Friday, July 1, 2011

Weathereye Mac App Review

I haven't been a big proponent of the mac app store, but one feature that I really like is that it updates all your apps for you (so long as the app is in the app store, that is). I have been using a widget from weather network for a while now, but today I went to the site to realize that it was no longer supported. For a while now, they have been "beta testing" a new desktop application, which I downloaded for the first time today. I also made my first review on the mac app store, regarding the app. Here's a screenshot of the review. Fortunately I didn't take any screenshots of the actual app (it's hideous), but if you are the curious type just go look it up in the mac app store, there are about 4-5 screenshots of it there.

I really liked the simplicity of the mac widget, it would even have weather warnings at times, but since it is no longer being developed RIP. I'm going to use it as long as it functions. Hats off to the developer for making such a streamlined, aesthetic, and functional widget. For those of you wondering why I didn't use the built in apple one this is far more accurate, and as I mentioned earlier has weather warnings, plus additional (yet useful) features.

Edit: The font on the screenshot may be too small, so here's a quick transcript for easier reading. I also realized I said "a nice touch" two times in a row, hope weather network doesn't mind.

I have been a longtime user of the weathereye widget for mac (currently at version 2.1.1), which appears has been discontinued as it is no longer available for download. I will conduct this review in comparison with the mac widget, as it is the successor to the widget.

First of all, a bit of background information about the widget. The mac widget had no ads. The mac widget loads very quickly, as it is a widget, and it displays all the pertinent information needed. Current weather, short term weather, and long term. That's it, no "videos on demand" or "viewer photos." The point of the mac widget was to allow the user to quickly glance at the current weather conditions, period. There was no need for added functionality, as all of this could be viewed at the weather network site if needed.

On the other hand, the speed of this desktop application is sluggish, and its layout disorienting. Almost a third of the whole window has been taking up by an ad, and overall the app has a huge memory footprint. I'm just reading this information off from activity monitor, but right now just with the app open it is using 76.8 MB of memory, even more memory than itunes, quicktime player, or adium (on an individual basis).

The application does display the current weather information, as well as five day, hourly, and 14 day trend. The video on demand quality is good. One advantage that this desktop application has over the widget is that you can add multiple cities. A nice touch was to have the current temperature show up on the menubar, for quick reading. The application is 64 bit, which is a nice touch.

Also I guess this is somewhat of a temporary modification but it appears that the desktop application has an added fireworks border, just for Canada day. As if the app isn't taking up enough space already, with its huge ads and random weather stories. Another thing to note is that it has the usual mac traffic lights on the upper left, but only the "red stoplight" does anything, the other two buttons are useless, just like the application itself.

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