After being the only web app pinned to my iPhone’s SpringBoard for exactly a month, the Sun weather app finally has some competition. The newly launched Forecast might not be as colorful and good-looking as some of the other apps already available for smartphones, but it can certainly hold its own when it comes to uniqueness and features. Forecast is a web app but unlike Sun, it works on both desktop and mobile devices. Both versions are a bit different of course, but their core functionality remains the same. In addition to the usual weather data you can find in any app of this genre, Forecast offers animated weather indicators, access to weather archives of any location, and a precipitation chart that can be used to track the movement of clouds around the world.
Forecast needs access to your current location in order to work properly, but you can also add locations to it manually. On a mobile device, hit the top-left icon to access the app’s main menu and add new places to it. The same menu houses options for switching between temperature units.
The main screen of Forecast displays the current temperature, along with an animation that matches the weather conditions outside. Users also get to see weather prediction for the next hour, along with a 24-hour summary of upcoming weather. Swipe across the bottom bar to view expected temperatures for the next few hours. Tapping the ‘+’ icon on the main screen replaces the current temperature with other weather data, like wind speed, visibility, humidity and pressure.
To see weekly forecast for a location, drag the ‘Next Week’ text from the bottom of the screen. You can view details for each day using the slider that is revealed when you tap the day’s entry once.
Probably the best feature of Forecast is its precipitation map that you can access by tapping the top-right corner of the app’s main page on your device. You can view regional and global rain activities in all locations of the globe, while for some areas, even local precipitation maps are available. To view the path of clouds on the map as they move, and see their positions in the past or future, use the timeline shown at the bottom of the screen.
The features discussed above are present on both the desktop and mobile versions of Forecast, but there is one thing that isn’t available on mobile devices for now. This feature is ‘Time Machine’, which lets you view weather information from the past. On your desktop web browser, just click the time machine button and enter a date. The app will take you to the weather archives of your area for that date. This feature is coming to mobile devices in the future, as revealed by the app itself whenever your iPhone is held in landscape mode.
Forecast is a free app. The mobile version is optimized for iOS, but also works for other platforms to a large extent. Give it a try by heading to the following link from your smartphone or computer.