April 18, 2013
Yahoo Releases New Weather App And Updated Mail App For Tablets
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
There is no shortage of weather apps available for the iPhone. Likewise, there´s certainly more than a few ways to get your email on an Android or Apple tablet. Yet the new Yahoo, under the direction of CEO Marissa Mayer, has just released two new apps meant to change the way people use these two incredibly common services.
Yahoo! Mail for tablets is much the same as it´s been on smartphones but customized for a larger screen. Yahoo! Weather is something completely different, however, incorporating data from Wunderground and images from Flickr.
According to their Mail Blog, Yahoo says the new mail app for tablets is a “full-screen experience that gets rid of the noise.”
Yahoo! Mail on the tablet is more of a magazine-like experience rather than the file cabinet scenario seen on many other mail apps. Users are able to swipe through their email as if they´re reading the morning paper. When images or movies are embedded, Mail for Tablets takes advantage of the large screen and gives these attachments plenty of real estate. Just because the app works like a printed publication doesn´t mean users can´t organize their messages in a traditional way, of course.
“We´re also helping you clean up your inbox, so you can get to the email that matters most,” reads the official announcement blog. “With our new Mail apps, you can quickly select your messages, automatically group by sender, and with a swipe — delete, star, or move them all.”
“You will have a hard time going back to a normal mail experience," claims Adam Cahan, Yahoo´s senior vice president of mobile, according to USA Today.
The real standout of these two apps is Yahoo! Weather. This release is interesting for two reasons: First, Yahoo powers the iPhone´s stock weather app. Apple and Yahoo have long worked together to power services for iOS, such as search, Siri and stocks.
Secondly, there is a plethora of weather apps available for the iPhone, and new ones are released all the time. This is an incredibly cramped space for the mobile platform, and it could be hard to stand out amongst the crowd.
Yahoo´s Weather app could very well be one of the few standouts. If Yahoo! Mail is meant to be used as a magazine, Yahoo! Weather is meant to be a stack of postcards from the places you care about the most.
Luckily for Yahoo, they´ve got access to a hoard of brilliant photos from across the globe. The company uses these Flickr photos as large and beautiful backgrounds for the weather. Each city is paired with a Flickr picture of that city depicting, when available, the current weather conditions. For instance, a cloudy day in London results in a picture of Tower Bridge with dark clouds in the background. Each of these photos are given attribution of course, and users can tap the name of the photographer to be taken to their Flickr Photostream.
In portrait mode, the current conditions, high and low temperature and current temperature are located in the bottom left corner. Swiping up gives you all the information you´d expect from a full-featured weather app. There´s a timeline of conditions for the remainder of the day, a five-day forecast, radar and more, according to a Flickr blog post.
Users can also swipe through their selected list of cities just like flipping though a stack of postcards. In landscape mode, the Flickr photograph takes center stage with only the temperature displayed in the bottom left corner.
“Our goal is to have amazing photos for every weather condition that cover the globe – morning, afternoon, and night – across every city in the world, and we want your help,” reads the introductory blog post on Flickr.
“Whether you´re simply a daydreamer or an avid photographer, submit photos of your favorite places to our Flickr Group and your image can be seen by tens of millions in Yahoo! Weather for iPhone.”
Both apps are available in their respective app stores now for free.