So, nice weather we’ve been having lately, eh? The backbone of our small talk begins and ends with the weather. Fortunately, it extends beyond that.
We’ve come to expect weather forecasts to be… maybe not accurate, but at least to give us an idea of what’s in store for the next day or so.
When I’m looking forward to an outdoor event, I’m always on Weather.com to check the forecasted conditions.
We might not always have computer access for the weather, but, as with most things in life, our BlackBerry devices are up to the task. Here are the eight best BlackBerry weather applications.
RIM push weather
Well, right off the bat we’re not talking about an application. Rather, this is a push service from RIM which sends weather information to your phone either once or twice a day. To access it, just point your BlackBerry browser to http://mobile.blackberry.com/mss/category_push, and you’ll be able to select push weather. Warning, though: I had a bit of trouble with this. Is it because I’m with Verizon? Update: It appears this isn’t working all around. Go to the mobile BlackBerry home page, and you can find it under push services.
This is basically the name brand of Blackberry weather applications. It provides an easy, text-baesd interface with a few graphics mixed in. I’m sure it’s No.1 because of its simplicity. However, if you have an 8800 series, you might have a bit of trouble with it. When you first run the program, an error message pops up: “Error. No Weather Profiles specified.” Most people will click OK and then hit the menu button.
This, however, will crash your BB. So reboot, and then follow these instructions. Basically, instead of hitting the menu button, you click in the trackball. You can get BBWeather from a number of locations. I downloaded mine at http://www.tateu.net/software/. This is free software.
Just because one application dominates the market doesn’t mean there isn’t room for anyone else. Some people don’t have the easiest time with BBWeather. The solution: YWeather. It’s a rather simple program, which uses Yahoo’s API to gather weather data. You can choose to display images or go text only, in case you don’t want to use up more kilobytes than necessary. You can download it over the air or to your desktop at http://bbrtm.org/yweather/. It’s free.
PDA Weather Products
For some people, having an application dedicated to the weather just isn’t enough. Or, some people prefer radar view to an written forecast. If you match an above description, you might want to check out PDA Weather Products. It’s a simple interface where you can check various radar maps, both animated and static. Just point your browser to http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/data/paw and watch those green dots fly.
Everyone remembers WeatherBug. It was a Windows plugin that kept the current weather right on your taskbar. I remember early complaints about the program, citing its crazy sounds as quite terrifying, especially when they wake you up in the middle of the night. They have an application for BlackBerry, though unlike the above applications, it is not free. It will cost you $11.99 for a quarterly license, or $39.99 for a yearly license.
You can find it at http://www.weatherbug.com/mobile/blackberry/. They say a free trial is available, but the only place I was able to find one was Handango.
The Weather Channel for BlackBerry
When it comes to weather, no source comes to mind before The Weather Channel and Weather.com. They might not necessarily be the most accurate, but they’re certainly the most recognizable brand in the biz. They’ve got their very own BlackBerry app, which you can find at http://www.weather.com/mobile/pda.html. No, it’s not free. You can try it without cost, but it’ll run you $12.99 for a quarterly license, or $34.99 for a yearly license.
Looking for weather services north of the border? Then check out WeatherEye, an application by The Weather Network. It’s very much like WeatherBug and The Weather Channel application, except it’s free. Just point your Blackberry browser to http://weyebb.pelmorex.com/BlackBerry/ and download the app.
The bad news: This is only for BlackBerry Pearl. The good news: It’s mega cool. Instead of giving you the standard weather forecast and conditions, as the other applications in this list do, PearlCast animates the experience. The icon on your BlackBerry changes depending on current weather conditions. In addition — and this is the cool part — your trackball changes colors depending on the weather. Neat-o, eh?
You can nab it at http://www.conveniencesoftware.com/pearlcast.html. It’s a one-time fee of $14.99, but the first 500 copies, which still look to be available, are just $4.99. You can also demo the service.
Another premium service is World Weather, through Microhill. It’s pretty basic, allowing you to view weather from across the country. Yet, unlike BBWeather or YWeather, it will cost you for a license. It’s a bit cheaper than WeatherBug and The Weather Channel, running $9.98 for a six-month license. You can find it at http://www.microhill.com/product-worldweather.asp.