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Google Pixel devices finally have a real default weather app

Google Pixel devices finally have a real default weather app

Google finally has a default weather app to compete with Apple and Samsung. Although Pixel phones have long been able to display the current weather in widgets, tapping on those widgets launched a basic screen with a pretty weather frog and a handful of stats. It looked like a webpage because that's basically what it was.

With the launch of the Pixel tablet earlier this week, Google has rectified that situation. Its new Weather app — which is accessed via the same widget as before, as there's no icon to launch it — has a much nicer design without losing much of the versatility of the old experience. It has 10-day and 24-hour forecasts; Wind, humidity, barometric pressure and UV index reports, as well as current sun position and sunrise/sunset times. It also shows hour-wise details of rainfall, wind and humidity. All this in an easily parsable single screen with some fun animations for the current status.

The new app also has the ability to provide instant information about upcoming rainfall, including how intense it will be and how long it will last before it stops. It can provide this data up to 12 hours in advance due to the use of data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other sources. This information will only be displayed in the app if it is relevant - if there will be no upcoming precipitation near you, it will not show this data.

Perhaps the only thing missing in this new weather experience is a radar view - if there is one, I have been unable to find it in the app. It would also be nice to have an app icon instead of relying on a widget to launch the Weather app. Like the previous version, this new one is also powered by Google Apps, but it looks more native and doesn't feel like a tiny website.

For now, the new Weather app is limited to tablets, including the Pixel tablet and the soon-to-be-launched Pixel Fold. 9to5Google reports that Google plans to bring it to other devices in the future, but there's no timeframe for when that will happen. Android Police has some images of what it looks like running on a phone-sized screen, thanks to developers who were able to activate it on their devices.

Samsung devices already have a full Weather app pre-installed, but I hope Google doesn't limit it to the Pixel line and makes it more widely available. This wouldn't be the first time Google has expanded Pixel-specific software outside of its own devices.

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