Arbormoon is one of the rare mobile development firms that can offer a combination of brilliant mobile strategy in combination with premier development services, allowing their clients to gain the full potential of any of their mobile projects.
PC Magazine recently released their list for the top 100 Android apps of 2014. Among the list is the Android app that Arbormoon recently developed for the Weather Underground. In fact, it is the only Weather App in the list.
In the most recent review of one of our apps, PC Magazine called it the best weather app for Android and chose it as an Editors' choice.
“Weather Underground strikes a balance between data and design to quickly deliver the facts you need before stepping outside. Its looks and thoughtful design make it the best Weather app for Android. It's a solid Editors' Choice for Android weather applications.” - PC Magazine, April 28, 2014
The popular crowd reporting feature was highlighted, as well as the new design, the map feature with several layers and animations (WunderMap), and the widgets.
No doubt, Yahoo Weather has done a great job with their weather app. So we were ecstatic when Latin Post posted this article reviewing both the Yahoo App and the app we developed, Weather Underground's Android app. They note that the Android version of the Weather Underground app is more handy than the iOS version, due to the widgets and status bar notifications. This is more of a reflection on the iOS platform in general, and their lack of widget support. Widgets are certainly a key part of the Android platform, especially for Weather apps, but if iOS ever supports widgets, I'm sure Weather Underground would be among the first to offer one! Ironically, Apple did a study of widget use on other platforms, and determined that Weather was one of the main uses for widgets.
First of all, let us just say that we are fans of (and develop on) all mobile platforms, especially iOS. But there are definitely some creative freedoms you have when developing an app on the Android platform that you do not get on iOS. In this article Zach Epstein of BGR makes some points of how Android apps can do things that iOS apps simply can't, and he uses one of the apps we developed, Weather Underground, to highlight one of the key differentiators. Widgets and Status notifications.
“Weather Underground’s Android app is a perfect example of software that features terrific functionality on Android that its iOS counterpart simply cannot achieve.” - BCG, April 7 2014
One thing I would add to his article that he doesn't mention, is the fact that the status bar allows the user to tap through to the app (so does the widget). For me, this is a nice feature, because it means I don't have to clutter my home screen with static icons for my apps that have status notifications. If I want to open the app, I just tap through on the status bar. Sorry iOS, but that is really convenient.
The counter argument to Zach is that widgets and status bar notifications can slow down the device, drain battery, and cause other issues. Apple avoids these issues and keeps their devices running fast and efficiently. This is something you can definitely appreciate when working on an Android app, especially when you have to test and support the low-end of the device market. There are always trade-offs, and it will be interesting to see what impact the decisions that Apple vs Android have made will have on their growth in the market place.