App Reviewed on: iPad 3
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Weather apps can be a fairly important addition to any user’s iOS library. I mean, what with smart phones being incredibly useful and sporting a plethora of features it’s kind of a given. So what makes MeteoEarth stand out from the rest? Well, it’s basically an iOS port of conceptual software designed for TV meteorologists. So there’s that.
It seems a bit odd to say it, but it’s true. MeteoEarth comes in two flavors; one for the iPad and one intended for use on news stations. Both are largely the same except that the non-iOS iteration is designed to work on significantly larger screens. Users are presented with a real-time globe of the Earth and given free reign to mess around with everything. The view can be rotated, zoomed in or out, and overlaid with a number of different weather filters such as temperature or precipitation. Users can also preprogram their own “favorites” to make checking the wind speed in their area or the cloud cover for their planned travel destination with a single tap.
MeteoEarth trumps just about every other weather app I’ve messed around with when it comes to presentation. The Earth looks great and detailed, the moon orbits it realistically, and when the lighting is turned on the Sun even casts a realistic glow/shadow over the appropriate areas depending on the time. The same holds true for the various weather effects. However, the view isn’t limited to a 3D sphere, either. With a single tap users can also change to a flat 2D map to make navigation even simpler.
As impressive as all of MeteoEarth’s features can be, however, there’s one fairly significant one that seems to be missing; the ability to select multiple weather effects. Each of these individual bits of information is useful in its own way, especially when the forecast animations are going, but I think being able to overlay cloud cover with temperature or precipitation with winds or any other combination would be even more handy. It’s not exactly something I’d consider necessary, but it can be a bit of a drag to have to repeatedly swap back and forth between displays at times.
MeteoEarth was originally created as a tool for meteorologists and it shows. It’s a very visual-minded weather app that makes identifying all sorts of weather-related information incredibly simple and easy. It would still be nice to be able to combine a few bits of info along the way, but it’s still perfectly functional as-is.