Brits love their weather. It’s practically an obsession, and the ultimate fallback when other forms of conversation dry up. To be fair, for such a small island it enjoys a wide variety of different patterns, so there’s always plenty to talk about.
With this in mind – and responding a growth in the use of the BBC weather website on mobile devices, it’s perhaps not surprising that the BBC has unveiled this, a companion app to its sports and news apps. Like its siblings, the BBC Weather app is simply an attractive front end for content already available on the website, bringing local forecasts for all parts of the UK, plus major cities around the world.
As you’d expect, UK users get the best deal, with location-based forecast providing hour-by-hour details for the first 48 hours, then three-hourly details for the following three days (international users must make do with three-hourly forecasts), plus daily pollen and pollution information.
Tap the current weather symbol to access the hour-by-hour forecasts, then tap an individual entry for more detail, including wind, visibility, pressure and humidity. The app also supports multiple locations – just tap to search, and any selected places are automatically added to your list. Navigate between them by swiping vertically.
There’s also a settings button for switching between Celsius and Fahrenheit, plus mph and km/h. It’s all very simple, elegant and easy to navigate too, putting it head and shoulders above other BBC apps.
Android users gain some additional features over the iOS version: a home-screen widget offering the five-day forecast (Android 4.2 users can also place this on the lock screen), plus the ability to “bump” phones with friends for sharing favourite locations.
Packed with enough detail to satisfy most people’s needs, this is an essential smartphone app – particularly if you’re British.