in on the day’s forecast, with a quick swipe to see the next 48 hours or 15 days.
Pro tip: the first thing you’ll need to do in the U.S. is change the temperature unit to Fahrenheit, as the default is Celsius.
You’ll also find a good number of large and small widgets to bring that minimal goodness to your home screen.
The app is free, and a $1.80 in-app upgrade will remove the ads. While I still enjoy using Eye in the Sky, it’s worth noting the last update was in March of 2014.
The “Insta” in the name should offer a clue that this is a more social-focused app. Instead of just telling you about the weather, InstaWeather wants you to share it with others, complete with a selfie or picture from your recent vacation.
It’s great if you’re traveling, as you can make the family back in Minnesota jealous when you show them the daily forecast and a shot of everyone on the beach in Hawaii.
Another nice little perk, however, is that InstaWeather can create widgets out of your personal pictures, so your child, pet, or just a favorite scene can live on the home screen with the forcast.
You can check out a free version if you want to see if this is for you.