The free Weather Channel iPhone and iPod touch app just got its first major redesign since launching in 2008. It’s gotten several feature and design improvements over the years, but the app is taking a leap forward in looks and function with today’s version 5.0 update.
Launching the app reveals the standard splash screen followed by the entirely new experience. The first thing you’ll probably notice is the current temperature because it’s gigantic. You can swipe left and right if you have more than one location saved to view the different weather conditions. The scenic background changes according to the weather outside — if it’s sunny outside, you’ll see a bright sky, and if it’s raining, you’ll see rain, etc. An expandable plus button will also display advanced details like wind, humidity, UV index, sunrise, sunset, and more.
The bottom toggle for current conditions, hourly forecast, 36-hour forecast, and 10-day forecast is unchanged for the most part. However, the forecasts have a much cleaner look now and you can also swipe right or left in any of these views to see the forecasts for your different cities.
Everything above is contained under the middle Weather tab. The Map and Video tabs on the left are exactly as they seem — the animated weather map shows the United States with a radar, satellite, or other options and the video section has user-submitted weather clips as well as content from The Weather Channel. The Social tab is new and it lets you view nationwide iWitness photos, submit your own, view tweets, and tweet your own weather. Lastly, the In Season tab has specific forecasts that only apply to different parts of the year like pollen, marine, and Hurricane Central.
The Weather Channel did a pretty good job with this update, but it’s worth noting some issues. At least for me, the app is very sluggish for now. Scrolling isn’t as smooth as you’d expect on the iPhone and switching between tabs sometimes lags. Also, iOS users who paid $3.99 for The Weather Channel Max app should be understandably frustrated that they didn’t receive the redesign before free users did.
You can get the Weather Channel app for iPhone and iPod touch in the App Store.