If you are humming “Oh, the weather
outside is frightful” when you wake up in the morning, then
probably your first action is to grab the smartphone and look at the
weather widget on your homescreen. Same if you plan to go surfing, skiing, or simply hike Shenandoah.
There is no shortage of those widgets in
Android Market, but some are more functional than others, and some
are more beautiful than the rest. We even have quite a few decked-up ones that can follow things like the earthquakes and geomagnetic storms situation, and alert you in the notification bar.
Choice is what matters, so we round up a few of those nifty little weather helpers to help you choose if you just got an Android phone, or even if you've never thought of using a weather widget before. Click on the slide show section titles on the right to go to Android Market for the respective widget, or to GetJar for the Beautiful Widgets freebie, and take them for a spin.
5 Android weather widgets to keep you prepared for surf or ski
Borrowing heavily from the concept behind the famed HTC Sense widget, this is one of our favs, albeit not strictly a weather widget, as it is so functional, and can be installed on any Android handset. This is one of the few out there that shows all at the same time the current weather at your location, the time, date and your alarm setup, and also throws in most of the system info you need at a glance.
Your available RAM/ROM and microSD storage, as well as the battery percentage and its temperature are only a glimpse away at all times. An added bonus is the ability to launch two apps of your choosing by tapping either the hours or the minutes section – you can set a quick access to your dialer, for example, instead of stretching your thumb all the way down to the dock, or having to use both hands on larger screens.
There are a few similar widgets from the same developer like 3D or MIUI Digital Weather Clock, but Sense Analog Clock seems the most stable, and handily arranges all the info you need without having to pick and choose what to show. It also offers skinning and color combinations to suit every general theme you've chosen. And the best part is that it's free – ads show only when you enter the widget's settings by tapping its lower right corner, or when you go to the 5-day forecast screen for your location by tapping in the middle of the widget.
Tap on the widget, and a handy window appears with a 5-day forecast, from where you can easily switch to Maps view, which also has satellite and rain radar layers.
It also has several sizes and an abundance of skinning and color combination options as we are used to with the GO-branded set of apps, which the GO Weather Widget complements very well. Another kicker comes when you tap on the widget and enter the forecast app, which plays customizable videos in the background, tailored to the weather mood.
Part of the Beautiful Widgets package, which you can download for free through GetJar, Beautiful Home Weather is not as functional as some other ones, since it only starts the calendar when you tap on it, or enters into the 5-day forecast, but it is, well... simple and beautiful.
It offers a small 4x1 version, as well as a few larger versions, including a 4x3 one set for tablets, and you can customize the background, skins, fonts and text hues at will.
The Weather, Radars, Alerts, Quakes app by Elecont offer 17 different widget types, 10-day forecasts, and 10 notification bar indicators – from temperature to earthquake alerts. Yes, the app can alert you not only for severe weather, but earthquakes and geomagnetic storm forecasts, with the accompanying headache indicators and all.
And if that's not
enough to convince you it's worth a few bucks, there is also a NOAA
Doppler radar (NEXRAD) that shows rain, snow and hail on Google Maps
around your location, with updates in 10-minute intervals. An added
bonus is the “Weather Clock” mode - it provides all of the
information above in an hour-by-hour interactive clock wheel that can be placed as widget on your home screen. Cool.