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Best Android and iPhone weather apps (2015 edition)

Posted: , posted by Victor H.

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Three of our favorite Android weather apps, Yahoo Weather, 1Weather, and Bright Weather, from left to right

Three of our favorite Android weather apps, Yahoo Weather, 1Weather, and Bright Weather, from left to right

Have you noticed how the advent of weather apps on Android smartphones and the iPhone has changed the way we consume meteorological information? If just a few years ago, we would not care too much about the weather, with satellite images and climate predictions of all sorts, many of us seem to turn to the weather forecast on an obsessive, nearly hourly basis rather than the more sane daily checks we did before.

With a new era for Android and iOS weather apps: ones that are beautiful, with a sleek and functional design, that's no wonder. However, how do you pick the best weather app among more than a million apps on both Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store? We've saved you the trail and error, and the effort of actually living with many of those weather apps on a daily basis, and bring you the best, richest, and most useful Android and iOS weather apps.

In coming up with this list we looked for weather apps that strike the right balance of being informative and good-looking.

#10: TheWeatherChannel

Download on Android | iOS
Price: Free

TheWeatherChannel is a useful app, and it makes this list only for its reputable name, and as a warning to those who are willing to try it out, but there is little reputable about its terrible, ad-ridden presentation. In fact, at times it's hard to tell whether the purpose of the app is to show weather information, or ads. Those ads also make it slow to load and stuttery, all decisive factors for you to scroll down and find some better-made weather apps.

#9: Arcus Weather

Download on Android | iOS
Price: Free

Arcus Weather comes with a fairly bland, grayish interface that is simple and utilitarian, but not inspiring by any means (especially in the Androdi version). Yet, this free app taps into the rich database used by another very accurate app that you'd find later in this list - Dark Sky. Arcus Weather most important features are forecasts delivered by the minute and by the hour, which is particularly useful for those times when you're wondering whether you'd get caught in that rain or not. It also brings weather to the notification tray in a nice, concise manner, and there is a variety of homescreen widgets.

#8: Grumpy Weather

Download on Android
Price: Free

Our special pick in this app selection is Grumpy Weather, showing you the weather news, vocalized in a way probably only Grumpy Cat would express its weather feelings. Warning: Medium Maturity.

#7: Weatherbug

Download on Android | iOS
Price: Free (ad-supported)

Weatherbug stands out by being one of the few apps to actually provide real-time weather data for threats and severe weather. It also features one of the best maps in a weather app with layers for Doppler radar, humidity, pressure, wind speed, high/low forecast, traffic, and satellite imaging.

#6: Weather Underground

Download on Android | iOS
Price: Free

Weather Underground is a feature-rich weather app that offers all standard forecast essentials, including temperature highs and lows, as well as radar maps, and even air quality conditions, but it suffers from an ad-problem as the commercials pop up from the very beginning of the app. In addition, the interface is definitely on the bland side. If you're after pure functionality, though, Weather Underground delivers nicely, and it also brings a nice tray notification with the current weather.

#5: 1Weather 

Download on Android
Price: Free | $1.99 (to get rid of ads)

1Weather is a close runner-up to Yahoo Weather, lacking slightly in visual flare, but compensating with even more detailed weather information. 1Weather's home screen welcomes you with a picture relevant to the current weather condition (but it’s not an image from your particular region, like in Yahoo Weather), and all essential information available at a glance: you have the ups and downs in temperature, how does it feel outside, the conditions, chances of precipitation, as well as visibility distance, barometric pressure, humidity, wind speed, UV index and dewpoint. This is easily the most informative and yet clutter-free weather home screen of any Android app we've seen.

Where 1Weather particularly shines, though, is in its forecasts: you can see the weather estimate in either an hourly view, a detailed view for eve, night, morn, noon, or an extended view for the next 10 days. Swiping left or right will give you even more information about the chances for rain, as well as an animated map of the weather conditions. The only caveat to 1Weather is that the free version is ad-supported. For $1.99, you can get rid of those ads and fully enjoy the application, something that we definitely recommend you to do.

What we personally like best about 1Weather is how it appears in the notification dropdown, with a three-day forecast that you can easily see without having to open the app itself.

#4: AccuWeather (Premium)

Download on Android | iOS
Price: Free | $2.99

AccuWeather is an ad-ridden affair in its free version, but if you spare the three bucks the developer charges for the premium version, you'd get treated to a smooth and annoyance-free weather app that is particularly useful for US residents with video forecasts and other weather updates. The interface is based on swiping between tabs, and that's pretty convenient, but don't expect much of a visual flare with this app.

#3: Dark Sky

Download on iOS
Price: $3.99

Dark Sky stands out with its very accurate rain predictions that are updated by the minute, and combined with the app's capability to warn you about "Light rain in 10 min, ending 15 min later" it definitely feels supernatural, and can keep you from getting soaking wet. On the visual side, however, Dark Sky fails to deliver with uninspiring grayish backgrounds, and its unique functionality is backed up with a pretty unique price tag: $3.99, making it the most expensive weather app among our top picks. 

#2. Bright Weather

Download on Android
Price: Free

LevelUp, the developer behind Bright Weather, seems to have abandoned iOS shores for good where the app is no longer updated, but the exclusive focus on Android has paid off neatly. Bright Weather is one of the absolute best Android apps, with a gorgeous translucent interface, and correct information, plus the experience is surprisingly devoid of apps, despite the $0 price tag of the app.

#1: Yahoo Weather: brings essential info front and center, with no clutter

Download on Android | iOS
Price: Free

After living with many weather apps, we found ourselves coming back to the brilliantly designed Yahoo Weather. It is a clean and clutter-free app, with no annoying ads. It starts you off with a full-screen image from your area, illustrating the weather conditions at the moment.. Swipe down, and it reveals the weather forecast for the next few days, as well as essential details like humidity, visibility, and the UV index. Scroll further down, for even more settings: a cloud map, wind and barometer readings, chances of precipitation, and moon phases. Swiping left and right switches between cities, and overall, the experience is very clean and modern-looking.

Note: These apps will work on the latest Android smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Note 3, Galaxy S5, LG G3, Nexus 6, etc. On iOS, these apps are supported on the latest iOS 8 running devices like the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPad Air 2, iPad Air mini 3, etc.

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