When Apple introduced iOS 7 with an overhauled design for the iPhone and iPad software, it replaced the weather widget showing current temperature and weekly forecast introduced with iOS 5 with a text summary of the day’s weather conditions. This weather summary includes an icon for the current weather condition as well as a text description like ‘mostly cloudy’, but it tends to give you the high and low temperatures of the day and not the current temperature like Apple’s former weather widget.
Luckily, iOS 8 allows developers to create third-party widgets including – you guessed it – weather widgets with current temperature and forecast. Since iOS 8 was released last week, I’ve been trying a variety of apps with included weather widgets, and below I’ll share with you what I’ve discovered so far.
Out of the box, iOS 7 and iOS 8 include the default widget (seen below) in Notification Center‘s Today view with a summary of the day’s weather conditions, but as I mentioned before, that typically does not present the current temperature and certainly doesn’t present the 5-day forecast many expect to see from Apple’s previous weather widget.
Since iOS 7, Apple has reserved that information for the default Weather app, but it’s not nearly as convenient as pulling down Notification Center to glance at the current temperature (and the iPad doesn’t have a default Weather app like the one found on the iPhone and iPod touch).
Each app below is available for at least iPhone, and iPad users can install these apps and take advantage of the same widgets for Notification Center if iPad versions aren’t available.
Forecast+ ($0.99) (Included in $4.99 bundle of productivity apps)
First up is Forecast+, an app that’s really only a widget, which was a very popular recommendation when I surveyed Twitter for an iOS 8 weather widget replacement. The other apps listed here are full-fledged weather apps with available widgets while Forecast+ is more of a weather utility.
Forecast+ does have an app, but it’s used to toggle how and what the the widget displays. For example, you can set your current location or another location for weather tracking and toggle between Celsius and Fahrenheit depending on your preference. Forecast+ also offers up four different ways of viewing the widget as you can toggle between compact and expanded as well as choosing to always show the 5-day forecast or not.
Next is The Weather Channel for iPhone. It’s widget displays the current temperature and a text summary of the weather conditions. It’s more similar to Apple’s own approach (although you do get current temperature), but it also included links to videos you can watch within TWC’s app, which I didn’t find ideal personally.
Yahoo Weather is another popular third-party weather app for many people, and its Today view widget closely resembles the design of its iPhone app with sparse text and simplistic icons.
With it you get current temperature, the day’s high and low temperature, and a brief forecast ahead, but you also get images from Flickr thrown in. These photos are usually from around your location if any are available and can be very nice images, but for a Notification Center widget, I found they add too much weight to something intended to be quick if that makes any sense.
NOAA Radar Pro ($0.99) (Included in $2.99 bundle of weather apps)
The NOAA Radar Pro app (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is straight to the point and offers up a glance at the weather for the next few hours as well. With it you get the current temperature and weather condition as well as the high and low of the day. Another benefit of NOAA Radar Pro is the app allows you to control the location used by the widget. This means if you’re traveling out of time but want to keep an eye on your weather back home, NOAA Radar Pro has you covered.
My Alarm Clock ($0.99) (Included in same $2.99 bundle of weather apps)
This next one isn’t primarily a weather app, but it included a quick weather widget as if it were one. My Alarm Clock is an alternative to the default Clock app with support for interactive notifications and a variety of other clock features.
Its widget, though, included the current temperature and weather condition as well as the current wind speed. It’s a bit robust with the alarm clock feature if you’re only looking for a weather widget, but it’s an option.
WeatherPro ($2.99) (Included in $6.99 bundle of weather apps)
WeatherPro is another weather widget that allows you to set the location you prefer to track. In addition to presenting the current temperature, WeatherPro’s widget offers you the current time of day, wind speed and direction, precipitation data like inches of rain per hour, and barometric pressure. You also get an icon and description for the current weather condition.
This weather widget is pretty straight forward is offers some additional details you may be interested in, but it’s value is mostly in its companion full-fledged weather app.
Raincast is a different type of weather widget. It doesn’t show you to current temperature (although its badge can) and you don’t exactly get the 5-day forecast. Instead, Raincast shows you just that, the precipitation forecast over a 6-day period using a visually attractive bar graph and percentages.
You do get glyphs for how the weather conditions of each day as well, but they’re not highly detailed as the chance of rain each day is this widget’s focus. I discovered it while researching weather widget replacements on the App Store, but I think I’ll keep it around for now.
This widget won’t do anything for you unless you have a Netatmo Weather Station, but Weather Station users can use the widget with the corresponding app for viewing localized weather data captured by the device. For most people it won’t be the ideal weather widget replacement since it requires owning the product, but it’s especially worth considering for anyone obsessed with tracking weather data.
For now, I’m keeping Forecast+, WeatherPro, and Raincast added to my Today view in Notification Center for quickly accessing relevant weather data at a glance, but each weather widget above is worth checking out to see which you prefer. Let us know below if you have a favorite weather widget for your iPhone or iPad on iOS 8 that you would recommend, and check out our additional roundups including the best third-party keyboards, app extensions, and other widgets for making the most out of iOS 8!