Cloudy with a Chance of Apps

Posted & filed under Library blog, Technology.

As winter digs in its heels, conversation at the library has been dominated by one topic: weather. If you own a tablet or smartphone, there’s a good chance you get your forecast from a weather app*…but with dozens of options for each platform, how do you know which app to use?

In her recent New York Times article “Searching for the Best Weather App,” Molly Wood concludes that “finding the right weather app is really a matter of personal taste in the design, how much information you want and, crucially, how much you trust the forecast.” We entered Lincolnwood’s zip code in the Forecast Advisor tool that Wood describes and found that WeatherBug is our most accurate U.S.-based option.

But Wood also points out that personalities can trump accuracy, as when a charismatic meteorologists put their own spin on weather data. That explains the popularity of local weather apps from Chicago network news affiliates. (ABC7, NBC5, and WGN9 each have one.)

Join us next Wednesday, January 14, to learn more about mobile apps in App, App, and Away. Meanwhile, if you’re stuck at home in the snow, you can still use the library’s online resources. Tired of Chicago weather? Log on to NewspaperDirect via the library to peruse forecasts around the world. The Virgin Islands Daily News is predicting a high of 87 tomorrow…

*According to this 2013 study, more than two-thirds of all app users regularly check weather apps.