The Weather is something that is always useful to know about. Unless you like surprises, in the form of depressing rainfall, keeping up-to-date with the weather forecast is a priority.
Microsoft’s weather app has come a long way, and in Windows 10, the app has gone through a major overhaul. It is now a Universal Windows Platform app, meaning that it shares the majority of the same code across different device form factors, and morphs its UI according to the screen size it’s running on.
When the app is launched, it displays the current temperature, large, top and center, which can be switched between Celsius and Fahrenheit on the fly. Just below that is other glance-able information like wind direction and speed, visibility, humidity, dew point and atmospheric pressure.
Moving down the landing page, a carousel of the daily forecast is displayed, which is useful for trip and event planning. Once a day on the carousel is selected, an hourly forecast is displayed below it for those looking for even finer details. The hourly forecast can be displayed either in a chart summary, or in a ‘details’ view that also shows stats like wind speed and direction, and precipitation.
Below hourly forecast is the day details, which aggregates all sorts of useful information like a short, one sentence summary of what the weather will be like during the day and night, sunset and sunrise, as well as moonrise and moonset times, the moon phase, precipitation, humidity, max wind speeds, and the UV index.
At the very end of the landing page is the record weather information for the location displayed. This gives you a general idea of the weather conditions in a particular location. Did you know that the village of Mawsynram in India holds the record for the highest volume of annual rainfall? Yeah, neither did we.
Behind all this information is a lovely background that animates slightly when it loads, instantly giving you an indication of the weather without even having to read anything. Great for morning eyes. Similar to Start Screen backgrounds in Windows Phone 8.1, there’s a parallax effect when scrolling, which is a nice touch.
Towards the right is a grid of quick access buttons to the contents under the hamburger menu. You’ve got Forecast (the home/landing page), followed by Maps, Historical Weather, Places, News, Feedback, and towards the bottom, account info and access to application settings.
Maps helps you get a better visualization of the weather in your area, or anywhere around the world really. You can choose to overlay temperature, precipitation, satellite or cloud imagery on the map, and some regions offer even more options, including radar observation and radar forecast overlays.
Historical Weather has basically been carried over from the Windows 8.1 version of the Weather app. This includes a bar chart indicating the range of temperatures, rainfall, and snow days for a particular month gathered throughout the years.
Places features a list of your favorites places that you want to keep an eye on. All you favorites are arranged in a grid and each with general details about the weather, making for quick, glanceable consumption of information. Favorites can also be individually pinned to the Start screen for quicker access. Of course, if you take took the time to set up your favorites, they will automatically show up on the Windows 10 Mobile version of the app, this is a Universal Windows Platform app after all. In fact, your favorites from Windows 8.1 will automatically sync as well.
News is a completely new addition to the Weather app, which of course can be very useful, especially in emergency situations. Although, it doesn’t seem like the news stories displayed are based on the currently selected location, it instead shows you worldwide weather reports, which is a little strange but again, can be useful in certain situations. News stories, videos, and photo galleries will open in-app so as not to break you away from your weather-researching flow.
Feedback will, however, break you away from the app by launching the Windows Feedback app. Microsoft’s commitment to user feedback is evident here as the feedback option isn’t hidden away deep in the settings menu, therefore encouraging users to share their opinions and suggestions for improvement.
To summarize, in its current condition, the Windows 10 Weather app will likely be more than sufficient for all your weather needs. The app provides users with everything they need to know about weather, ranging from historical weather, to future predictions, and a lot more. It certainly has more information than I ever think I’ll need.
Most of the weather info comes from Foreca, which seems to be Microsoft’s preferred weather source. The service certainly provides a lot of rather reliable information. Unfortunately, its website doesn’t really do it justice, so it’s good that Microsoft is putting all that info to good use, visually.
Microsoft has been updating the app regularly over the past few months, and we expect more updates going forward. Hopefully we’ll see the app get integrated into Cortana so that she displays a Live Tile when asked about the weather, which would then link directly into the weather app. A refresh button would be nice too.
Most of the complaints about the app stem from its main Live Tile not working, which I’ve seen mixed results from my experience. What do you think about the Weather app in Windows 10? Is it good enough to be your primary or do you rely on another weather app/service? Let us know in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Windows 10 In-Depth series which details the apps and features built into Windows 10. Our aim is to dive deep and cover everything there is to know about these apps and features, leaving you an expert in the field by the end of each article. If you have any suggestions about what you want us to cover next in the series, give us a shout in the comments section below and we’ll do our best to get it done.Further reading: In-Depth, Microsoft, Windows 10