One of the more popular uses for phones (besides taking photos and watching TikTok videos) is to check out the weather. As a result, there are myriad weather apps out there, making it really hard to pick which one to use. So we’ve put together this guide to what we think are some of the better ones out there.
With the exception of one that used to be very well-liked: Dark Sky. Back in March 2020, Dark Sky was acquired by Apple and almost immediately removed from the Google Play app store. Originally, the Dark Sky API was going to be pulled as well — leaving a lot of third-party apps desperately looking for a substitute — but that’s been put off until at least the end of 2022. (By the way, if you use the iOS version of Dark Sky, that’s going away at the end of 2022 as well.)
Of course, if you want, you can just settle for the “At a Glance” weather widget that Google includes on its homescreen; tap that, and you get a reasonably good weather report. But if you’re a weather geek, or you want to be able to tweak your weather report a little more than Google allows, we’ve got 10 alternatives here. All have free versions with ads, and all but one have paid versions that remove the ads and often include additional features.
Note: in earlier versions of this article, we listed the permissions that each app requested. However, since most weather apps seem to ask for pretty much the same permissions, we’ve removed the listings and suggest that you simply check out your chosen weather app’s list of permissions that’s at the bottom of its page in the Play Store. (That’s not a bad idea for any app, actually.)
Carrot may be known less for its weather predictions than for its personality, which offers tongue-in-cheek commentary in audio and / or text on the happenings of the day. (One day, for example, it snarked, “I’m sending bad weather to all the people who refuse to wear masks to hide hideous faces.”) In fact, you can set its personality (friendly, snarky, homicidal, or overkill) and its politics (liberal, conservative, centrist, libertarian, communist, or apolitical) to suit your own tastes.
All that being said, Carrot is a solid, good-looking app that offers a reasonable amount of data on current and upcoming weather. The Android app uses the Dark Sky API for its data; the iOS app, on the other hand, uses a variety of sources, such as Dark Sky, AccuWeather, AerisWeather, and Foreca. It also has several features that the Android app lacks, but in an email, creator Brian Mueller promised a major update in 2022.
Price: Free with ads. “Premium Club” removes the ads and offers a widget and other features for $0.99 per month or $3.99 annually.
1Weather is a well-known app with a variety of screens showing the current weather, the forecast, precipitation, radar, and the Sun and Moon rise and set, among others. I personally found the interface a bit crowded, but it does offer a lot of information, and it includes short weather-related articles. Unfortunately, not only do scrolling ads sit right in the center of the main screen, on other pages the ads take up a good third of the screen, and there are also full-page pop-up ads. According to the app’s website, it gets its info using the Weather 2020 platform, along with meteorologist Gary Lezak.
Price: Free with ads. Without ads: $1.99 one-time purchase.
Anyone who ever watched cable TV or listened to the radio is probably familiar with AccuWeather, which has been used by many stations for their forecasts. According to its website, it collects its own data using a combination of meteorologists, a global forecast engine, and other sources. The app has an attractive interface that offers immediate access to the current actual and “RealFeel” temperatures. The Next 4-Hours MinuteCast tells you what kind of precipitation to expect (if any) over the next four hours. You can see forecasts on an hourly and daily basis, along with current radar, using tabs at the bottom of the screen; you can also track any approaching hurricanes. Tap the Eyewitness News icon at the top-right corner for the latest news.
Price: Free with ads or $8.99 annually for no ads, weather alerts, and live forecast radar.
Today Weather may be the best looking of all the apps listed here. It’s got a straightforward interface that starts with a photo and today’s weather, and you can scroll down for details on the weather for the next 24 hours and seven days, live radar, air quality, and other categories. If you’re in the US, you can choose to get your data from a variety of sources, including Today Weather itself, the National Weather Service, Weatherbit.io, Open Weather Map, or YR.no / Met.no (the Norwegian Meteorological Institute). Paying customers can choose from even more data sources, including AccuWeather and Dark Sky.
Price: Free with ads, $1.99 for six months, $2.99 for one year, or $6.99 forever. The paid options remove ads, let you choose your data source, and add a few other features.
