The best Android weather apps of 2011

by Marty Gabel

Your Android smartphone or tablet probably came with a handy weather app and widget pre-installed, but sometimes they’re just not detailed or flexible enough. This is where third party Android apps come in handy. Joining the ranks of some already popular weather apps like The Weather Channel and WeatherBug, here are a handful of 2011 weather apps that made us pray for rain.

Accuweather for Honeycomb (Free)

While Accuweather has been around for a while, it’s good to see the company has optimized its weather app for the ever-growing Android tablet sector. This Honeycomb version gathers everything you expect from the smartphone app, but makes it shine on the bigger screen. With its Google Maps integration and GPS capabilities, you can access local forecasts from anywhere you and your tablet may be, as well as see upcoming predictions for the next 15 days. Accuweather’s app is totally free and offers a lot of deeper functionality like alerts, lifestyle forecasts, home screen widgets and more.

Palmary Weather (Free)

This was once only available from outside the Android Market, but thankfully developers made it available within Google’s marketplace. Before you fork out the $2.99 being asked for Palmary Weather Premium, give the free version a test drive first. The app’s forecasts are very accurate, with a database of 80,000 world locations that pinpoint where you are as you travel. You can display the current temperature in your status bar, and there are plenty of charts to view (though admittedly, they’re not the app’s strongest feature). The widgets available within the app are highly flexible, but you’ll need to pony-up for the full version to access them all as the free version offers just three.

Weddar (Free)

This one gets in because it takes a refreshingly novel approach to weather reports. Weddar dubs itself as “the first people-powered weather service in the world.” Instead of broad and generic readings like temperature, wind speed or relative humidity, in Weddar the people out in the real world report in about the current conditions where they are. Someone on one side of the city might say it feels cool and breezy, for example, while someone else in another part of town may claim it’s colder there. As we all know, the weather can feel different depending on where you are, especially in a large metro area. For Weddar to be successful, it needs lots of people reporting the conditions, but if you really want to know how it truly feels out there from real folks, this one is worth a shot.

MyWeather Mobile (Free)

This is a nice-looking weather app for free. With current conditions, maps, hourly, daily and 10-day forecasts plus a handy icon in your navbar with the temperature, MyWeather Mobile does a good job of presenting everything in a simple and effective way. There are also alerts and an interesting news section covering things like travel, health, severe weather and other interesting data. The only thing we’d like to see is a paid-for version, because the ads at the bottom of every screen are a little obtrusive.

RadarScope ($9.99)

For $9.99, RadarScope sure is pricey, but if you like to go seriously in-depth with your weather forecasts or you’re a budding meteorologist or tornado chaser, it’s well worth a look. With its NEXRAD Level 3 radar data and severe weather warnings for the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam, RadarScope offers the best of the best for true weather enthusiasts. The app displays tornado, severe thunderstorm, and flash flood warnings issued by the National Weather Service and offers probably the most reliable and accurate weather data for Android users. Radar Now! offers similar functionality with a 5-day free trial, but you’ll need to pay for an annual subscription once you’re done with that. So RadarScope could prove to be a better choice for its ten-buck single fee.

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