Weather apps are the new Twitter apps.
For a time, designers put their efforts into making cool Twitter apps. Twitter apps were a way to play around with different design ideas, while still appealing to a broad base of users.
Twitter basically shut down all the third party apps. It wanted to take control of its platform, so the creativity in Twitter apps is pretty much dead.
Now, it seems like designers are putting their effort into weather apps. It feels like every day there’s a new take on the weather application.
Weather is even more popular than Twitter, so it makes sense. There’s a broad base of people that want to know the weather.
While The Weather Channel’s application is by far the most accurate, it’s not the best looking. It has clunky looking banner ads, and a somewhat cluttered, boring design for the iPhone.
This morning, Yahoo is entering the fray with its own slick looking weather app. The data for its weather comes from Weather Underground, which is owned by the Weather Channel. It’s basically the same forecasting data set as the Weather Channel.
A weather app from Yahoo might seem lame. After all, everyone else is doing it. And, as far as we can tell, there are no ads in it, so it’s not going to make any money.
Our guess is that it’s partly symbolic, and partly a Trojan horse.
The symbolism: Yahoo, for a long time, took a long time to get things done. Now it’s firing out new products. Not just any products, either. Mobile applications, which is a big emphasis point for CEO Marissa Mayer.
The Trojan horse: The app has a panel that advertises all the other Yahoo apps you can download. If Yahoo’s weather app becomes popular it should tip over to Yahoo’s other apps, leading to more people using Yahoo’s mobile properties.
We’ve taken a few screenshots to give you a sense of what the app looks like.