BeWeather HD for the BlackBerry PlayBook is fantastic - Check out our review to see why!

BeWeather for the BlackBerry PlayBook
By Zach Gilbert on 22 Apr 2012 04:18 pm EDT
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BeWeather HD for the BlackBerry PlayBook is a feature-rich weather app that really stands out in both looks and functionality!

If waking up in the morning and checking the weather is something you've become addicted to you, will definitely want to check out a new PlayBook application called BeWeather from Bellshare. BeWeather is an all-in-one weather app that not only gives you the current and future weather forecasts, it does so in a visually appealing way. You’ll want to follow me after the break to read the full review on one of the best weather apps currently available for the BlackBerry PlayBook.

The Review

Developer: Bellshare GmbH
Version (at time of review): 1.2.17
File Size: 73 MB OS Requirements: Tablet 2.0.0 or higher
Cost: $4.99 Website: http://www.Bellshare.com

BeWeather was originally made for BlackBerry smartphones and then an Android verison was created and ported to the PlayBook, which is what we will be looking at in this review. As a recap, with the power of PlayBook OS 2.0, Android developers are able to seamlessly port their applications from the Android environment onto the PlayBook Android Runtime. Doing so allows devs to quickly get their apps onto the PlayBook and future BlackBerry 10 devices with very little work.

BeWeather user interface

Beweather for the BlackBerry PlayBook 1

If both form and function are things that you look for in applications for mobile devices then you’ll want to have a look at BeWeather on the BlackBerry PlayBook. BeWeather gives you the ability to add an animated background, one that changes dynamically with the current weather conditions in the area. Not only can you add the videos to play you are also able to have a custom image or color in place, a small feature but it lets you customize your in app experience.

BeWeather features a bottom pane that houses four options for displaying the current and future forecast. You have the option to not show anything, to show daily forecast, the sun and moon cycles, and hourly forecasts for those looking to be on the leading edge.

Features include:

  • 100% Ad-Free
  • Weather data provided by Weather Underground, includes 7 day and hourly forecasts
  • Visually stunning display of weather information using high definition animations (experimental)
  • More accurate conditions by switching to a nearby weather stations for any location
  • Weather advisory notifications (US only)
  • Built-in animated radar (US only) and IR/Vis satellite maps
  • Replace/extend the default radar/satellite maps with your preferred weather service's radar maps!
  • Add custom web cams and other media links (weather radio, video, HTML etc)
  • Sunrise/Sunset times and moon phase
  • Completely customize BeWeather using fonts and colors

While there are a lot of options for various views on the home screen BellShare had done a fantastic job at making it all flow and allowing you to get from one bucket of information to another with very little effort. One thing I did wish was that they had made an option to have the forecast bar a little larger. Right now it is easy to read but visually it would add a little extra by giving you the option to have it take up the whole screen with the animations in the background.

Options menu and settings screen

Beweather options menu

When you swipe from the top bezel you are presented with 6 options to chose from. From these options you can add a location, view maps and media, check nearby stations, refresh all locations, access to the main settings page, as well as manage locations. Because most of those are quite self-explanatory, I’m going to look at the full settings page to see what can be changed to make the BeWeather experience a little more personal.

Beweather settings page

Within the settings page you will find a small stash of options and settings to customize your BeWeather experience. First and foremost you are able to change the measurement units, definitely a must for those who are not on the Imperial system. From there you are able to change the font, color of the text, whether the background is animated or not, as well as the over all appearance of the weather screen. Looking through this page I didn’t really see a setting that was missing or that was unneeded, so feel free to poke around and change up the look and add some custom weather icons.

BeWeather Pros and Cons

Pros

Definitely one of the best weather applications that is currently available on the BlackBerry PlayBook. Visually BeWeather keeps you entertained with animated backgrounds, smooth transitions and enough options to customize your weather experience you couldn’t have asked for any more.

Cons

While I love the app there are a few things that have bothered me and a few things that I think could make nice additions to the application. The biggest issue I found with the application (but it could possibly be the PlayBook Android player) was the occasional message letting me know that the application had to quit and will need to be restarted. The other issue is that by downloading the animations you are also putting the videio files needed for this application into your video folder causeing them to show in the video player, but I'm sure this is an issue with the PlayBook and not BeWeather. There were also a few features that I felt could be added to the application. One would be the ability to expand the forecast pane, allowing the user to make it larger or even cover the whole page if they wanted. Also I was hoping that BellShare would have used the GPS in the PlayBook to locate the closest city, but maybe that’s coming in a future update.

