The Best Weather Apps

I don't watch TV weather forecasts for the same reason that I don't own a wristwatch: I have a smartphone, a tablet, and a computer. Here are the best apps for knowing what it's like outside, without actually going outside.

iOS

GOLD MEDAL: Weatherbug

The Best Weather Apps


My earliest memories of Weatherbug are cleaning it from relatives' spyware-riddled Compaqs. Weatherbug for iPhone is sort of like and apology, relatively clear of the bloat that characterized the company's desktop software, and most importantly, focused on the stuff that we most want from our weather apps: forecasts, local maps, and local video. It's a straightforward all-arounder, and the only weather app I use every day. Weatherbug for iPhone is free and comes with ads, while Weatherbug Elite, ad-free, is $1. Weatherbug Elite is free for the iPad. [iPhone and iPad

SILVER MEDAL: Outside

The Best Weather Apps


An iPhone-only app that deserves a spot here for presentation alone. Weather data is displayed through a virtual window, rendered beautifully with forecast-appropriate flourishes, and animated in a smooth, cartoonish-but-not-too-cartoonish aesthetic. Navigation is novel and simple, and the data is just comprehensive enough for most people. Push notifications cost extra. iPhone, $3.

BRONZE MEDAL: Seasonality Go

The Best Weather Apps


An iPad app with a singular purpose, Seasonality Go draws from and displays as much weather data as possible. If stuff like barometric pressure, astronomical data and dewpoints doesn't matter to you you'll probably want to skip this one. If it does, though, and if you want all this stuff shown to you in an overwhelming matrix of graphs, well, you won't find a better app—this is for hardcore weather nerds. iPad, $10.

Android

GOLD MEDAL: The Weather Channel

The Best Weather Apps


The Weather Channel app on Android isn't the most feature packed, but its the easiest to use. We love it because we can hit all the important features, like the "What It Feels Like" temperature, the 10-day forecast and hourly temperature, faster than any other app. If you need the "expertise" of a meteorologist, the short and sweet video forecasts will get you up to speed in no time. Downsides? The radar map can get a bit wonky, their widgets won't win any beauty pageants and for hardcore weather junkies, the data might not be enough. Free, Android.

SILVER MEDAL: Weather Bug

The Best Weather Apps


Depending on your weather needs, Weather Bug could just as well be the Gold Medal winner. It has more features than The Weather Channel app, like sunrise/sunset times, pollen information, and rain data but we find ourselves bombarded with data that isn't exactly necessary everyday. The UI works well, tap here, swipe there, but each panel is information overload—turns out, there is such thing as too much good stuff. On the bright side, Weather Bug's widget trumps The Weather Channel's. Free, Android.

BRONZE MEDAL: Palmary Weather

The Best Weather Apps


Palmary Weather is the weather app Google would make for Android. It's clean, simple and fits in, design-wise, with the most Android-ish of apps. Minus points because it costs $5 and isn't available in Android Market. $5, Android.