Flick, swipe and pinch your way to today’s forecast with Weathercube
Weathercube is an iOS app from Appsuperb. It’s been available since late last year, but has since been updated several times and is currently enjoying a feature spot as Apple’s App of the Week, which means it is temporarily free at the time of writing. It’s available now as a Universal download from the App Store.
Weathercube describes itself as a “gestural weather” app and has clearly been taking some rather heavy cues from Realmac Software’s excellent minimalist task manager Clear. The whole aesthetic of the app — not to mention the gestural control system and the high degree of audio-visual polish despite the simplistic presentation — is strongly reminiscent of Clear, but since Clear was widely lauded for the way it looked and felt to use, this isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, the gestural controls and minimalist presentation work extremely well with Weathercube — for the most part, anyway.
Upon opening Weathercube for the first time, the user is given an initial tutorial of the app’s main features, where they are introduced to the various controls and different screens which can be accessed. Following this, they are taken to the app’s main screen, where they can see a summary of the day’s weather in their current location. Individual segments of the screen can be tapped on to view additional information such as what the weather is expected to be like at various times of day, the city name at the top may be swiped left or right to switch between different cities the user has set up in the app, and swiping elsewhere on the screen allows forecasts for other days to be viewed. There appears to be a bug in this feature; rotating the cube to view the information for “now” occasionally causes the screen to black out instead of displaying the information. This did not happen consistently, however; closing and restarting the app stopped it from happening again.
Rotating the cube downwards by swiping from top to bottom changes the display to a six-day forecast; rotating it in the other direction shows a more detailed daily forecast with specific times, conditions, temperatures and expected rainfall. Using two fingers to “open” the cube vertically (or tapping in the center of the screen) allows the user to access the settings menu, while using two fingers to “open” it horizontally allows weather conditions to be shared on Facebook or Twitter as an image.
The settings menu allows users to choose what cities they would like to track the weather for, change the visual theme to one of several different colors, adjust units used for temperatures and other measurements and tweak a number of other settings. A “Tips & Tricks” section also reminds users of important aspects of the app — and also heavily implies that there are a number of hidden secret features in the app. This is another idea borrowed from Clear, which unlocked new visual themes according to the user fulfilling various conditions ranging from completing tasks at certain hours of the day to having other apps installed on their phone.
Weathercube is a good app, but a couple of infrequent bugs mar the experience a little. Aside from the aforementioned “black screen” issue mentioned above, occasionally pinching to close the settings menu doesn’t work properly, instead displaying the animation of the cube closing and then flicking straight back to the settings menu. This can usually be bypassed by rotating the cube rather than pinching it closed, but this is a different gesture to that used for opening the settings menu, so is less intuitive. If these little niggles can be fixed, Weathercube will serve as both an excellent replacement for the default iOS weather app and a great addition to the growing library of “minimalist” apps available on the platform. It’s definitely worth a download while it’s still free, but some of the more glaring bugs need to be fixed before it’s really worth paying money for.
Weathercube is currently ranked at No. 43 in Top Free Apps, No. 16 in Top Free iPad Apps, No. 2 in Top Free Weather Apps and No. 2 in Top Free iPad Weather Apps. Follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.