Conclusion

As the app space on the PlayBook heats up developers will need to up the ante and bring their best game, and while this is only an Android port you can tell that the developer has an understanding of what the users are looking for. BeWeather for the PlayBook PlayBook is an excellent example of how developers and designers can work together. While I did mention a few things that could be changed the overall application experience is quite excellent. I hope that a Native PlayBook version is in the works. BeWeather is available for the BlackBerry PlayBook and sells for $4.99. You can grab the link below and pick it up from BlackBerry App World.

BeWeather
by Bellshare GmbH.

The Good

BeWeather for the BlackBerry PlayBook employs a nice visual way to view what the weather is like outside. Bellshare has done a fantastic job with the user interface and available options to customize the look of the application

The Bad

One issue was the app requested to be closed a few times while I was reviewing it. Does not have auto detection for your current location, not a deal breaker but a nice feature to have.

Conclusion

If knowing what the weather will be like today, tomorrow, or even the next is important to you, you'll want to take a look at BeWeather for the PlayBook. The application is visually appealing and has features and options that should please everyone.

Purchase BeWeather for the BlackBerry PlayBook

38 comments

ddlax22

It looks awesome nd I love BeWeather for my 9900, but when I read that it was ported over, I got a little disappointed because it wasn't a native app (looks like it!) But it looks great anyway.

dagerlach

I think it's great that BeWeather has produced an app for the Playbook. However, with WeatherEye and Accuweather available for free as well as Weather.com or ADDS on the great Playbook browser, I can't imagine too many people willing to spend $5.00. It is a very similar situation on my iPad. The Weather Channel dominates with their app in HD.

The more choices the better!

trsbbs

Watch it sell and sell well.

No comparison to the apps others you mention in many ways.

Tim

knightfall

No comparison? It shows the weather just like the other mentioned apps -just in a more intriguing way.

Most people want to know what the weather is, what is will be later, and get on with their day.

Sorry, but $5 isn't worth the animations in my opinion when Accuweather does very well. Not to mention it's native and the Android player isn't always stable.

(Just sharing my $0.02.)

ibcop

Why can't we get this interface on our BB's? It's been available on Android for a while. Once again, BB apps suck.

john_v

I have both the PlayBook and an Asus Transformer with ICS (mainly for the kids to use; PB is #1 in my arsenal!) and have BeWeather HD on both of them.

But the new ICS update for BeWeather is stunning on the Asus. I just wish they'd do a native app for the PB, because I know it would be equally stunning (if not maybe even better looking). This current android port doesn't have a lot of the features that the latest Android update has (and maybe they are coming, I don't know). But it would be nice to see a developer who made their bread and butter on BlackBerry (original BerryWeather, BeBuzz, etc) keep the love coming for the PlayBook.

bluetroll

BeWeather told me on twitter that they would be building a native BeWeather once BB10 comes out :)

sk8er_tor

Don't they know that a native app that works on the PlayBook will work on BB10? I wouldn't pay $5 for an Android port, thanks.

setset

+2 $5 is already on the pricey side for an app let alone a ported app. I'd much rather give that money to developers that are actually invested in the PlayBook like xlabs. $5 for the WEATHER? The standard weather app is good already.

Stewartj1

Maybe they're waiting for the Cascades api coming out at bbw so the native app will be super cool? That would leave them with 6 or 7 months to get the app ready for release.

I suspect a lot of big name app devs will be releasing Cascades apps with bb10.

Good marketing strategy for RIM.

osimac

Agree!
Make it native and I would probably try it. Never pay more than a buck or two for an Android app on my PB.

bobauckland

It may be the most amazing, but given their customer service rep I can honestly say I will never give another penny to Bellshare until they get their act together. The support is beyond terrible.

spencerdl

I'm still on the fence about purchasing a ported app. I've been using BeWeather (BerryWeather) for quite some time and it's a HARD pill to swallow that Bellshare couldn't even make a NATIVE application for the PlayBook. I had a chance to view the BeWeather app on a Android tablet and quite frankly.....it's better. BlackBerry customers put Bellshare on the map and they made alot of money because of a great (s) apps mostly used by BlackBerry consumers at first......but now they can't even make a NATIVE application for the PlayBook???? Like I said I'm still on the fence about BeWeather HD for the PlayBook

lnichols

I won't purchase this app until it goes from being an Android port to a native Playbook OS/BB10 app. Surprised that Bellshare would do a port given how great BeWeather is for BBOS. Yet another example of how the Android player has retarded native app development for the Playbook.

trsbbs

I would prefer it as a native PB app too but with the number of Devs bailing on making native apps for any BB I am happy to have this for now.

