Today in our Aussie Apps review column we’re looking at Pocket Weather Australia, from Shifty Jelly. We’ve loaded it up on the HTC Desire HD from MobiCity and given it a test toast!

Pocket Weather AU is one of many apps that has (finally) made its way across to Android having started live as an iOS app. I have an iPhone for work (though my Android phone can access Exchange just as easily), and I have only a few apps installed on it, and Pocket Weather AU is one of them, because it (in my assessment) gives the most accurate weather, including forecasts and warnings for local conditions.

So, I had high hopes for the Android incarnation and I wasn’t disappointed!

On loading the app, you’re prompted to add your first location – you can pick from nearby locations, capital cities, or you can browse all available stations by state and city. Once you’ve added a location, you’ll see a summary showing the location and the forecast high/low as well as an icon showing the broad conditions. Clicking on the line entry (convenient, as you can see many locations all at once) will open up the detail screen as shown to the right.

All the data you need is readily accessible – current, high and low temperatures, an icon showing the present conditions (sunny, in this example), and a brief summary of the weather which again, in this example, is rather accurate.

It describes Sydney as:

Sunny. Winds northerly averaging 10 to 20 km/h tending northeasterly up to 35 km/h during the afternoon. Chance of any rainfall: 10%.

That’s how I’d describe Sydney today, too.

If you’d like to plan ahead, as we all should do sometimes, you can see a forecast – tomorrow’s weather is shown at the bottom of this screen, however simply swiping up (i.e. scrolling down) reveals a forecast for the next week or so, as shown to the left.

In my experience of using Pocket Weather AU on iDevices, the weather forecasts are always very accurate, especially for the next couple of days. Why is this so?

Well, Pocket Weather AU sources its data directly from the Bureau of Meteorology – thats right folks, it’s using Australian data! Many weather apps are available for Android, such as Weather Bug, but most of them do not use local data, they use data hosted (and generated) elsewhere, meaning it’s often not as accurate as stuff coming straight from our BOM.

It’s this reason – first and foremost – that Pocket Weather AU is such a great app. Not only is it locally developed, but it uses local – and RELEVANT – data for the Australian user.

Two more standout features which you may or may not use – though we thought were pretty cool – are these:

  • Weather Radar view – if you’d like to see where the clouds are circling right now, then tap on the radar button and the local weather radar will fire up.
  • Weather widget – adding this widget to your desktop shows you local conditions, as well as tomorrow’s forecast, and it looks sexy. See?

SO here we are. Pocket Weather AU is a lean, mean, accurate weather forecasting app and it looks great to boot. Something many Android apps have suffered in the past is poor design – good design often only comes after lengthy development and refining, and this is where Pocket Weather AU can benefit from is iOS ancestry – it’s been around for awhile, and they have a formula that works.

We don’t usually do star ratings – they’re cheesy – but if we were to do one, we’d go 4/5 here. Only thing letting Pocket Weather AU down a little is the lack of extra features which the iOS variant sports, however the extra features which the iSheep have enjoyed will soon be coming to Android as well – so a good investment now will see you enjoy these new features in future releases!

Links:

Pocket Weather AU ($2.25): https://market.android.com/details?id=au.com.shiftyjelly.android.pocketweatherau

  • http://twitter.com/zathras0 Mark J

    I use this all the time. Yes I have a work iPhone and where I discovered it but now have it on the Android (and yes I have paid for it). There is so much more there than the others offer, free or paid. Worth the small fee for the extras and I know shiftyjelly is developing it more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/etherialmic Michael Goulding

    I would use it if it were free, but for me, a shortcut to the weatherzone mobile site is more useful as it has more information and it is free!!

  • The guy

    MIUI xperia rom :D

  • BB

    I also use Au weather free. Would be interested to know if this offers anything above this free app?

    • Adrian

      I use Au weather the paid one. Because I like to support Australian Android development. I like the small widget. Paid just has no ugly ads in it

  • http://twitter.com/JustnHarvey Justin Harvey

    My fav weather app is Au weather free. take info from the bom site and has a nice small wigget

  • Anonymous

    Nice review. I’ve been using this app since I read about it over at Whirlpool, and I have been very happy with it.