Yahoo’s new direction under Marissa Mayer is still coming together, but one thing they’ve unquestionably done right is the weather app for iPhone they debuted earlier this year. The iPad version has just been released, and it’s about as close to a native iPad weather app as you can get, given the similarity in design choices between Apple’s native iPhone weather app and that of Yahoo’s third-party version.
It feels at home on the iPad, but it also probably exceeds whatever Apple would’ve done, taking the two iPhone weather apps from either party as a point of reference. The app uses your device’s location to find imagery from Flickr to populate the background, and more often than not, those reflect actual current conditions on the ground. Then you can scroll up to get a detailed forecast, including hourly and daily predictions, details, wind speed, precipitation and maps, all of which is presented in a beautiful, cleverly animated but easy-to-read interface.
The app is simple enough in terms of how it works, but it does everything it needs to, and doesn’t clutter things up with too much else. It’s a perfect companion to the iPhone version, and comes as a universal update for the existing free app. Apple provides extremely limited weather information on the iPad, both in the “Today” tab on the new iOS 7 notifications screen, and in the Clock app, but these are limited essentially to current temps or the predicted high for the day. Yahoo’s offering is leaps and bounds better, completely free, and an actual visual treat thanks to the Flickr-sourced imagery.
I still wonder about some of Yahoo’s recent decisions, like a logo design that pretty much ushered Yahoo into the early 1990s, and mail outages that span impossible multiple-day gaps, but the Weather app has been a rock solid product reinvention for them, and the iPad version doesn’t do anything to debate that.