Weather the Storm

Drew Rattray : Design vs. Functionality
Drew Rattray
| News and views on design vs. functionality balance across the communications and technology space.

Weather the Storm

weatherbug-blackberry-storm.jpg I'm exceptionally bad at checking the weather, and with the way this winter is going, I'm bound to get into trouble as a result of it sooner or later.  There's been a certain buzz  today about the snow and ice coming tonight and tomorrow, and honestly, if my fiancée hadn't said anything while I was walking out the door, I probably wouldn't have known about the storm until I found the roads covered in 4 inches of snow in the morning.

It made me realize that I really should start using my Verizon BlackBerry Storm for this type of thing.  It's always on me and has the functionality to keep me in the know with a simple touch of the finger.

I've found that it's not too difficult to check the weather using the browser on the Storm, but it's not very smooth either.  On the BlackBerry Bookmarks Home Page, there's a weather link that navigates to WeatherBug.  Once there, you plug in your zip code and you can get pretty decent reports and alerts.  But as always, I'm looking for a better, faster, and easier way.

While browsing for Storm 9530 Apps, I managed to find a unique WeatherBug application.  The application has a simple design and utilizes the touch screen functions of the Storm fairly well. One feature I found helpful, is that it will find your location through a GPS fix.  If for whatever reason your GPS is on the fritz or you don't want to wait for it to find your location, you can plug in locations as favorites and slide through them with a quick touch of your finger.

The application also features an icon that updates itself to tell you what the current conditions are for your area (if you're not near a window), the current temperature, and the high/low of the day.  Basically, you actually need to open the application if you just want a quick update on the weather outside.  Well... you could do that or just get off the computer for a minute and walk outside. 

Inside the application there is a current conditions page that tells you anything you want to know including temperature, wind speed, dew point, and much more.  You also get a 7 day forecast, which if you slide further too the right has detailed descriptions for night and day forecasts for every day including precipitation percentages and possible accumulations.  There's also a radar feature to see the conditions around your area, an option to view the conditions through the camera of the weather station you selected, and a weather advisory button to display alerts for your area.

The app is free and you can download it here.


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