The weather app that comes with your iPhone works fine, but there are much better options in the App Store if you want to stay on top of the forecast.
Jason ParkerSenior Editor / Reviews - Software
Jason Parker has been at CNET for nearly 15 years. He is the senior editor in charge of iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.
The weather app that comes with iOS is fine for checking the forecast quickly and it's powered by Yahoo Weather, so you can be sure you're getting accurate weather info. But with so many great replacements in the App Store, it's worth it to check out what else is available.
The old trend for weather apps was to pack as much information as possible into the app, but that often resulted in list-style interfaces that were too busy and hard to navigate. These all-in-one weather apps certainly have their place, especially when you need all the information for tracking hurricanes and tornadoes, but for a quick forecast, they're pretty unwieldy.
Fortunately, more recently, weather apps have turned toward creative designs that give you all the information you need, but still give you more at a glance than Apple's weather app without becoming too overwhelming.
I've rounded up five apps with unique design elements that make checking the weather a bit more fun. While there are plenty of free options available, I'm covering paid apps so you know whether you should spend your cash.
Dark Sky is a weather app that will make you do a double-take when you realize what it's capable of doing. Instead of just giving you the standard weather forecast (though it does that too), the developers of Dark Sky opted to go one step further and proactively alert you when nasty weather is heading your way.
Predicting the weather is obviously not an exact science, but by using your exact location, Dark Sky is able to pull in data and tailor the app to give you the weather around you. It might be a bit pricey (currently at $3.99/£2.49), but the peace of mind you get in knowing you won't be caught in the rain is worth it.
What I liked: The alerts let you know when bad weather is coming to your location.
What I didn't: It's much less accurate in more remote areas.
Haze is an app I've written about before, but it's such a neat app for checking the weather that it deserves to be in this list. With Haze you can swipe left or right or touch buttons at the bottom to see the current temperature, sunshine hours, and chance of precipitation.
When you touch the temperature in the center of the screen, five circles expand outward showing you the high and low for the day, the temperature it feels like, wind speed, and wind direction. There's even an animation on each screen that slowly moves upward if it's going to be hotter tomorrow or downward if it's going to be cooler. Though it takes a bit of playing around to learn all the functions, this is easily one of my favorite weather apps.
What I liked: The app lets you get the weather at a glance, but has options for more information if you want it.
What I didn't: Haze only shows you the weather in your area.
Perfect Weather is great for checking the weather in multiple cities, letting you add as many cities as you want. When you view your location, you get a overhead map with the temperature at the top, a button for playing the local radar animation, and another button for switching between rain and cloud animation layers.
It also has a really neat interface element to get more information. You can touch and drag to unfold a tab that shows things such as the weekly forecast, temperature information by the hour, and precipitation. When you're finished, you can fold it right back up to see the full view of the map. Perfect Weather is a great weather app with one big caveat: you can only view the weather in the United States.
What I liked: I like the live radar and the ability to see temperatures from several cities at once.
What I didn't: It only offers temperatures in the United States.
Weather Line concentrates on how the weather will change using lines that plot the temperature and forecast. Across the top of the interface you have tabs for hourly, daily, and monthly outlooks, and pressing them gives you a line that marks the actual temperatures (for hourly and daily), and yearly averages (for monthly). Weather Line is not terribly eye-catching, but added features like severe weather alerts give this app something more than the others in this collection.
You can add as many cities as you want with Weather Line and you can add cities from around the world. One thing you can't do is see all the temperatures for your selected cities on one screen, and instead need to swipe across the top to get to your other cities.
What I liked: It's great to not only see the forecast, but also weather trends and averages from year to year.
What I didn't: The interface is a little boring aesthetically, but maybe if there were themes it would be better.
OutCast is a little different from the other apps in this collection because it does offer an overwhelming amount of information, but somehow manages to remain easy to use. The app defaults to showing you your local weather, with wind speed, "feels like" temperatures, and humidity readings all at the top of the screen. A middle section gives you the heads up on precipitation and nearby storms. Then, at the bottom, you can look at either the 12-hour forecast or the forecast for the week.
With OutCast you get a bit more than the other apps, with a menu button in the upper left that lets you check buoy stations, tide stations, and marine forecasts. Boaters and surfers might like the added info, but even if you just want OutCast for basic weather, it's a solid app.
What I liked: It packs a lot of information into the app without being overwhelming.
What I didn't: You can't look at temperatures for multiple cities at a glance.