SPB Weather 1.00 was installed on a Nokia 5800, a Symbian 9.4, S60 5th edition device.
SPB Weather comes as a .sis files and can be installed using the Nokia Application Installer.
SPB Weather takes away the drudgery of having to use the never ending hierarchical-menu-driven S60 interface and replaces it with a UI refresh that brings a renewed hope for S60 touch.
The whole 3.2″ screen of the Nokia 5800 is dedicated to displaying the weather of a single city. This means a great amount of weather information can be gathered in a single view! The screen real estate is divided into three parts. The top part of the screen, [or the left side, in landscape mode], shows a graphic, the day’s weather in a large font and a smaller weather list for Morning, Day and Evening on the side.
The middle part of the screen, which is the largest, displays the weather for the next 4 days with a graphic and the high and low for that day.
The third part of the screen, has the controls for the configuration settings button, weather update button, 3D Globe button and the exit button.
The main screen also shows when the weather was updated last. You can refresh the weather by just touching the weather update button.
Touching the city on the screen, brings up additional weather info – Humidity, Pressure, Wind speed, etc. Touching the return arrow on the right takes you back to the main screen for the city.
Touching the day’s weather forecast brings up additional details for that day. For each day, the weather for Night, Morning, Day and Evening is displayed, with humidity, wind speed and a graphic.
In the landscape, mode, only the weather for Night and Morning can be displayed, so you can use kinetic scrolling to scroll down to view the weather for Day and Evening.
The return arrow is implemented uniformly in all screens to take you back to the main screen. All new screens are brought up with cool animations that’s pleasing to the eye but doesn’t mar the experience by being slow or too long to distract the user.
Even if 10 cities are configured, navigation is very easy. Just by pushing the screen left or right brings up a new screen with the weather for the next city, just like navigating a photo album.
The 3D Globe button animates a globe that can display information about the Cities, Clouds, Sky, Temperature and Rains for the cities configured. Touching the play button animates the globe.
A zoom in/ zoom out option is available that appears when you touch the screen, almost like the Ovi Maps zoom function. The animation is quite realistic, like the weather channel.
The configuration settings, still opens up the S60 menu structure, to add new cities and set other options, like automatic schedule update, units to use for display – Celsius or Fahrenheit, etc.
Adding a new city is a simple operation. SPB Weather supports over 10,000 cities all over the world. Each city in the list is prefixed with the country’s name in short. This is better than have to select a city in two passes – first the country and then the city. There is also an option to select the city by GPS.
With photo album-like navigation, kinetic scrolling, large touch buttons and limited dependency on S60’s hierarchical menu-structure for only the initial setup, greatly improves navigation.
Usually frequent operations like weather update, exit, etc are hidden in the a menu structure, thus making it cumbersome to update the weather quickly. SPB have changed the approach and this makes the user experience delightful.
Here’s a video demonstration of SPB Weather from the developers of the program.
I didn’t find any weaknesses in SPB Weather.
There are so many weather forecast reporting applications out there for S60 on Symbian OS but SPB Weather is the first one that actually makes the weather report rather interesting. SPB have shown that you can actually bring cool animation, one-touch access to most functions and present a great user experience on the S60 UI.
For the functional simplicity in using the touch interface, great display, innovative features and accurate weather reporting, SPB Weather is a must have and I’ll give it 4 of 5. SPB Weather can be purchased or downloaded for a trial here.