Gama Times

"Google Introduces Native Weather App for Pixel Devices, Aiming to Compete with Apple and Samsung"

Google has finally addressed a long-standing gap by launching a default weather app for its Pixel devices, putting it in direct competition with Apple and Samsung. While Pixel phones previously displayed current weather information in widgets, tapping on those widgets only led to a basic screen with limited stats and a cute weather frog. It felt more like a webpage than a fully-featured app.

 

However, with the recent release of the Pixel Tablet, Google has rectified this situation. The new weather app, accessed through the same widgets as before (as there is no separate app icon), features an improved design that maintains the playful nature of the previous experience. It provides a 10-day and 24-hour forecast, along with reports on wind, humidity, barometric pressure, UV index, current sun position, and sunrise/sunset times. Additionally, the app displays detailed hour-by-hour breakdowns of precipitation, wind, and humidity, all presented in a single screen with delightful animations reflecting the current conditions.

Moreover, the new app offers immediate upcoming precipitation information, including intensity and duration, up to 12 hours in advance. This data is sourced from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other reliable sources. The app dynamically displays this information only when relevant, meaning it won’t appear if there is no upcoming precipitation in the user’s location.

The only notable omission from this improved weather experience is a radar view, and it would also be convenient to have an app icon for easy access instead of relying solely on widgets. While the app still relies on the Google app for its functionality, it feels more integrated and less like a simplistic website, resembling a native application.

Currently, the new weather app is exclusive to tablets, including the Pixel Tablet and the upcoming Pixel Fold. However, Google has plans to expand its availability to other devices in the future, although no specific timeline has been provided. Developers who managed to activate the app on their devices have shared images showing its appearance on phone-sized screens.

While Samsung devices already come preloaded with a comprehensive weather app, it is hoped that Google will make its new weather app widely available beyond the Pixel line. Google has previously extended Pixel-specific software to other devices, so there is a possibility of wider adoption.

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