March 31, 2009, 2:29 PM — Living in New England, there's an old "joke" we've grown accustomed to and ultimately rather irritated by: "If you don't like the weather, just wait a minute!". Cue the laugh track. Ancient jokes aside, there is a modicum of truth there. This past winter we had a 56 degree day followed by two days of accumulating snow.
Folks take the weather seriously here, and not to be outdone I've become something of a weather junkie. Now, with a new Blackberry Storm in my mitts, the very first app that I looked for was a sleek, accurate weather application.
There are several weather apps to choose from, a few of which can be found bookmarked on your BlackBerry's native browser. Many of these apps are free of charge. Of course, it should be noted at this point that nothing is truly free app-wise in this day and age, so expect to have ads streaming on your phone. Perhaps this is a small inconvenience, perhaps not. That's up to you and the intrusiveness of said advertisement.
Weatherbug is a very well known application that got it's start as a chirpy little program that resided on your PC. Now it's a powerful weather application that will still chirp if you want it to. The WBug is also an app you need to pay to use after 30 days. To my mind, if you're going to pay for an application that delivers the same information you can get from reading the yahoo.com home page, it had better be a mind-altering, weather slinging experience. I have seen plenty of BB Storm screenshots, complete with beautiful weathermaps and real-time radar. After anxiously downloading, I started going through the setup. The WBug is buggy on the Storm...or at the least it's just not easy to use. Intuitive? Sure. I just couldn't get past choosing my country. Let me type in my zip code and be done with it. Bottom line: 30 day trial is about 29.5 days too long.
The next application I tried was AccuWeather. What initially attracted me to this app was the "push" aspect. This program sends weather information in the form of high & low daily temperatures and a little icon (showing what the weather would be like in a teeny graphical format) directly to your BB's home screen. Upon launching, I said, "Ooooo". Yes, "Ooooo". That was, after I figured out that the flashlight-looking icon was supposed to be the sun. Ah. As advertised, the daily temperatures were right there on my phone. No need to go to a website. I knew what the basic forecast was going to be: 50 degrees fahrenheit with a bit of flashlight. Double-click
the icon and you are taken to the website where you can get a very basic weather report after clicking a few links and reading a few ads. Still, not bad at all.
The winner of my weather app search is BBWeather. Like AccuWeather, the information is pushed to your BB. Unlike AccuWeather, this application is significantly more friendly, adjustable, has depth and is kinda cute. You can determine what the little home screen icon displays -- time, time & forecast, current temp and forecast, etc. A mouse-over (finger-over?) will show the current temp...or whatever combination of options you choose. The icons are much more descriptive and even the fonts are adjustable. Clicking the icon takes you to a one-page, all-inclusive current condition and forecast page, provided by weather.com (The Weather Channel). Give it a try.
Let me know what you think is the best weather app out there.
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mulderjoe