Is it going to rain today? Should I bring a jacket with me? Is it safe to plan a trip to the beach this weekend? Just a couple of years ago, answering any of those questions required watching your local news or tuning in to The Weather Channel to get a vague forecast that will probably change before you get where you’re going. But with smartphones, we can have insanely accurate weather reporting and predictions at our fingertips everywhere we go. Weather apps are a huge part of my daily routine — I consult them every day to determine where I’ll go and what I’ll wear.
Google Now on Android phones puts the current weather conditions and forecast a simple voice command away. But if you're looking for more than just basic temperature and the upcoming forecast, there are plenty of great weather apps out there for Android. The best apps can accurately tell you the forecast in your notification bar or in a desktop widget, are easy to use, fun to look at, and don’t have ugly ads ruining the experience. And they offer everything from short and long term forecasts to radar maps and severe weather alerts.
You can spend days — and a lot of money — looking for the best weather app for your Android smartphone. We’ve done the hard work, testing out dozens of weather apps, and have narrowed it down to a paid option for a premium experience and a free option if you don't feel like spending any money. I love weather apps — here are the ones you should love too.
The best paid weather app on Android is AccuWeather Platinum. AccuWeather has pretty much everything you could ask for in a weather app: detailed current conditions, accurate hourly predictions, forecasts that stretch out for up to three weeks, animated radar maps, and TV-style video forecasts.</p> <p>It recently gained minute-by-minute forecasts and exact locations, down to a street address. If you’re curious if it will rain in the next 120 minutes or not, AccuWeather can tell if so, when, and for how long it will last.
AccuWeather also has a clean design that fits right in with Android’s design guidelines and offers informative and attractive homescreen widgets. It presents forecasts in charts, making it easy to see weather trends, as you scan the predicted temperatures for the day or week. You can also have the current temperature and weather conditions right in your notification bar and get alerts for severe weather events, if you want. There is a free version of AccuWeather that offers the same features, but with annoying ads that mar the otherwise nice design. And it’s worth paying a few dollars for an app you’ll open several times a day, every day.
If you don’t want to spend any money, Yahoo Weather is the best free option for Android. It uses beautiful, full-bleed images culled from Flickr along with clean typography to convey the current weather conditions. A simple swipe brings up your hourly and five or ten-day forecasts, along with plenty of details about current conditions and precipitation forecasts.
Yahoo Weather also offers multiple homescreen widgets and ongoing notifications in the status bar to keep you abreast of changing weather throughout the day. The only things that it’s really missing are animated radar maps and minute-by-minute forecasts. Even though it’s a free app, Yahoo Weather doesn’t have any annoying ads, banner or otherwise, and is more polished than most paid apps on Android.