Solar: Weather Has Never Been Cooler [Review]
Into this crowded category comes Solar, a beautiful new weather app from Hollr that stands out from the fray through a combination of an attractive UI, thoughtful implementation of features, intelligent color schemes, and accurate local data courtesy of Weather Underground.
What sets Solar apart is their unique approach to displaying weather info beyond what you usually get from most weather apps. While Solar provides the typical location-based display of Time, Date, Conditions, and Temperature, you also get many thoughtful touches to how this data is displayed and interacted with.
For example, the color of the screen is tied to the current conditions, temperature, and time of day. If it’s raining in a location the screen shows rain falling from the top of the screen, and the rain direction moves as you tilt the phone. If there’s a thunderstorm, the rain is joined by random screen flashes to represent lightning and even vibrations for thunder if you have this enabled. You can slide your finger up the screen to scroll through the next 24 hours worth of data with the display updating in real time, pulling down from the top displays the 3 day forecast, and double-tapping or pinching shows a grid view of 4 cities at a time. Swiping right to left moves between locations you have defined. It’s obvious that the developers gave a lot of thought to the user experience and not just getting the app out the door.
Solar has been very successful since release, finding itself at the top of the Weather category in many countries, and being featured by Apple on the App Store as well. It supports both Fahrenheit and Celsius so it’s usable around the world, and doesn’t appear to have any US-only features that I can see. A recent update added several features such as displaying the temperature as “feels like” to account for humidity, wind chill, etc.