Knowing up to date weather information is one of the reasons to own a smartphone. From knowing if your pool time is going to be cut short to deciding if you should wear shorts or pants, the weather dominates our life. Before smartphones, we had to rely on local news stations to gather the information. While that is not inherently bad, it’s not as convenient.

Backblaze

I’ll add that local weather experts still have a place in our society as well. They know the history of the area, how mountains and valleys might impact storms, etc. In my time using an iPhone, I’ve used a lot of weather apps. One thing that you need to realize is that individual weather apps work better in individual countries and even in specific regions in a country. If your experiences are different from mine, that is probably the reason.

Apple’s Weather App

Apple’s built-in app is nice to look at, but it needs an overhaul concerning features. It lacks a live radar and precipitation chance for anything but the current day. It gets its data from The Weather Channel, so it’s certainly accurate, but I am surprised about common features it lacks. One advantage it does have is that it’s accessible via Siri, but you can still use a third-party app and leverage Siri when needed.

Dark Sky

Dark Sky’s data is the gold standard of weather data as far as I’m concerned. In fact, many of the other apps I’ll be discussing use their API to populate their information. Dark Sky has always been one of my favorites, though. It’s best known for down to the minute forecasts.

Dark Sky uses state-of-the-art technology to predict when it will rain or snow, down to the minute, at your exact location: we deliver hyperlocal forecasts, not just for your city or state, but right where you’re standing. Whether it’s rain starting in 13 minutes, or a snowstorm this weekend, we’ll give you the detailed information you need.

This information has been invaluable for beach trips, soccer games, etc. Instead of just knowing that there is a 50% chance of rain this hour, you’ll see that it’s going to start raining in 15 minutes. I don’t know how it works, but in my location, it’s very accurate.

Launching the app brings a screen that shows the current temperature, high and low for the day, and precipitation chance for the next 22 hours or so. Swiping right shows you the upcoming week temperature wise. From there, you can tap on any day and get an idea of precipitation chance. If you go back to the main screen and swipe left, you can get it a great looking weather radar.

Another place Dark Sky shines is with notifications. You can get push notifications for rain, a daily summary, and even set up custom ones.

Dark Sky is $3.99 on the App Store.

Carrot Weather

Carrot Weather is probably the most unique weather app you’ll come across, but it’s also one of the best. Along with having a great UI and weather data (Dark Sky), it has a “personality.” It has a robot-like personality that can be somewhat evil at times. It’s in good fun, and the personality features can be customized or turned off in the settings. It has a great UI that doesn’t require multiple taps to find out information. Everything can be found by scrolling right or one tap onto a future day.

Carrot Weather is also chock full of customization options. Do you want the “feels like temperature” in the Today view widget? You can do that. Do you want the UV index in the main view? You can do that. It’s 100% customizable.

Carrot Weather recently added 12 layers for its radar screen. It includes future radar, tropical storms, lightning strikes, visibility, wind speed, snow depth, and more. Some of the layers require an Ultrapremium subscription (more on that below).

While this review isn’t looking at Apple Watch, I’ll add that Carrot Weather has the absolute best option for weather.

Carrot Weather is $4.99 on the App Store. It also contains two subscription options.

For iPhone and iPad users, you can unlock severe weather alert and daily summary notifications, app customization, access to the Weather Underground data source, and additional data layers for the radar map.

For Apple Watch users, you can unlock automatic background updates, precipitation notifications, and app/complication customization.

The Premium Club subscription costs just $0.49/month or $3.99/year.

The Ultrapremium Club subscription includes all the features of the Premium Club subscription, plus additional weather map features on the iPhone and background updates of Weather Underground data on the Apple Watch.

The Ultrapremium Club subscription costs $1.49/month or $9.99/year.

Weather Line

Weather Line is another excellent choice for weather apps. Like Carrot Weather, it uses the Dark Sky API (also known as Forecast.io). It’s one of the cleanest weather apps you’ll find as well. If you want the Dark Sky API with a light theme, an easy to follow interface, and an excellent Today View widget, Weather Line will be an excellent choice. It lacks any notifications, though.

