Aelios for iPad re-imagines how you search for weather. It uses a clever ring dial that smartly pinpoints cities on a map and gives you the necessary data. I haven't had this much fun cruising around a map since I discovered Google Maps.
What is it?
Aelios, $4, iPad. It's an impressive weather app that's meant to show you what the temperature is across the world. Imagine having a globe where when you pin point a city, you immediately get the current temperature, seven-day forecast and time of that city. Is it actually useful? Not more so than other weather apps. But is it gloriously designed and implemented? You bet.
The core of Aelios lies in the circular device that lays on top of the map. As you pan around the world, the circular device - Aelios calls it a 'Swiss watch' - finds the largest city within the range and locks onto it. Tapping the city's name gives you the basic weather data. What's most impressive is how fast it can process what city is largest and what the forecast is. The circular device also shows you the sunrise/sunset there is in that location, and with a few twists can change its data. It's definitely unique.
There's also search and 'find my location' options too, but it's not nearly as fun as swiping across the Earth. Its execution is beautiful, but usefulness is a little limited, as most people only care about weather in their neck of the woods.
Who's it good for?
People who like to know what the weather is. People who like to know what the weather around the world is. People who like to spin globes. People who like playing with cool interfaces.
Why's it better than alternatives?
Aelios provides a fresher take on delivering weather. Everybody has their own needs for weather reports but Aelios makes the act of finding the weather report interactive and fun.
How could it be even better?
Adding a favourites section for cities you want to know the weather would be nice. A little bit more detail on the weather would make the app a lot more useful, like tapping on an icon to bring nerdy weather data. Having that sort of usefulness could make it the best weather app on the iPad.
Aelios for iPad [iTunes]