Weather apps showdown

Selecting the best weather app for your s60 mobile phone isn’t easy at all, so I hope this post will help you decide.

I will compare 4 really good weather forecast applications: SPB Weather, Foreca Weather, Psiloc World Traveler and Nokia Here and Now. Each of these app has its pros and cons, so let the competition begin!

Lets start with Nokia Here and Now, a free app from Nokia. You can download this app via Nokia Beta Labs (login is required). After a very long installation, you’ll find the icon in the Applications folder. When you launch it, it will automatically locate you using network based cell ID positioning (you don’t need to have GPS in your phone). Then, you will need to select the access point you would like to use to download weather forecast data (the last sentence is applicable to all presented applications). The amount of transmitted data is not so small, around 100KB, you a WiFi access point is recommended (I used this app actively a couple of months ago, and it was much less data intensive, because it didn’t have Events, Movies and Restaurant options).  After a couple of seconds, you should see the following screen:

As you can see, there are the current conditions, and 6-hourly forecasts. If you want more, click on your phone’s d-pad, and your mobile browser will be launched. It will automatically navigate to the Here and Now page, where you’ll be able to see the current conditions, and a 5-day forecast, as shown below:

You can click on each day, for more detailed weather conditions:

Moving to the second app, Psiloc World Traveler. This app is made by Psiloc, and the weather forecast part is free, which is great! You can download it on World Traveler’s site. After extremely long installation, you’ll see its icon in the Applications folder.  Run it, select the settings that suit you the most, and you’ll see that your location is already found. After you update the data (this time around 15KB), you’ll see the following screen:

Here you see the current conditions and a 5-day forecast. It’s interesting that Psiloc’s weather forecasting is provided by Foreca. You can change your location by clicking Options->Change my city, and you’ll have to search for the desired city every time you change your location (really tiresome).

Now, the Foreca Weather, available for download at Foreca’s site. Unfortunately, this app is not free (you can test it for 3 days), and after installing you’ll see the following payment options (5€ a year really isn’t that expensive):

This app offers much more types of weather forecasts, such as: Current Conditions, Short Forecast, Long Forecast, Temperature, Precipitation, Symbol, Wind, Cloudiness and Satellite. It’s easy to navigate through these forecast because they’re organized in tabs, so you click left/right to switch between them. Here are some screenshots:

You can select whether or not you want to show a specific type of forecast, and you can also select Animated forecast for some types, which is actually a slide show of images showing forecast throughout a day. Note: Animated forecast is data intensive (around 600KB, if everything is animated). You can also change locations by clicking Options->Location->Change, as shown below. The good thing as that your locations stay saved, so you can easily switch between them.

One bad thing about Foreca Weather is that it requires you to download data again, if you switch phone’s orientation, so it doubles the transmitted data:

Last, and certainly not the least, SPB Weather. You can download trial on SPB’s official site. This app is also a paid one, costing around 15€ (or surprisingly 15$, you can choose!?). It is a bit expensive, but this is lifetime forecast, not per year. Upon launching the application, you can find your location by typing it in or by GPS. It will transmit only a few KBs (less than 10) while updating data.

You get Today and 5-day forecast on the main screen, and each day is clickable, so you can see more detailed forecast (morning, day, evening, night). When you click on the highlighted day, you’ll see a cool 3D transition, which is a really nice touch. UI of this app is by far the richest of all.

One GREAT option is the ability to add up to 10 cities in your city list, so you can easily switch between cities by pressing left or right. For example, if you’re planing a trip, you can change locations quickly and effortlessly. I should also mention a 3D Globe View, where you see the 3-day clouds/temperature/precipitation forecast (this view is data intensive, so be careful).

Important note: I intentionally left out the Epocware’s Handy Weather app (although I do have a licence), because it hasn’t got Serbia in its country list. I really hope they will add my country in the next release.

Now it’s up to you to choose your favorite weather forecast application. Nokia Here and Now and Psiloc World Traveler are free, which is great, but they are not feature rich. If you’re willing to pay for a mobile forecast, I would recommend SPB Weather, because of its usability, small amount of transfered data, great capabilities and slick design. Foreca Weather does the job, but not looking good while doing it (and you have to renew your licence every year).

Did I miss your favorite weather forecast application?

Comments are welcome.

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