If you’ve gone looking for the best weather app for iPhone, you probably already know that the options are nearly endless. They all pull from the same selection of features (there are only so many things an app can say about the weather, after all), but most seem to have one dealbreaking missing feature or another. Some are designed to sit on your nightstand, giving you the time and a pretty graphic to note the weather. Others throw out page after page of in-depth data—good for the expert, but if you just want to know the weather it can get to be a bit much.
So we set out to find an app that provides the best of both worlds: attractive and user-friendly, with deeper information available just under the surface. We wanted to find the best iPhone weather app out there. One app fits the bill: eWeather HD ($1.99).
Where some weather apps flub the basics, eWeather HD has them well in hand. It loads quickly—a must in any app that’s designed as part of a daily routine. On first launch, it prompts you to choose a location. You can use your phone’s GPS to find it automatically, you can select from a granular list of options, or you can search by zip code. It then gives you a choice of forecast providers, both of which have been quite accurate in my experience.
Once you’ve defined your location, eWeather HD gives you several viewing options. The simplest gives you a visual of the current weather, an at-a-glance look at the next 10 days, and the temperature both as it is and as it feels. It’s an elegant option if you just want the basics.
Scrolling that screen leads to an alternative view. This one is packed with data: wind speed and direction, humidity, and temperature by hour, to start with. It also includes something most weather apps don’t: barometer readings. If you’re affected by pressure changes, this is a must-have feature, and it also gives users more information with which to judge the upcoming weather.
The third view abandons the weekly forecast and detailed information entirely, replacing them with an analog-style clock that tells the current time and date, the weather forecast for the rest of the day by hour, and your pick of one other display. These include temperature, “feels like” temperature, precipitation, UV index, wind, geomagnetic activity and humidity.
If you poke through the app, you can find quite a bit of other information tucked away, like day and night temperatures; sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset times, and the phase of the moon. You can, of course, add multiple cities to monitor. You can also check out the radar to see up to the last 6 hours of precipitation laid out over a road, satellite or terrain map. eWeather HD also offers a running list of recent earthquakes.
There are a few other ways to get your hands on the information this app provides. For starters, you can set a badge on the app icon that shows the current temperature. iOS doesn’t allow for negative numbers in badges, so the app includes a somewhat clunky workaround. If you truly need to know the current weather at all times, though, you can set up notifications to tell you every time the temperature changes.
If you’re in the U.S., eWeather HD offers one more vital feature: push alerts. Whenever a weather alert is issued in your area (or the city you define), the app will push a notice out to you. You won’t be left in the dark when dangerously bad weather hits.
As you can see, eWeather HD is very thorough. While it might be missing information here and there (we’d love to see pollen count listed, for instance), it’s managed to cover most possible needs while staying user-friendly and good looking. In a marketplace where most competing apps drop the ball in one spot or another, eWeather HD stands out as being the most complete. It’s not just a great weather app, it’s the best weather app we’ve seen.