I am a self-confessed weather nerd. I watch The Weather Channel more than CNN. I have three web sites I check for weather forecasts. One of my constant searches in the App Store has been for a good weather app. One that combines the information I need with an interactive interface that is engaging and enjoying. Although I’ve been very successful in finding weather apps, I’ve found most to be lacking in some way or another. That is until I discovered Outside. Outside from Robocat combines an engaging interface with well presented and timely information.
Instead of going for the wide range of information most weather apps try to deliver, Outside is a very focused app. The application can either detect your location using Location Services or you can enter it in the application preferences. Once your location has been specified, the application interface is very simple and intuitive. An animated view out of a virtual window indicates current temperature and conditions. Drag the screen down to get a more detailed analysis of UV index, humidity, cloud cover, and wind as well as sunrise and set. Drag the screen to the left to reveal individual screens of a five day forecast. The date you are viewing is always displayed in the upper left hand corner of the screen.
Two things really made Outside stand out for me. The first was the display. Most weather applications I’ve tried in the App Store attempt to jam as much information as possible into one or two screens. Outside first presents you with the information you’re most likely to want when checking the weather; temperature and conditions. If you want a more detailed breakdown or predictions you can move around the interface and get that as well. It’s obvious that some thought was put into not only what people wanted out of a weather application but also how they want to access that information. The best part of it is that all of that thought was put into an easy to use interface that’s visually pleasing. It could be snowing out and I could read that in other applications but seeing the gentle flakes float around the interface are a great touch.
The second thing is the notifications system. I live in a part of the world where, especially in winter, the weather can catch you unaware. The Outside notification system can be configured high and low temperature thresholds, UV index thresholds, and whether rain is expected. This is a great option that other weather applications just do not offer. The only shortcoming of this system is that it is only available for free for a month after purchase. After that the notification system can be enabled for 90 day increments for $0.99 each. I would personally pay for this service but you may not think of it as feasible. If you need to know the weather conditions or when they vary this is money well spent.
Outside is the new king of weather applications on my device and it should be your’s as well. Its clean interface, engaging animations, and notification system puts it head and shoulders above the competition. This is a purchase you shouldn’t leave for a rainy day.
- Simple, intuitive interface
- Good balance of information
- Notification system
The Not So Good:
- Notification system only free for 30 days
Reviewed by: Erin Peterson
Outside iPhone Teaser
Behind the scenes