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Google Pixel Devices Finally Have a Real Default Weather App

Google has unveiled a revamped weather app, addressing a long-standing gap in its offerings and enabling it to compete with rivals such as Apple and Samsung. While Pixel phones previously displayed current weather information in widgets, tapping on these widgets would launch a basic screen with minimal features. With the recent launch of the Pixel Tablet, Google has rectified this situation and introduced a new weather app.

Accessible through the same widgets as before, the new app boasts a much-improved design without sacrificing the playful elements of the older experience. It provides users with a range of features, including 10-day and 24-hour forecasts, reports on wind, humidity, barometric pressure, and UV index, as well as current sun position and sunrise/sunset times. The app also presents detailed breakdowns of precipitation, wind, and humidity on an hourly basis. All this information is conveniently displayed on a single screen, accompanied by engaging animations reflecting the current weather conditions.

One notable addition to the new weather app is its ability to provide immediate precipitation updates, including intensity and duration forecasts for upcoming hours. Leveraging data from reliable sources like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the app can even provide this information up to 12 hours in advance. However, this data will only be displayed when relevant, meaning it won’t appear if there is no upcoming precipitation in the user’s location.

The weather app on a Pixel Tablet displaying information for wind, humidity, UV index, and other details.

While the new weather app offers significant improvements, it lacks a radar view, and users have noted the absence of an app icon for direct access, necessitating reliance on widgets. Nonetheless, the app, powered by the Google app, feels more native and less like a simple website compared to its previous iteration.

Currently, the enhanced weather app is limited to tablets, including the Pixel Tablet and the upcoming Pixel Fold. Google has plans to expand its availability to other devices in the future, although specific timelines have not been provided. Developers who have managed to activate the app on their devices have shared images of how it looks on phone-sized screens, heightening anticipation for wider release.

While Samsung devices already come preloaded with a comprehensive weather app, it is hoped that Google will extend the availability of its new weather app beyond the Pixel line to a wider range of devices. Google has previously extended Pixel-specific software to devices beyond its own brand, and users are eager for a similar expansion in this case.