App Review: Eye in the Sky

by +Robert Caldecott

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Eye in Sky

Formerly known as Weather Eye I came across this app via an Android app round-up on The Verge site. There is a free ad-supported version or you can pay £1.20 for the Pro key which I went for as soon as I realised how awesome it is.

“If Google went all out and decided to supply a weather app for Android… then it would look like this”

Yes, this little app has completely blown my socks off. It is by far the best looking weather app I have ever seen thanks to it’s Holo theme and generally superb user experience. It’s clean, simple, the widgets are excellent and it lets you choose from about a dozen different icon packs all of which are top quality (and you may find familiar if you’ve used other apps like Fancy Widgets, etc.)The attention to detail here also makes this app stand out and the fact it’s the work of one guy has me gushing with respect. Sadly, it’s not perfect and there are two problems with it that I hope – pray! – are resolved. The developer has been pretty quiet for the last few months but I’m sure a new release will arrive before long.

My first problem: accuracy. Sadly it isn’t the most accurate app I’ve used. And this saddens me. The reported current conditions are correct about 50% of the time and this is a bit of a show-stopper. But given that there are other weather services out there I am hoping that perhaps the developer can offer a choice. But having no idea how much these companies charge for using their data, and this being the work of one guy … well, maybe I’m expecting too much. Your mileage may vary of course.

The second issue is what looks like a simple bug. When you open the app it  sometimes hasn’t updated the current/predicted forecast and only switching to another location and back again fixes this. Annoying but you know, fixable.

But the UI. It’s lush. You get a choice of 4 different widgets: a 4×1 5-day forecast, a 4×2 “cities” widget (which shows current location and conditions, 4-day forecast and allows you to scroll through your configured places), a 1×1 current conditions icon and a 1×1 current temperature. When you create a widget you get this handy settings page that allows you to tweak the colours and choose an icon set to use.

As well as the widgets you can also display the current temperature in the status bar which will then display you location and a weather icon when expanded. Again you can choose the icon set to use here which is a nice touch.

Tapping on a widget or the notification will open the main app. The Holo theme looks lovely here and you get three pages: Currently48 Hours and (gulp) 15 Days and swiping between them is smooth with no trace of lag. Tapping an icon will open a page containing more detail such as “feels like”, humidity, wind speed and pressure. Sadly sunrise/sunset times or lunar phase are not included and would be welcome addition.

Support for your current location is obviously included, and is fully supported by all the widgets (are you listening AccuWeather?) and you can add additional places. One nice touch when selecting locations is being able to display a map that allows you to touch on a location and tell you which weather station it will actually use for the data. Nice.

Battery life isn’t an issue either, and it’s never appeared in my list. You can choose the update interval which defaults to 1 hour. You can also customise the temperature, wind speed and rainfall units.

If Google went all out and decided to supply a weather app for Android (instead of Google Now) then it would look like this. It would be identical. They should be throwing money at the author (Tim Clark who has a Google+ profile but no activity).

Attached are some screen shots you can drool over.

Screenshot_2013-01-17-20-50-44  Screenshot_2013-01-17-20-53-48  Screenshot_2013-01-17-20-53-52  Screenshot_2013-01-17-20-53-56  Screenshot_2013-01-17-20-48-49

As you can probably tell I really like this app. But … the accuracy issues are a kick in the teeth and I hope this can be remedied.

So a reluctant and tearful 7 out of 10  Sob sob sob. If accuracy was improved this would get full marks. But you may find the weather service accurate in your location so please check this app out – the reviews are great – and if you like it then please cough up for the Pro version so the developer can continue improving it. It has the potential to be the best and I shall leave it installed in case an update arrives.