The Pixel team should create a Weather app

The Pixel team should create a Weather app

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In addition to being powered by Dark Sky (now WeatherKit), the iOS 16 Weather app features beautiful animated backgrounds that reflect current conditions and a card/grid-based user interface. In comparison, the comparable weather experience on the Pixel phones only got a dark theme, albeit only due to a bug (we think) that also broke the ability to flip between the Today/Tomorrow/10 days tabs.

Behind the scenes, this “Weather” experience is powered and updated by the Google (Search) app. (This is similar to Google Podcasts and Lens, although both “apps” offer a better, more modern experience.)

Google Weather is just old. Google’s Material Theme redesign came just as Material You was widely released in 2021.

On Pixel phones, this experience is what opens up when you tap the temperature in the Overview or home screen widget. It’s just not good enough, and the team behind the Pixel software/OS experience needs to create their own.

From Samsung to Semmi, other Android OEMs offer their own weather apps. Nothing is a particularly good example, as the app fully commits to its unique design language for a consistent experience.

The Pixel team should do the same, as checking the weather is a vital experience on today’s phones. Having important – sometimes critical – information throughout the day and displaying it in a simple and reliable user interface is essential.

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The Pixel Weather app could be a good design playground for Material You and tablet/collapsible UIs, with an opportunity to explore what kind of assistive weather experience it provides (eg custom notifications tuned to temperature settings). Meanwhile, I was initially skeptical, but the Apple News articles that occasionally appear in the iOS Weather app about related events can be very helpful.

In terms of history, the Pixel team has experience with Recorder, Personal Safety, and Bedtime Mode (before it was widely available). Someone at Google also took the time to create Material You weather widgets that are still exclusive to Pixel phones.

Even if Google Search were completely revamped1 Of the existing Weather lineup, I still think the Pixel should have its own unique app. This experience cannot be an afterthought, but something created.

1 The phone experience is inspired by the Weather app available on Wear OS 3. This clock app is simple with a single feed for current conditions, 8-hour and 5-day forecasts, and sunset/sunrise. This is complemented by Tiles for Forecast, Sun and UV Index and some complications. Google needs to add wind conditions and the ability to see other cities, but otherwise it’s a thoroughly enjoyable experience and a highlight of Wear OS 3.

Google Play has until August to update watch apps for Wear OS 3: Good requirements and upgrades.

Xiaomi may be coming up with a new Wear OS 3 smartwatch: with Samsung, Fossil Group and Pixel, I don’t think Wear OS hardware will stagnate anytime soon, but another big player would help avoid that.

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Three small updates for Google Communications customers:

Google Fi is dropping US Cellular as an official network, but the service is still available

What (else) happens:

They struggle (I’m sorry): Meta targeting 2025 for glasses with “seeker” display and neural interface smartwatch + Samsung trademarks for “Galaxy Glasses” AR/VR headset and “Galaxy Ring”

Now make a new one Moto Krzr: Motorola confirms new Razr foldable kit coming ‘soon’ as it unveils ‘Rizr’ rollable concept

It could be promising: YouTube’s help forum disables comments and new comments, changes are planned

Video: Semmi OS 1.5: Best new features of Android 13 for Phone (1)

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