Weather Line is $1.99 on the App Store.

Hello Weather

Hello Weather is another excellent weather option. It’s straightforward to use. It packs so much into the Forecast screen that you hardly need to leave it. It uses a great selection of colors (with multiple theme options). It might be the best looking of all the weather apps I’ve used. The Today view widget is also well done. While it’s not customizable like Carrot Weather’s widget, it is still great. Like Weather Line, it’s missing notifications for daily updates or to tell you that rain is coming soon.

It has Dark Sky, Weather Underground, AccuWeather, and The Weather Channel (some require subscriptions) for data sources, so if one works particularly well in your area, you can swap.

The pricing model for Hello Weather is like a lot of apps nowadays. It’s free to download, and there is an optional $4.99 annual subscription to unlock additional features. The features include radar, other weather sources, real-time precipitation estimates, and the ability to change the app icon.

Hello Weather can be downloaded for free on the App Store.

Weather Atlas

Weather Atlas is the successor to an app called Perfect Weather you might remember from a few years ago. The design is well done, it includes a great looking 10-day forecast, and includes customizable maps tiles.

Weather Atlas is a free download on the App Store. It also offers a subscription if you want to disable ads, add additional themes, get better maps, and unlock other widgets. The subscription is $.50 per month or $4.99 per year.

The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel is probably the most popular weather app outside of Apple’s built-in one. They do have accurate data, but I do not like the app. The future radar feels like a website embedded into an app. They have a beautiful main screen, and plenty of notifications, though. It’s just hard to recommend it when other apps have similar data and a much better design.

The Weather Channel is a free download on the App Store. If you want to disable ads, it has a $3.99 per year subscription.

Weather Live

Weather Live has many useful features that warrant consideration. It has the option to include the temperature as a badge on the icon. It also has an excellent daily notification for planning your day weather wise. I don’t love the design, but it’s not awful. It looks like what Apple’s default app would look like with considerable feature additions.

It also includes a hurricane tracker, freezing alert, and information from the National Weather Service.

Weather Live is $2.99 on the App Store. It also includes a $9.99 annual subscription to disable ads and unlock additional features.

Weather Bug

You probably remember Weather Bug from the Windows XP app that put the temperature on the bottom status bar. There is nothing wrong with this app, but it does nothing to make me want to recommend it over some of the others. I don’t love the design whatsoever. The one thing it has going for it is the various layers you can add on to the maps.

Weather Bug is free on the App Store, and it includes a $3 subscription if you’d like to disable ads.

AccuWeather

You might remember AccuWeather for the GPS sharing controversy from 2017.

AccuWeather on iOS may be violating Apple’s developer agreement as well as user trust, a new security audit reveals. Will Strafach, a security researcher, discovered that the iOS weather app is potentially sending out the identifiable user and device information to a third-party company even when location data sharing is denied.

While the issue got resolved, I know it spooked a lot of former users. With that aside, the app isn’t bad. It has a decent interface, clean maps, and lots of features. If you upgrade with the $3.99 pro upgrade, you get a 25-day forecast and ads are removed.

One interesting feature is MinuteCast, which is similar to Dark Sky’s hyperlocal weather. It contains detailed rain and temperature forecast for the next two hours.

AccuWeather is a free download on the App Store.

Which is the best?

There are a lot of great options for iPhone users. Despite my opinion, I would advise you try as many as you can. Most of them are free to download, so you can see which one fits your style the best.

For me, it comes down to two apps: Dark Sky and Carrot Weather. Both are great. If you have an Apple Watch, I’d probably say that Carrot Weather would be the best (if you are willing to subscribe to the $3.99 per year upgrade).

For Apple Watch users, you can unlock automatic background updates, precipitation notifications, and app/complication customization.

If you don’t have an Apple Watch or don’t want a subscription, I’d have to give the edge to Dark Sky. A lot of the apps use its API anyways, and the app is easy to navigate.

What do you think? Did I miss any apps? Let’s discuss in the comments below.


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