Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Weather Channel updates its iPad app; animated weather backgrounds are gone, new news and video sections arrive, as well as statewide flu reports

The Weather Channel has issued a major update to its iPad app, adding in new features, but taking away the animated weather backgrounds. It also appears that someone made a big mistake with the new app icon, it clearly contains the word "Test" on it when installed on the user's iPad (oops).

"As a part of our performance improvements, our animated weather backgrounds are going away," the app description says. "We will miss them too, but we are excited that this will mean a faster and more efficient app for you!"

The Weather Channel for iPad remains a free, ad-supported app. The newly updated app now weighs in at 41.4 MB, much smaller than the previous version of the app.
The update brings new News and Video sections – though as you can see with the screenshot below, the video content has a few issues. There is also statewide flu level information as reported by the CDC, especially helpful with the flu season this year being especially rough.

The reason for the end to animated weather backgrounds probably has much to do with the way the app was performing on older models of the iPad. Quite a number of users complained to problems on their tablets.

Another consistent issue users are reporting, however, is that the hourly data was said to be wrong and different than the same data on the iPhone. I never noticed this myself, though I must admit I never cross checked the two apps.