App Review: Weather Wiz


Rebecca Christensen, Cactus Writer

I never thought I’d do this, but today, I’m going to review a weather app. “A weather app?” You ask incredulously, “That’s so boring!” Indeed, I swore I’d never do it, but then I saw this app. You see, I have an unfortunate weakness for pretty things, and this app is really pretty.

To start off with, the app in question is Weather Wiz and it’s definitely not perfect, despite its prettiness. Let’s start off with the good things about this app. Weather Wiz allows you the choice of a “realistic” looking theme, or a 2D, slightly cartoonish theme similar to the one in the picture accompanying this article. The realistic theme, while nice looking in and of itself, is fairly plain. The 2D theme has several variations you can choose from, from a desert, city, forest, or (my favorite) the space theme (complete with aliens and rocket ships). All of the themes are free for users to download and use as they wish.

Weather Wiz also includes an interesting add-in called “Radar” that uses Windytv to visually show real time weather. Windytv shows which way the wind is blowing on the map, as well as color-coding the temperature in regions, and many other features. Not only is Windytv useful in Weather Wiz, but the separate online version is well built and a pleasure to use.

Now, for the less than good things about this app. First off, you can’t choose where Weather Wiz gets its weather information from, which can result in slightly skewed statistics. When comparing Weather Wiz to a couple of other apps plus an actual thermometer, I found that it showed slightly cooler temperatures.

Secondly, using the in-app version of Windytv was slightly confusing. Unlike most apps, to scroll around the Windytv map you must use two fingers, which is also how you zoom in and out. Another problem I had was how to actually use the in-app version of Windytv. As it turns out, to access most all of the features that make it useful, you have to enable full-screen mode in the bottom left corner of the screen, after tapping on the time/date stamp.

Lastly, you cannot dismiss the notification that contains today’s weather information in your notification bar. Your mileage may vary for on this one, but I dislike not being able to dismiss a notification. The only way to get rid of it is to go to your phone settings and disable all notifications from Weather Wiz.

Weather Wiz is free, and available on the Google Play store. The free version does have ads, but they only pop up occasionally, and are removable if you pay for it.