If you’re inside the house, or the office for that matter and want a simple and sexy looking iPhone app for keeping in touch with the outside weather, Outside from robocat should be your first choice. The graphics are immaculate and the user interface is extremely well thought out and designed. Outside for iPhone will use your GPS location and send you customizable push notifications so you’ll know to bring a jacket, umbrella, wear sunscreen, wear a t-shirt and more.
The homescreen is a wooden window looking outside at a horizon with the sun, a tree on top of a hilltop and the sky. As the weather changes so does the view outside. With different weather patterns the tree graphics change and you’ll even see animations, such as falling snow, blowing leaves, rays of sunlight, and more. On the window ledge you’ve got a cup of coffee (home button), an alarm clock (notifications), and a stack of books (preferences). In the middle of the page you see a large readable count of the temperature with the low in smaller fonts on the bottom. On the top left of the screen you see an informational Calendar like icon that tells you how long ago the weather information was updated and what day you are viewing details for, whether it be today, or a forecast. To see forecasts for the upcoming days just swipe to the right and Outside pulls up a new “window” into the future and renders the details, while updating the date on the small calendar on the top. The first time you flip to the right, Outside changes from the “current” details to the forecast for “today”. Subsequent swipes take you through upcoming days, for the next 5 days. To get more details about any day, swipe down to see all sorts of relevant info such as sunrise and sunset times, UV Index, Humidity, Cloud Cover, Wind speed, and last updated time.
Notifications use an innovative control with an old style alarm clock, that has the hours in a round large circle that you can rotate, and the minutes in a smaller circle inside the hour dial with increments of 5 minutes. The center of the circle indicates AM or PM settings. You can add notifications for 4 types of events. Outside gives you 7 sounds to choose from for your alarms: Wind Chime, Clong, Cuckoo, Power Up, Squeeze Toy, Tri-Tone, and Water Droplet. We really hope to see more sounds added. It would be great to have natural sounding effects of rain or more distinct sounds for the various types of notifications, that are a little less outrageous, given you probably will be sleeping when your alert goes off. It would also be great to be able to set the volume of the sounds. You can however choose not to use a sound at all, which is good.
Rain: Set a sound alarm with a customizable push notification to go off in case of a rain prediction.
High UV: Set an alert with sound and custom message for a UV Index of your choice and above. The default UV Index setting is 6 and you can go as high as 11 and as low as one.
T-Shirt: Again you can pick the sound and message of your choice and set a timer for temperatures of a set degree and above. The default is 68 degrees but we like to set ours at 72 just to be sure.
Cold: This is the opposite of the T-shirt alarm, and is good for knowing when its gonna be cold based on your set temperature and below. The default here is 41 degrees and the default message reads: Brrr, its’ cold out, which we liked.
A sorely missed notification feature in Outside is Wind. Given that the app already has wind information, it would be quite useful to be able to get push notifications when wind speeds are above a specific number.
: In the new version of Outside, push notifications are now free. Outside has also been graphically revamped with retina display support. The app’s price has also been dropped to $0.99 during a limited time promotion.
Other settings include changing your location, unit system, and toggling sounds on/off.
Outside has created such innovative weather features that should probably be considered for addition to the native Weather app on the iPhone. Overall, Outside is a wonderful app with easy to use features and amazing graphics. Besides the one or two missing features, it is near perfect.
Here is a video demo of the Outside app on the iPhone
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