Weatherbug for Windows Phone 7 hands-on video

I first reported about Weatherbug on Windows Phone 7 four months ago when the project was first unveiledalongside the release of Bing Maps silverlight plug-in so it is nice to finally see the application in action on a real device. The developer gives us a full walkthrough of the application and the different features currently implemented like the Live Tile (updated by a Push Notification Service), Radar view, Bing Maps integration etc. Unless SPB software releases a new version of SPB Weather for Windows Phone 7 Weatherbug looks to be the most feature rich weather application that will be available on WP7 this fall. YouTube Video after the break:

  • BucksterMcgee

    By feature rich do you mean simply because this is one of the first we’ve seen with live tiles and the bing overlay control?

    Honestly I wasn’t impressed with the app. There seems to be a fair amount of information present and I see promise with the bing maps integration, but for what I saw here, it looks poorly implemented. It just doesn’t have the fit and finish I’ve seen with other apps; and in many ways those other apps are simpler but better because of that.

    Actually there seems to be a lot of this app that doesn’t follow the guild lines for metro, and now I see why it’s a bad idea to ignore the guild lines, i.e., it makes your app look like a poor attempt to “copy” metro. Even something as simple as “authentically digital” sticks out with a sore thumb: The compass tries way to hard to look like a compass, and because of that it sticks out and looks ugly. I would suggest making a compass that looks more metro like. The problem is when you have a UI that is very clean and simple, anything that isn’t that (especially a single item) just looks terrible and out of place.

    Further more the transition look bland, and don’t make use of techniques outlined in the developer guides. Ignoring these guide lines is where we will have a lot of 2nd class apps, that just looks like the developer “tried” to through together an app that “looks” like WP7 and call it a day, instead of actually embracing the design language of metro, not just for the text font and flipping pages, but for what it means to actually organize your page.

    Personally, I think a weather app would work very well in a panorama. Pano’s are for expanse discovery (with a touch of graphics), and the weather is basically just searching (discovering) for weather variable and images for different places. I think having the different sized columns would be handy for have different parts of what you’re looking for. Instead of going to another “pivot” with the pivot control, where you lose sense of what you were just looking at, the pano allows more of a flow from looking at the daily, to the weekly forecast, to satellite images, and so on. Also, pano’s lend themselves to be user customized more, and weather is something that everyone looks at differently. Some people just want info on their spot, for today or the next. Some people just want to check up on several different places at once. And some people want to keep update notes on weather changes for a certain date… e.g., for a party, wedding, vacation, golf etc. So a weather app shouldn’t just be a rearrangement of what you can do with a website in phone form…. that’s a waste of effort… instead it should empower the user to benefit from the phone’s form factor, and allow them to use it how they want…. not have to flick around a bunch and jump in and out of too many menus… which is basically what this app is. : /

  • MobileTechWorld

    Awesome feedback BucksterMcgee! Yeah when I said feature rich I wasn’t talking about the UI. I agree we the majority of what you said and personally think that the Weatherbug guys basically tried to stick as much as possible to the look and feel of their other mobile apps (on WM6.X, iPhone and Android) with a spice of Metro on Top of it and it definitely isn’t the best thing to do.

    I’m really starting to thing that many of the current applications being developed for WP7 will receive major UI changes once the first devices hit the market and when developers finally know how things will evolve (for ex: how does the YouTube integration look like? this is really important for certain types of apps and devs like me have to build everything from scratch because this feature doesn’t exist yet). Updates to the browser will also play in major role in this process too. Lots of application on iPhone and Android use webbrowser controls to certain things and this can also be done in WP7 right now. But given that IE Mobile is still based on IE7 there’s alot of imitation and things that have been done when prototyping the app have to be scratched when you start coding and realize that what you wanted to do is currently impossible. This in turn can push developers to implement functionalities in ways that can only be done when breaking the Metro UI flow etc…