What is the Weather Like Today?
Weather is well known for being capricious. If only there was a way for us to know what will happen next.
Well, good news! With the iOS 15 update, there is. Apple has made some serious enhancements to its built-in Weather app and if you aren’t using it, you may get left in the cold.
One of the best new features, in my opinion, is rain alerts—notifications must be turned on—and a temperature overlay on the map to visually show conditions around you. But that’s not all the app has to offer.
First, your iPhone or Apple Watch must be operating iOS 15 to be able to use the new features. Second, you must have Location Services turned on to receive detailed data and notifications. If you don’t share your location, you can still use the app, but the accuracy will be diminished.
To turn on Location Sharing:
Step 1. Go to your Settings.
Step 2. Open the “Weather” menu and tap “Location”. There are other selections available to you on this menu. You can set your notification preferences, switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit, or set your preferred language.
Step 3. Choose your “Location” settings. I have mine set to “Always” and “Precise Location” so that I receive timely and accurate notifications, but you have multiple options to choose from.
The basics of the app are still the same. Current weather conditions and the daily high and low are displayed at the top and the background reflects what’s happening now. But there are some subtle enhancements that have really improved functionality.
Let’s cover the basics first. You can access the weather map directly using the “Map” icon on the bottom left corner. We will cover more of the map later in the article, but this is a quick way to get there without scrolling the page.
You can also still slide to scroll between saved cities or tap the dots on the bottom of the screen to navigate between pages.
To search for a location, tap the hamburger menu on the bottom right corner, and on the new page that opens use the search bar at the top to add a new city.
Also, on that page is an “Edit” menu at the top right, the 3 dots in a circle, that will give you a pop-up menu with edit and other options. You can set notifications from here or from another link on the bottom of the page.
You can choose which cities to be notified for or keep on just “My Location” to get alerts no matter where you travel.
From there you can edit the list, change between Celsius and Fahrenheit, or report an issue. If you tap on “Notifications” you can set what cities, you want to receive rain and snow alerts from. Just toggle each city to on to get updates.
Now back to the main page. A new feature is an enhanced status bar that sits above the Hourly Conditions and shows what the weather might be like coming up. For example, “cloudy conditions from 11am-2pm,” or “rain expected in the next 20 minutes.” If you scroll to the right on Hourly Conditions, you can see the next 12 hours of weather and plan your day accordingly.
Next up is the expanded 10-day forecast showing the upcoming daily forecasts including the highs and lows. There is a graphic bar added to show the temperature variation between the two that corresponds to the temperature overlay on the area map.
The section that follows the 10-day forecast relates to Air Quality which can be extremely helpful if you have lung or breathing difficulties. The main display gives an overview of current conditions, and you can click the “See More” link to find out what the numbers mean and how it may affect you.
Now comes the improved weather map. The weather map has a color overlay that ranges from -40° in the dark blue to 130° and a corresponding dark red. I should mention those are in Fahrenheit before the Celsius folks think there is a weather apocalypse. The overlay is a nice visual representation instead of having to dot the landscape with multiple numbers.
But what if you live in Seattle and are more concerned with upcoming rain than temperature? Easy! Press the “3 Squares” icon in the right corner and choose “Precipitation.” You will get a 12-hour radar map of rain in the area. From that same menu you can view air quality as well.
Also in the top right corner is the Location Services arrow. Tap that to return to your location if you explored too far. Below that arrow is a hamburger menu that allows you to switch between your stored cities while staying on the map.
Want to find some better weather locales close by? If you long-press a city while on the map it will bring up a current conditions box for that city and options to add, view, or open the selected city in the Maps app.
Everything is so convenient! When you are ready to stop perusing the weather all around you, tap the “Done” icon in the top left corner.
Back at the main weather page, if you keep scrolling past the map you will see a set of 8 boxes that can really help you dial in your day. Very important right now as we head into dark winter days is the “Sunset” info box telling us what time the dark descends.
You will also find more technical weather information such as:
- UV index
- Wind direction and speed
- Expected precipitation
- Feels Like
Those boxes display information only and tapping on them will not take you to more detailed information but there is plenty of detailed data showing for each section.
At the bottom of the screen, you can find technical links to report an issue or to learn more about the weather and map data but there is an important link there as well. You can also use the “Manage Notifications” link from this location to allow alerts when rain or snow will be stopping or starting.
The Weather app and Siri are great friends. Just ask, “Hey Siri, is it going to rain today?” and she will tell you what to expect and pop a little weather widget up on the screen to show you visually what to expect.
All in all, Apple has made a very robust weather app that will keep you warm and dry or at least remind you to bring an umbrella before you make that trip to the grocery store.
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