Magical Weather: The Name Says It All

Since the release of the iPad there has been a dearth of decent weather apps. Apple decided not to build one themselves, thus leaving the door wide open for someone to make a gorgeous and unmissable weather app – but this didn’t really happen…

Weather HD was an early addition to the App Store and has some great plus points; it looks great and makes full use of photography on the iPad. But there was a catch, it lacked the actual information that you want from a weather app, making it enjoyable but somewhat redundant. More recently Aelios has come along and made a strong statement with its interface, and given the weather category a shot in the arm, but it lacks simplicity in its execution and certainly isn’t everyone’s idea of perfection.

Fear not, there is a new kid on the block. Magical Weather is a simple, yet powerful, weather app that I believe exemplifies what looking up weather should be like on the iPad! Read on to find out more…

Design

Magical Weather is the new app from Sophia Teutschler, the developer behind the excellent Articles Wikipedia app. When it comes to design, simplicity and beauty are high on the list and Magical Weather is no exception; perhaps the greatest compliment I give for both Magical Weather and Articles is that I can’t imagine Apple doing it better!

It's sunny in Timbuktu, surprisingly...

The use of imagery is perfect, while the layout and design is effortlessly intuitive. It’s amazing how much information is given to you, while still keeping the interface clear and stylish.

Home

The home screen is a sheer joy to behold. Once you’ve used the Edit button to customise the locations, you are presented with a grid of up to 9 weather locations – each with a photographic image representing the weather, the temperature in large type, and a symbol denoting the forecast for the day.

I was amazed at the scope of recognition when adding new locations. It simply couldn’t be easier to add places, even relatively obscure ones.

The home screen.

You can easily add or remove locations, and simply drag and drop to shuffle them around and get the grid just how you’d like it! It’s great that Magical Weather uses the images to show whether it’s day or night at a certain location.

Night time in Tokyo.

The home screen also gives you access to the settings panel, which is kept as simple as possible. It gives you the choice to switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit, and select how you’d like Wind Speed to be displayed, including such options as:

  • m/s
  • km/h
  • mph
  • Beaufort
  • Knots

The settings pane.

I really like that there is one panel on the home screen that always displays the weather in your local area – so long as you give the app location access.

Definitely worth saying yes to this one!

A Simple Touch

With a simple tap you are taken from the home screen to a more detailed view of any location you so choose. The background imagery is gorgeous, with clouds gently moving across the sky or drops of rain landing on the screen. There are three viewing options for the weather information itself, you just swipe to move between them.

Minimal

The first view is the most minimal, with the temperature and some details regarding the current weather displayed in the bottom right corner. The most delightful thing about this view is the space it gives to the background imagery!

The typography throughout is just perfect, the information crystal clear yet stylish.. The same goes for the iconography, a great degree of care has gone in to making appealing and functional icons.

The minimal view.

Even in the minimal view, Magical Weather uses simple icons to give you information relating to:

  • Change from Yesterday
  • Atmospheric Pressure
  • Humidity
  • Today’s High
  • Today’s Low
  • Chance of Rain
  • Wind
  • UV Index

Just tap Help to see what each of the symbols denotes.

Weekly Forecast

An upwards swipe from the first view brings up a sidebar on the right that gives you access to a weeks worth of weather information. This is probably the most sought-after view, it’s clean and stylish yet effortlessly functional. You can immediately get a picture of the upcoming weather, including brief text descriptions that concentrate the information into bite-size weather snippets – featuring such classics as: Sunny spells, Rather cloudy, Sunny intervals, and Overcast, thunderstorm.

The weekly forecast.

Hourly Forecast

This is a feature that people might not have requested, but will find ample use for in practice. Swiping to the left extends the forecast to show hourly information for the current day; the use of symbols, temperature. and rain probability giving you a clear overview of the weather that day.

The hourly forecast.

This is very useful, as often the weather will change on you and a daily overview just isn’t accurate enough – what about that barbeque I’m planning?

Accuracy

This is obviously a huge concern for any weather app, as what’s the point if it’s not going to be accurate. From my experience so far, Magical Weather has been very reliable, but it’s something that we’ll have to see over time. The website for the app explains that it gets its information from MeteoGroup, Europe’s largest private sector weather business – which certainly sounds convincing!

Final Thoughts

Personally, I love Magical Weather. It fits my needs perfectly, giving me accurate information in a gorgeously design iPad app. I believe this will be many people’s experience of the app, that it’s exactly what they would have wanted from a weather app designed by Apple itself.

It’s currently a snip at only $0.99 in the App Store, and a well recommended purchase for anyone looking for an elegant and useful weather app. Magical Weather is the weather app we’ve been waiting for…


Summary

Magical Weather is a beautifully designed weather app for the iPad that manages to be both elegant and useful. Apple could hardly have done better...

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