How To Sell An iPad App Everyone Else Is Giving Away Free

weather apps

Photo: Apple

Weather HD, a $0.99 weather application for the iPad, is currently the number three most popular application in the App Store.It reached those heights even though there are a bunch of great free weather apps available for the iPad.

How? An emphasis on design and ease-of-use, says developer Amr Ramadan.

When Apple shipped the iPad, it didn’t pre-load a weather application. This was a smart move by Apple. The pre-loaded iPhone weather app stinks. The app from the Weather Channel or a bookmark to Weatherunderground’s iPhone optimised site is superior.

With Apple deciding to forgo an official application on the iPad it opened up the field for third party weather apps like Weather Channel and WeatherBug, which both gave away their apps. Now, both apps are in the top 40 of free downloads.

But even with those excellent free applications available, Weather HD shot its way up the paid applications charts.

Weather HD developer Amr Ramadan says, “We needed the application to be easy to use, and look downright gorgeous. It had to be a weather application that felt and looked different to use, so that people would love to use it, and love to show it off.”

“If it was just a list of numbers, it wouldn’t have been any different from checking up the weather on the Internet or a phone.”

Amr’s plan worked. While the other weather apps on the iPad feel like web pages, Weather HD feels like a ride. You get zooming images of the weather as you see the forecast.

(Click here for a comparison.)

Amr tells us Weather HD is getting thousands of downloads a day. In the next few days he thinks it reaches tens of thousands of downloads on daily basis. Considering there’s only 500,000+ iPads out there, it’s pretty darn good.

Of course, those download numbers areĀ  tiny compared to the free applications. Weather Channel is number six in the free downloads. Based on data from ABC and USA Today, it probably has ~175,000 downloads.

Click here to see how Weather HD compares to its free rivals >

Here's Weather HD, not your typical weather app

Choose your town from this box

Here's some rain

The app gives you a richer feel for the weather

Here's a video of the Weather HD app

This is WeatherBug

See how this feels more wonky, and web page like?

If you really want to geek out, this is the choice

This doesn't look quite the same as seeing rain, does it?

Here's the Weather Channel

We have this on our iPad, it's very detailed

Again, here's a map, not quite as exciting

Some videos

Live traffic shots are neat, but not as pretty

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