Planning a trip for the weekend? Well you’d better make sure the sun is on your side. There’s a good number of weather forecasting applications around. We’ve taken two relatively popular programs and compared them to see which one fared best.
Weatherbug is free and discreetly fits into your deskbar. You can also choose for it to appear in your browser bar so you get weather info while you’re on the net. Unfortunately, the program is limited to the United States and you’ll realize this when you set it up, because you’ll need to enter a ZIP code. If you’ve forgotten it, you can easily browse for your location in the program. Weatherbug includes a cute little chirp sound alert to inform you of new weather updates. What we liked most was the wealth of features and maps like live camera views of key metropolitan areas (good for traffic updates), the severe weather alert notification and fun weather games and quizzes. On the downside, you’ll need to register Weatherbug when you first start it, and it will install adware (an extra search bar) in your browser.
On the other side of the ring we have Weather Watcher, a free application that also fits in the deskbar and includes sound alerts. Unlike Weatherbug, this application takes its data from the Weather Channel, meaning you can check out any place in the world. The satellite imagery is very basic however and there’s not much information you’ll get out of it. The real asset of Weather Watcher is a clean interface, with hourly meteorological cycles and regular updates. Weather forecast details appear as you roll over data on the screen.
So to our verdict. Even though Weatherbug is limited to the States, it has many more maps and features and an overall fun user experience. Weather Watcher offers detailed worldwide meteorological data but it just doesn’t have that spark of user attractiveness. That said, you’re best trying them out and choosing the one you like most.