After the Twitter for iPhone app comparison last week, my friend and Iterate podcast co-host Seth Clifford remarked that weather apps were the new hotness when it came to interface playgrounds for iOS designers. So, I jumped into the App Store, downloaded 26 popular weather apps, added Apple's built-in iOS weather app, and grabbed all their screens.
They tend to fall into two main categories -- informationally dense, and informationally minimalist. Some apps put everything, including a forecast for your kitchen sink, right on the main screen so you can soak in as much as you want at a glance. Others hide away everything but the essentials, and either let you dig deeper when you want to, or eschew complexity entirely. What's clear is that there are a ton of different takes. Some use buttons, some use gestures. Some are static, others dynamic. Some try to match weather with mood, others prefer a dashboard look. Some go for a full-on digital look, while others stick to more real-world analogs. In many cases, the diversity is as thoughtful as it is impressive.
Here, in order, from top left to bottom right, are:
Of course, the weather screen proper is only one aspect of a weather app, and doesn't cover features like radar, videos, etc. Consider this comparison a starting point. For more on the individual apps, check out our weather app review series.
Still, look over the designs above and let me know what you think. Which weather apps do you use, and are they the same ones that appeal to you most in the comparison above? Any of the weather screens attractive enough they encourage you check out an alternative app?