Android Thoughts: Rain or Shine, The Weather Channel Has You Covered

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rain or Shine, The Weather Channel Has You Covered

Posted by Karey Westfall in "Android Software" @ 06:30 AM

The Weather Channel application is provided, for free, by The Weather Channel to provide the user with information regarding the current, forecasted and severe weather as well as provide mobile weather coverage at multiple locations throughout your day. Because weather is constantly changing and we cannot control it, The Weather Channel is the perfect app to keep you informed and alerted while you are away from a computer, radio or television. So put away those umbrellas and read on for more info.

Everywhere you go, weather is a present active force that will constantly change, sometimes quickly, and the The Weather Channel application is extremely helpful to have at the tip of your fingers. It provides you with up-to-date current weather conditions and radar imagery. This allows you to view your current temperature, feel-like-temperature, wind, and other useful info as well as see your hourly, 36-hour and weekly forecast. Then you can map your location and see a radar image of a storm approaching including zoom in and out and play features that will allow you to see the path of the storm and where it may be headed (OK, hit neighboring city, I better take cover!). Some areas also include the ability to view still photos of traffic cameras. This feature works for me, here in New York, but doesn't appear to be available in many other cities at this time. Maybe this feature is a work in progress or New York is lucky that our corrupt politicians developed a great transit system, I don't know. The application will run an icon in your status bar allowing you to easily access the application, and it is one icon I do not mind having to look at all day. It's simple with just the temperature and a blue background (or red if you have a severe weather alert). Speaking of severe alerts, they are somewhat customizable so you don't have to receive an alert every time there is a heavy smog day. The alerts are not very customizable but you can choose to get only the most severe, moderate severe, or all alerts. Plus, you can easily tap on the alert for the statement published by the National Weather Service to find out the details of each alert. This makes these alerts great for when you are traveling and a freak snow storm appears out of nowhere and you decide how far you can drive before having to shack up at the Stanley Hotel for the night!

As well as information for your location, the Weather Channel gives you the ability to have multiple locations saved and available for you to keep an eye on. You can set your location to home as well as give your places nicknames (Airport, The Beach, Fav Golf Course, Mistress's Apartment). This multiple location feature allows you to monitor conditions with the tap of a finger at Grammy's, who has an excessive heat advisory (bad) or your ex-spouse's, who has a flash flood warning (good) so you can take appropriate action such as convincing your Grammy to put away her crochet blanket and turn on the AC or inviting your buddies over to watch on the news as your ex's house floats down the river. And not only does the Weather Channel cover the United States and Canada, but it also provides details for international weather. So besides spying on your friends in North America, you can also spy on your friends in other countries as well. Although, the Weather Channel application does skimp out slightly with their mobile edition (no detailed reports about pollen levels, severe weather maps showing the whole US, etc), the application is still invaluable to have available wherever you go. Especially the next time when a tornado tries to ruin your picnic!

Karey Westfall is new to the Android universe, having bought her first phone in early 2010. She currently lives in an apartment with her husband and cat. Besides family and friends, she spends most of her time with her books, computer, yarn and various crafting supplies.


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