We asked, you told us: Google just keeps taking over, including weather apps

By | 22nd September 2018

Weather! You can look out your window, sure, but a good weather app to tell you the highs, lows, rain, wind, and sunshine, is part of what makes technology great.

One problem is that weather data is a little bit funky. Most weather apps (or their data service) can more or less agree on current observations, but who do you trust for forecasts? And why do some apps differ so much? And why do some countries and regions trust such different apps?

Well, friends, that’s what we’re on about this week in our poll. We wanted to know which weather app you trust, you like, and that you keep coming back to. As Jimmy said in our poll post, some years ago we asked you the same question about your favorite weather app, and the overwhelming majority voted for Weather Timeline. That’s when app times were good, and developers didn’t try and escape Google’s 30 percent fees.

RIP Weather Timeline. Now which app do we use?

But, for absolutely understandable reasons, it turns out paying just a few dollars and then never having to pay again doesn’t pay the bills for developers that stretch into months and years. So poor old Weather Timeline dev Sam Ruston decided to remove the Weather Timeline app from the Play Store rather than re-ask for money via subscription. He’s both a sweet and smart guy, he’ll bounce back, but it’s still tough to see such a solid and award-winning app go the way of the dodo.

But how are you replacing it? How are you coming to terms with the need to use other weather apps?

This week’s poll reached just over 33,000 of you across Twitter, YouTube, and the web poll, so how did you vote, and which weather app should we try next?

What’s your favorite weather app?

Results

The results are very a little bit by how many options we could bring you, so do click through each tab above. On Twitter (maximum of four options) Google Weather did well, polling 51 percent, with AccuWeather at 28 percent, and the write-in option of ‘Other’ next at 14 percent. On YouTube (max five options), Google Weather did even better with 58 percent with other results similar. That’s a big turnaround from two years ago when Google’s options only carried 24 percent of the vote.

Really, the web poll was most interesting, as we saw a more complete breakdown where the likes of Dark Sky and Today Weather managed to get a few votes. Google Weather still won, but the results were much closer as we gave you options across the other small apps.

I’m not 100 percent sure on what to make of it, but here’s what I think. The default Google Weather app is pretty good. It’s come a long way, with good icons, nice breakdowns of hourly weather, and it shows you exactly what Google Assistant says if you say “Ok Google, what’s the weather today?”. It’s easy to vote it as your winner. But if we ask you about other options, maybe then you can dive deeper and say “Oh yeah! I do like Dark Sky.”

So while you’re here, do check out our list of the 15 best weather apps on Android and maybe give another app a go to see what else is out there other than mothership Google. Or not, it’s up to you. Actually, the comments below might tell you more too.

Comments and other app votes

Here’s a list of the other weather apps you voted for, and some of the more interesting comments you left:

  • I roll with Microsoft Weather App. No publicity, free, consistent, and available on Android and Windows.
  • “Hey Google, what’s the weather like outside?”
  • Transparent Weather is my favorite. It looks great on the screen with no background borders and you can choose from several weather services.
  • Windy – a masterpiece of information and detail.
  • No weather app is perfect but Accuweather is consistently the most accurate for me.

Non-US app votes:

  • Canada Weather & Radar and the CTV Calgary weather app.
  • Met Office app. Most accurate weather for the UK.
  • Metservice in New Zealand.
  • Willyweather in Australia.
  • Weatherzone – one of the few good Australian weather apps, now that Pocket Weather is no more.

And last but not least, these two entries which were suspiciously highly voted:

  • Pornhub

(Yes, we’re predicting not much change in conditions in your mother’s basement…)

That’s it for this week everyone. As always, thanks for voting, thanks for the comments, and don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the results below. May your sunny days be just hot enough and may your colder days not hurt your face.