Android popularity triggered The Weather Channel app update

February 26, 2013
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An update for The Weather Channel app arrived in the Google Play Store a short while back. That update brought the app up to version 4.0.1 which included numerous improvements such as faster maps, more detailed forecasts, a refresh button, optimization for tablets and more. The update also brought some improved focus on the in-app advertising. But before we get into that, it looks like Cameron Clayton, president of the Weather Company's digital division has recently been talking about that update, and why it came now.

To put this bluntly, it appears as if the Android app update came as a result of the team realizing that Android is a popular platform. Let us clarify that statement though, Clayton, in speaking with Fierce Developer noted that "around the end of Q3 or the start of Q4, our Android app took over from our iPhone app in terms of active monthly users." He went on to say that The Weather Channel app on Android now has more than 18 million active monthly users and that this "was a wake-up call" for them. They hadn't expected the Android app to eclipse the iPhone app so soon.

So yes, Android is a popular platform and it has lots of users. Lets shift away from sounding like an Android fanboy and jump over into some of the reasoning behind this update. In particular, touching on the in-app advertising. Those who use the app will likely realize the overwhelming ads. For those not using The Weather Channel app, you can get a look in the screenshots below. Clayton has said that they needed to re-imagine how they did mobile advertising and "do it much better" going on to say that he is "very bullish on what we've accomplished."

weather-channel-ad-page-540

If you ask us, at times, the app has the appearance of being an advertisement first and a place to get weather second. Of course, to be fair, that is part of the design. In fact, the branded (advertising) backgrounds are all weather-triggered and all actively change in real time. In that respect, it is pretty neat. Still, we cannot help but wish these branded backgrounds could change to un-branded backgrounds if we were willing to pay a few bucks for the app.

Needless to say, you are not going to be able to make everyone happy and despite the complaints that I may have about the app, I still use the app because it provides accurate and up to date weather details including current conditions, an extended forecast, videos, a map, any emergency alerts and more. For those using The Weather Channel app, do you think this latest update was a step in the right direction design wise?


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  • WavyDavey

    I just ditched this app today…because of the ads! I would have paid in an instance for a “ad free” version. I paid for Accuweather…99 cents right now.

    • http://www.androidcommunity.com Cory Gunther

      We get more ads than actual weather information. It’s sad!

  • neil

    I uninstalled it as soon as I did the update. I will never go back.

  • bthesingh

    Thank you ads for free weather content.

  • Jim

    Add me to the list of people that ditched it after this update. I am fine with ads but this app makes it hard to focus on the weather with the ads in the way. I wonder if android usage still eclipses iphone after all the uninstalls.

  • DustoMan

    That Toyota ad is obscenely large. I uninstalled it. Try again Weather Channel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/genshaffer Donald Shaffer

    I have used this app for years, but really considering deleting it now because of the changes. The insanely huge ads were annoying, but the worst part was the change to the widgets. They used to look clean and professional, but now they look too childish and don’t have as much info in them

  • http://www.facebook.com/esiemens Eldon Siemens

    I didn’t mind the changes to the app itself, ads or not, but when I noticed today after burning through a battery on my Galaxy Note that this app used 18% of my battery when I never once turned it on, with no widgets or notifications set up, it was instantly removed from my phone. Unacceptable abuse of my battery life

  • Mike

    Add me to the list of people who removed this app. And its not because of the ads. I understand the need for them, they just don’t need to be so big. My main reason for uninstalling the app is because how it unprofessional it looks and how cumbersome it is to use. If they bring back the old version, I’ll be back.

  • jwv

    Looks like it was designed by a 12 year old. After using it on my Android for over a year I uninstalled it and moved on.
    I also sent TWC an email informing them that whom ever thought this app was a good idea was performing a self colonoscopy.
    It is pretty bad that when looking at reviews for other weather apps they mention swapping because TWC app is awful.

  • Marshall

    The new app is slow on 3g, which is all I have available. It is confusing and erratic. I miss the old one which was smooth, quick, and simple

  • Mmarie757

    After using the weather channel app religiously for two years I sadly deleted it from my phone after this recent ridiculous update. The emphasis is on bulky, childish graphics instead of weather. Now you have to scroll, swipe, and click more to get the information you downloaded the app for to begin with. It’s regrettable the designers surpassed convenience and ease of use with the need to look pretty and advertise.

    • Mmarie757

      O and for those of you like myself who prefer the old weather channel app, download the “dish network weather” app. It’s exactly the same as the previous weather channel app. Unfortunately it does not have the widget :/

  • JudyJudd

    It tells you the minute when it rains? Seems like someone copied skymotion……

  • Jens Moller

    I don’t like V 4.x at all – full of bloat (you need a good network connection to use it for anything – in the mountains, where I have spotty connectivity, its often unusable). Fortunately, I have backups of the old version. I disabled updates. I want quick data not a lot of pictures and maps. Some people may like all this stuff – you should allow people to disable all of this extra stuff that makes the app hard to use.

  • Dan

    It’s just awlful. I refuse to use it now.