When it comes to weather apps, people aren’t usually too picky. In fact, for Android and Windows phone users, the weather widget or live tile is more than enough for most. Even on the iOS side, where it’s always 76 and sunny, a quick glance at the weather widget in the notification pulldown gets people by. There will always be those who want more, but the current temperature, current precipitation and a five-day forecast satisfies the majority of users.
Haze is a new weather app for iOS that does those same very things, minus all the Weather Channel design tropes that we typically associate with checking the forecast. Instead of cartoon images of clouds and sunshine, Haze simplifies the display of useful weather data down to its bare bones: numbers. Haze has three primary screens to display these numbers: the current temperature view, the current chance of precipitation and the hours of daylight. Switching between these three screens is as easy as swiping left or right, while a tap on the number will open up some additional details—most of which are more numbers that you may or may not care about.
All of that might seem pretty standard, but the thing that really separates Haze from the host of weather apps out there is its beautiful design and intuitive user interface. The themes paint the backgrounds of each screen in gorgeous pastel shades (more of which can be unlocked the more Haze is used). A tug on the screen reveals the five-day forecast (and your current location if you tug a little further), while pulling up will refresh the numbers. The focus on gestures feels intuitive in the same way that apps like Clear or even Mailbox do. Throw in some really great sound effects and you’ve got an app that feels great to just move around in. Who cares if all you’re doing is checking the weather?
The problem is that checking the weather in the morning before you run out of the house is a quick, compulsive action—so if we have to open an app to check the weather, it better have some valuable information that’s presented in a quick, intuitive way. For the most part, Haze does that. But in my extended time with Haze, I found one problem come up repeatedly: you can’t see the weather and temperature in a single five-day forecast in a single glance. Multiple actions need to be made to get all the information you need—and you’ll still be putting the pieces together in your head for what tomorrow’s weather is going to look like. This makes Haze a lot less practical than it could be. The good news is that if you’ve got more than a couple seconds to check the weather, using Haze is well worth a few more seconds of your time.