Your lose, our gain.

Tim

Charade

Another con is that there are no advisories in Canada. I have this app on my 9900 and it is very slick but if you don't get advisories for Canadian cities...why bother. If they fix that it is the clear winner in weather apps, but without it...save your money.

playbookster

I have it.. Works great, dont get all the "oh my god its not native" crap. It runs great.

spencerdl

I wonder if you purchase the BeWeather Android port over will you have to re-purchase the NATIVE if and when it's released......humm

bldshd

I hope in a future update we get the lil red weather umbrella on the homescreen.. No big deal, but would be nice

TheCLEANSER

Although it does look visually appealing I'm just not ready to part with 5 bucks for a.weather app.

Kandoo-BB

sent from my olskool os5

WAY over priced and to think belshare sent me an email saying how Beweather was now available for Kindle Fire!! for 2.99$!!!!! No way will i ever buy this when they want me to pay more for the ported app than the native one cost!!!

Im insulted by them!!

BerryClever

As a consumer, I doubt I would buy their apps because of the reputation they are making for themselves. Porting an app, asking for a high price (relatively speaking of course) for a ported app, and then selling the original for cheaper.

Belshare is looking like it is trying to screw customers to me.

buckwylder

I enjoy beweather on my 9810 and pb

Tons of great apps for playbook actually, i just went on a shopping spree in app world
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BerryClever

Sorry but it is an Android port and not worth any money because of that. They said they had to spend time and energy to make it work, but that time and energy would have been better used on making a native app, even if it couldn't have a few features right away. I will stick with the free one right now because at least it is native.

Skeevecr

The attitude that no android port deserves any money is at best a fairly shortsighted one, developers will not be encouraged to make native apps if there appears to be no market at all for their initial android apps.

The real problems with this app are that it doesn't work with just a simple repackage and they haven't taken the time to sort out whatever issues the app is having and are trying to charge a premium for it.

BearSnout

I'll buy it once it's native.

kellands

£5 for an app that doesn't fully work in the UK is far too much.

A good app written well & at a good price will sell better than on over priced ported app with limited functions.

borisporosin

what does not work in the UK?

borisporosin

The only reason why I do not buy this app is that the videos appear under video folder. I have already mess with that and I do not like it.

Jimberry Storm

After having BeWeather on my BB's for a few years now, I was excited to see this app. I got shit from the wife for purchasing it, when there is a free app preinstalled. I explained to her how great the app will be. After using it or a few week I deleted it, constant restarts, cant find location issues, and the worst it would just freeze up and need to restart PB. I was hoping it would run in the background and update locations as I would move to different locations, but no dice. I am going to try it again because of the recent PB OS update is supposed to fix issuses with the android player, so we will see if it is any better, but overall huge dissapointment based on the cell app.

visortgw

Using a ported Android app for a "realtime" app makes absolutely no sense as the current Android player will only allow a single app to run at a time -- weather notifications, alerts, etc are worthless if the app cannot run in the background once another ported Android app is launched. Furthermore, there is no easy way to determine in App World which apps are native and which are ported -- major App World failure!

TripNFry

i was just about to hit the purchase button, and THEN i read that it's an android port. NO THANKS, i'll wait for the native. I'd pay $10 for this in native. i wouldn't spend $.01 for an android port.

hooper

Their customer service sucks!! Own 3 of their BB apps. Would never buy from them again.

crowley35

really $5 for a weather app? ummm no thank you

BlueRocks

A few too many 'US only' features on it. Makes this Canadian sad and not their consumer.

direfan

Not a native app. Not interested!

Mike1117

I find the native weather app gives me accurate weather (or as accurate as the weatherman gets) so I don't see a need for spending $5 for another weather app. Maybe I'd spend $0.99 if it had a nicer interface, but not when I hear about the bugs people have been experiencing with the Android port