Appy Weather bills itself as “the most personal weather app.” It’s certainly privacy-conscious; at the outset, it asks if you want to check the weather via your current location (in which case it requires permission), or do a search for your location (in which case it doesn’t ask for your location permission). The interface is straightforward and simple, especially its timeline, which lets you scroll down to see the current weather and the upcoming forecast. You can also scroll from left to right at the bottom to see hourly and daily forecasts. Appy Weather currently uses a variety of sources for its data, including Dark Sky, Foreca, and OpenWeather.
Price: Free version with ads. The Plus version costs $4.99 annually for no ads, radar, notifications, widgets, and other features. The Pro version adds custom notifications and premium weather providers for $9.99 per year. A second Pro version unlocks a variety of map layers; it costs $4.99 a month or $19.99 annually.
Like Appy Weather, Overdrop has a simple, easy-to-understand interface with a reasonable, if somewhat limited, selection. You can see the current weather, hourly weather, the air quality, a radar map, and weekly forecast; select a drop-down arrow to get more details. However, its main advantage may be that, if you’re a paying customer, you can access 54 different weather widgets — something that widget fans may find worth the price. At the time of the review, you could choose between Open Weather Map, Dark Sky, or Weatherbit if you used the free version; paid subscribers can also select AccuWeather.
Price: Free with ads; Pro version costs $1.59 per month, $7.99 annually, or $14.99 for a lifetime sub. The paid options remove ads, unlock additional providers, and add 54 widgets and 10 themes.
This simple app goes to the source: the National Weather Service, run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It presents data from the NOAA in a clear, easy-to-read format: it opens to the weekly forecast, and you can tap on each day to get more data. You can also get an hourly forecast and a weather map.
By the way, if you want to get your weather info directly from the NOAA, you can go to the site (weather.gov), enter your zip code to get your local forecast, and then save the mobile page to your homescreen (by tapping the three “More” dots in the upper-right corner of your browser and then selecting “Add to Home screen”).
Price: Free with ads. $1.99 version removes ads and allows more than three saved locations.
It’s immediately apparent that FlowX (once known as WeatherBomb) is for weather nerds: when you first install it, it opens to a weather map and temperature / humidity charts rather than the usual text-based weather summary, and it lets you choose what types of data the map shows. You get a seven-day forecast; slide your finger across the screen for each day’s forecast. The free app gets its data from the NOAA; the Bronze version gives you more map styles, a graph editor, and up to a 16-day forecast for $4.99 / year. The Silver subscription ($9.99 / year) adds RainViewer Radar and three regional weather models, among other features, and the Gold ($19.99 / year) adds even more, including models for Europe, global ocean temperature and current, and more.
Price: Free; $4.99 / year for the Bronze version, $9.99 / year for the Silver version, and $19.99 / year version for the Gold version.
Yahoo Weather is a good-looking and solid weather app that lets you scroll sideways for different locations. You scroll down for the week’s weather, a weather map, wind and pressure, precipitation, and schedules for the Sun and Moon. The homepage features the latest coronavirus statistics (you can hide them if you wish), and there is no premium version, so you’re stuck with the ads. Still, this is a worthy app. (Note: I couldn’t find any first-hand information about the data source, but its weather maps are sourced from The Weather Channel.)
If you like sassy weather apps like Carrot, you might also want to try What The ForeCast?! It opens with an opinionated statement on the homepage; you can adjust the profanity level to either On, Some, Minimal, or Off and choose to make it vocal or silent. In fact, the UI settings are in general more varied than most other apps, letting you adjust it to fit your preferences. Scroll down for the daily and weekly forecasts; ads are at the bottom of the screen. You can also find data about the air quality index, bee index, and others via icons at the top of the homescreen. The app uses AerisWeather as a source.
Price: Free; $1.99 will remove the ads and another $1.99 will add a widget. The app also has its own Etsy page with various merch.
Update June 29th, 3:42PM ET: This article was originally published on April 1st, 2020, and it has been updated to include two new apps and to update several of the entries.
Update July 31st, 2:30PM ET: This article was changed to update several of the entries.
Update November 11th, 5:15PM ET: This article was changed to update the introduction and the entries, and to add Yahoo Weather and What The Forecast?!