Google is always trying to get you to stay on their website. While there are websites out there dedicated to currency conversion, weather forecasts, and converting units, Google has made their search box an indispensable tool that they want you to use, over and over again, so you don’t forget just how awesome they are. This is where the new “Google Weather” comes in.
Whip out your Android powered smartphone, or an iPhone, and do a Google search for the word “weather” and take a look at what the search company has done. All it took was “a user experience designer and team of engineers” to knock up this handy way to not only see how cold and miserable it is outside right now, but you also get a slider that shows you how conditions are due to change over the next few hours.
Handy? Absolutely. Ruining the business models for sites like weather.com who provide detailed forecasts and satellite data showing snow storms, cold fronts, and thunderstorms coming to your neighborhood? Totally. We can’t fault Google for wanting to do something like this, and in fact it’s rather handy.
Many of you will say “but I have a widget on my homescreen that does this” or “there is an amazingly pretty app for the iPhone that blows this out of the water”, but you’re missing the point entirely. Web applications are here to stay, and using the very simple to find location of where you are on a map, piecing together data that’s already freely available on the internet, and some dynamic backgrounds that change depending on what time of the day you’re looking at, Google has demonstrated, once again, that native apps aren’t the only game in town.
What about Symbian users? There are more of them around the world than any other smartphone platform, but they’re sadly left behind.