With Apple’s release of iPhone software v2.0 you can add third-party applications to the iPhone (1st Gen. and 3G). Apps can be purchased via the App Store on your phone or through the App Store on iTunes. Prices range from free to about $70 with most being under $20. While there are many frivolous apps available there are a few that look to be useful for photographers. Here’s one.
Getting updated weather forecasts while planning an assignment or on location is always helpful. While forecasts beyond 4-5-6 days are rarely accurate, hourly forecasts for next twelve hours and a bit beyond are usually very good. Current radar, too, as localized as possible, can be integral to an assignment.
The iPhone has always had a weather app on it but it’s rudimentary, giving a six-day icon based forecast. Linking from it takes you to a Yahoo! search page full of ads and other noise. The Weather Channel has a Mobile Version, a phone optimized web page, that is a bit better. It has forecasts with more information (current, hourly, 36 hour and 10 day) and it has a radar map but the map cannot zoom in enough to be useful. I’m in central New Jersey and the zoomed in view contains almost all of the state. The maps you see via the phone also do not match the sample Weather.com gives in its iPhone Widget description.
Enter MyWeather Mobile.
MyWeather gives a forecast based on your current location and you can add additional locations. There is a six day forecast and a twelve hour trend forecast.
The trend options include Temperature & Sky, Precipitation and Wind Speed & Direction. And then there’s Radar:
The radar screen is initially very small, about one-third of the phone’s screen, but if you turn your phone…
You get a full screen view. I’ve currently got no storms near me so here’s a storm enveloping Chicago. MyWeather can zoom in or out using the normal iPhone controls (tapping, pinching, etc.) I’m working with a first generation iPhone and the program works well enough even when I’m limited to the Edge network.
In a future update I’d like to see the “Trend” forecast expanded from twelve hours to twenty-four or thirty-six hours – with that change this app would be perfect.
MyWeather is $14.99 and well worth it just for the radar. It’s got a very clean interface, intuitive buttons and no ads anywhere in sight.
7/22/08 – MyWeather has been updated to v1.0.2 adding radar animation, increased map zooming, easier searching and the overall forecast has been increased from six to seven days.