Finally, a working weather gauge for your iPhone home screen!

From the What-Took-So-Long Department comes Fahrenheit, a terrific 99-cent weather app that displays the current temperature on its icon badge. Genius!

Fahrenheit: 41. No, that's not the number of messages I have waiting--it's the current outdoor temp! (Yeah, Michigan weather sucks.)
Fahrenheit: 41. No, that's not the number of messages I have waiting--it's the current outdoor temp! (Yeah, Michigan weather sucks.) Screenshot by Rick Broida

I'm pretty sure icon badges (the little red numbers that appear in the corners of some apps) have been around since iPhone Day One, and yet Apple has never seen fit to add one to its Weather app. Which is strange, seeing as that would give you a convenient at-a-glance outdoor temperature reading.

As always, third-party developers to the rescue. New weather app Fahrenheit (also available as Celsius) works a lot like the countless other weather apps currently available, but with one tiny--yet major--difference: it displays the current temperature as an icon badge.

In other words, now you can finally have a temperature gauge right on your home screen. The app is universal, so it works equally well on iPhones, iPods, and iPads. Just start it once, approve notifications and your location, then head back to Home. Presto: there's your local temp!

Of course, you can't judge a weather app by its ingenious badge alone. Fahrenheit keeps things simple but informative with a 10-day forecast, each day showing high/low temps and a general summary: "overcast and rain," "partly cloudy," and the like.

You can tap any day to expand a full forecast, complete with UV index, wind speeds, sunrise/sunset times, and temps/conditions in three-hour intervals.

In short, Fahrenheit offers all the weather data most people need, and does so with a simple, elegant interface. It's my new favorite weather app (good riddance, AccuWeather!), and the best 99 cents I've spent this month. (Added bonus: its omnipresence on your home screen should help you learn to spell "Fahrenheit," a notoriously tricky word.)

 

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