The past year has seen some interesting minimalist app designs, most notably Clear, which combines minimal design with fun, gesture based interaction. This trend has started to take hold in other apps, as developers look for new ways to deliver apps that break away from the norm. Weather apps are a popular category in the App Store, making it increasingly difficult to stand out, not to mention the stock app being very good. With their latest app, the developers at Appsuperb aim to bring a fresh and fun experience to viewing weather on your iPhone. Read on for our full Weathercube for iPhone review.
When you first open Weathercube, you are greeted with the main weather screen. The big blocks provide a host of information, all in big bold white fonts that are easy to read on the vibrant colors. The icons which denote the weather are nicely done, but I found them to be bit confusing. One looks like a tire print, which based on my weather pattern, is actually rain. There is a setting section, which some may miss if they pass on the tutorial. Pinching out with two fingers (middle to bottom/top) reveals the tips. This is also difficult to pull off using your index and thumb. Access to settings only works in some screens, which could be a source of confusion. Within settings you can change the theme to Blue, Read, Green, Orange, Purple, Black, White or select the randomizer. You can also set preferences related to weather. No you cannot select Sunny and 75 degrees at all times, but you can select Farenheit/Celcius, Kilometers/Miles per hour, Inches/Millemeters. If the quirky sounds become cumbersome, there’s an option to turn those off as well.
The app will take you on a quick tutorial at launch. I should note that you really do need this tutorial. Controlling of Weathercube is done through gestures and there are plenty of them. The six panels (L-R) weather, degrees, wind, XX, cloud cover and humidity. At the top is your location. If you press and hold you can add new locations. Swiping left brings up weather for each new location you have stored.
Within each main weather screen, you can tap on the individual readings to see specifics for morning, afternoon and evening. The blocks animate left to right as if Vanna White were flipping them from inside your iPhone. Tapping these creates these fun sounds, where I found myself creating music rather than checking weather patterns. I guess in some ways that’s part of the lure of Weathercube. It’s fun to use, fun to use gestures, taps and watch the cubes dance.
If you swipe down, you’ll six icons that show weather for the next six days. You tap on each to find specifics. Swiping up returns the main screen. Swipe up once more and the app shows you the weather at three hour intervals throughout the day. If you tap on these, they wiggle, which would lead you to believe that a correct gesture would reveal some new information.
From the main screen, swiping left brings up similar weather information for the following three days. All of the gestures from the main weathercube screen work here as well.
There are social elements to the app. If you pinch out from the center, it brings up a keyboard along with options for Facebook or Twitter. Sharing your weather sends a screenshot and a link the app, which is a bit self serving. I’d comfortable sharing my weather on social media, but including what amounts to an advertisement for an app.
- Beautiful, bright and bold UI
- Fun, quirky sounds
- Nice use of gestures throughout
- Provides accurate weather information
- Easy to get lost in gestures and forget about the weather
- Gestures and ability to find information can at times be confusing
- Lacks any sort of advanced weather tracking
Weathercube scores big for their beautiful bold colors, typography and crisp icons reminiscent of Clear app. Both seem rooted in the design elements that dominate Windows Phone. The gestures are fun, complete with quirky sounds as you explore the weather. There is a slight learning curve and remembering correct gestures could be problematic if you only check the weather every so often. If you are looking for a break from the information overload associated with so weather apps, Weathercube is a beautiful, simple and fun alternative that strikes a nice balance between information and minimal design.
Weathercube retails for $0.99 in the App Store.