Google finally has a default weather app to compete with Apple and Samsung Although Pixel phones have long been able to show the current weather in widgets, tapping on those widgets just opens a basic screen with cute weather frog and some statistics. It’s like a website because it’s basically what it is.
With the launch of the Pixel Tablet earlier this week, Google has rectified that situation. Its new weather app — accessed via the same widgets as before, since there’s no icon to launch it — has a much sleeker design without sacrificing the fun of the experience. old. It has 10-day and 24-hour forecasts; reports wind index, humidity, barometric pressure and UV index, along with current sun position and sunrise/sunset times. It also shows details of precipitation, wind and humidity broken down by hour. All of this is available in an easy to parse single screen with some cool animations for current conditions.
The new app is also capable of providing information about upcoming rainfall instantly, including its intensity and how long it lasted before it stopped. It can even provide this data up to 12 hours in advance, using data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other sources. This information will only be displayed in the app when relevant — if there isn’t any upcoming rainfall near you, it won’t show this data.
Perhaps the only thing missing from this new weather experience is the radar view—if it was, I couldn’t find it in the app. It would also be nice to have an app icon to launch the weather app instead of having to rely on a widget. Like the basic version before it, this new version is powered by the Google app, but it feels much more natural and less like a dull little website.
For now, the new weather app is limited to tablets, including the upcoming Pixel Tablet and Pixel Fold. 9to5Google reports that Google plans to bring it to other devices in the future, but there’s no time for that to happen. Android Police there are some images of the interface running on a phone-sized screen, thanks to the developers who were able to enable it on their devices.
Samsung devices come pre-installed with a fairly complete weather app, but I hope that Google doesn’t keep it exclusive to the Pixel line and make it more widely available. This isn’t the first time Google has extended its Pixel-specific software outside of its own devices.
Photography by Dan Seifert / The Verge