By Mike Riley on Fri, 05/27/2011
Weather applications are as popular as sound board and Sudoku programs in the App Store. Is there room for yet another weather app? AppThat, the creator of Shine - Weather At A Glance, thinks so. Read on to find out what I think.
Shine delivers exactly what the name of the application says it does. Rather than overload users with screens filled with radar maps, bar charts, histories, videos and dancing icons, Shine is as easy and almost as fast as the native iPhone Weather application. However, unlike the Apple-bundled Weather program, Shine offers 36-hour weather forecasts so you know exactly how to plan your day.
For example, how many times have you been frustrated by the Weather app telling you it was going to rain that day only to discover that rain was only going to occur late that evening. Without an hourly forecast, you have to load up your mobile browser, go to a weather website, enter your location information, scroll up and down, left and right to find the hour-by-hour forecast link, touch the link, wait for the page to refresh and then pinch and zoom to read the pinpoint type on the screen.
Conversely, Shine is as simple to use as the Apple Weather app. Launch it for the first time and set up your preferences including current location and any other locations you would like to track, and whether you prefer metric or standard units and have time displayed in 12-hour or 24-hour format. Then, wait a second or two and be greeted with the current temperature and wind speed on the top half of the screen and the weather forecasts for the current day, evening and next day on the bottom half. If you want to see the hour-by-hour forecast, just scroll the screen downward for a 36 hour forecast (broken out in 3 hour increments) for the time, weather, temperature, % precipitation and estimated wind speeds. That's it. Simple.
Of course, I have yet to find the 'perfect' weather application and Shine comes close but doesn't quite capture the gold medal. While I really like the fast and lightweight at-a-glance style interface, there is one view that I wish Shine had, and its one that I still have to visit on the weather sites as a result. I like to plan my weekend activities in advance and while I realize that predicting weather several days out is sketchy at best, it's still nice to know if I will be able to plan for an outdoor bike ride or settle for an indoor basketball game. If Shine could add a 10-day forecast view, it would have received another star. And it would have also received one more star if it were a Universal app optimized for both the iPhone and iPad. Nevertheless, the app does deliver what it advertises, and does it competently and quickly.
Shine will remain on my iPhone for now in hopes that the developer will continue to update it with these missing features while still keeping it as simple, fast and intuitive to use as the current version.
Title: Shine - Weather At A Glance
Rating: 3/5 stars