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Spb Weather 2.0 review: Spb Weather 2.0

Spb's Weather for Windows Mobile is fantastic, but its price tag will be too rich for most people looking for an app that tells them whether or not they need to take an umbrella to work.

Joseph Hanlon Special to CNET News
Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies.
Joseph Hanlon
2 min read

Design and features
Anyone who says that there are no attractive third-party apps for Windows Mobile isn't familiar with the clever folks from Spb. Last year we reviewed the company's excellent Mobile Shell interface mod for the lacklustre Windows OS — a mod that makes the difficult-to-access WiMo menus almost completely "finger friendly". A part of this modded interface is an updating weather icon, but it seems Spb wasn't content to leave the weather there.


Spb Weather 2.0

The Good

Excellent interface. Finger-friendly. Up to 10 cities displayed at once. Rotating 3D globe display. Great performance.

The Bad

Expensive for what it is. Same info is available online for free.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to apps for Windows Mobile, no one makes them better than Spb. Whether or not you'll pay $30 for a weather app is another question entirely.

Spb Weather 2.0 is exactly as it sounds, plus a couple of nifty extras. Users select their home city and up to nine other cities whose weather interests them, and the software displays a five-day forecast that can move from city to city with a simple finger swipe. At this level, the Spb Weather app is similar to the weather tab on HTC's TouchFlo 3D interface.

Touching one of the five days on display gives a detailed summary of the weather for that day; the night before, morning, afternoon and evening, plus a humidity rating and barometric pressure.

In truth, this is more than enough detail for most when you just need to decide whether to take an umbrella in the morning, but extra to this basic functionality Spb includes a 3D rotating globe ala Google Earth. The globe displays the 10 pre-selected cities and is rotated with the swipe of your finger.

As with the other Spb applications we've reviewed, Weather 2.0 features superb navigation. Each section of the interface is large, clear and easy to select with a finger. The graphics are sharp and attractive, and the options are easy to decipher.

The application ran without any difficulty (we tested the Weather 2.0 software on a recently released HTC smartphone). It opens and updates the necessary data without pausing, and the finger swiping is very responsive. Similarly, rotating the globe is smooth and nearly lag free.

The only downside to Spb Weather 2.0 is its price tag. Spb charges US$19.95 for it and this seems quite a bit to ask for an app that gives you the same information as bookmarking the Bureau of Meteorology website and accessing it for free. The app is very slick and easy to use, but whether or not you fork out AU$30 for it will be a matter of personal choice. We think it's a tad steep, especially when you get a similar tool bundled into the excellent Mobile Shell, which costs only US$10 more.