The Weather Channel brings 3D app to the iPad

Krystal Peak · October 21, 2011 · Short URL:

App includes compelling visuals, video news forecasts, social network features and more

It seems like everything has been upgraded to 3D, and The Weather Channel iPad application is no exception. Weather junkies will never watch anything else again.

The premiere authority on all things weather has updated its iPad application to allow for greater visuals and interactivity, including interactive 3D elements and a mashup of aggregated user content.

The new application comes after hundreds of Apple users have critiqued the free application as being one dimentional and without all of the interactivity that comes with the paid-application competition from Weather HD and Living Earth HD.

The Atlanta-based The Weather Channel is seen in more than 100 million U.S. households and its mobile applications are in a surplus of 32 million monthly mobile users.

With more than 35,000 total reviews in the iTunes store and only 2.5 stars, the application left a lot to be desired, and in a single day the update has received far more favorable reviews that has bumped the rating to three stars and added 230 new reviews.

This update offers an animated picture of the current weather condition for a chosen location and swiping the screen vertically allows the user to navigate additional options or separate saved locations.

One of the most visually compelling additions is the interactive 3D globe that a user can zoom into a particular locale and see ground level weather and street views.

The 3D mobile application market is a growing segment of the animation software industry, which technology analyst company Technavio has estimated is a $800+ million market. Hollywood has pushed the visual technology in 3D animation which has resulted in a greater growth and demand for similar effect in educational games, videos and applications.  

The 3D weather app also contains a section for video such as news forecasts for the chosen area and maps that provide radar -- and allows iPad users to upload weather-related video content directly from the mobile device.

"In the age of the interactive social experience, we know weather information needs to be visual, accurate and at your fingertips. Part of the success of our iPad app has been our ability to listen to consumer feedback for ideas on how to improve, and we have learned a lot since it first launched with the original iPad," said Cameron Clayton, executive vice president of digital product at The Weather Channel Companies, in a statement. "This was an opportunity to create a better product that's all about the consumer and gives them the opportunity to truly explore and share."

Users are also able to save up to 10 locations, integrate Twitter updates from The Weather Channel and users tweets for the chosen locations and the ability to share updates with your social networks.

It is hard to determine if this upgrade will please more of the iPad users that wanted more visual elements and interaction, but considering that this application is free and The Weather Channel has its expertise and accuracy in forecasting I think that this will result in more downloads and a boost to its App Store rating in a matter of weeks.

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