Checking the weather on your Android phone is an easy task. Most phone manufacturers include their own app or a shortcut to access a built-in weather app via a widget. OnePlus has a weather app, Samsung lets you access it via widgets, and Apple recently released a fancy new version of their own. On the other hand, Google has always pushed you to the Google app for weather experiences. That may change soon.
Before we get into what’s going on, let me just say that Google Search Weather isn’t a bad experience, but it’s pretty dated as far as UI goes. On an Android phone, you get a weather UI that looks like it’s 7 years old, and that’s probably why. We believe Google is working on a redesign of this within Google Search, but they could also be working on a standalone weather app for everyone.
As seen in the code for the new Google Watch update, a reference to “com.google.android.apps.weather” has been made to make sure it’s referring to an app. The new watch update apparently has a lot of weather information on the backend (temperature, high and low temperature, weather conditions, etc.) that just needs that point of reference to power it. With the launch of a Google Weather app, it’s all lit up.
A standalone Google Weather app is something we’d like to see. Weather would be easier to access or at least more obvious. It’s a lot easier to go to your app drawer to find the “Weather” app than to search for weather in Google or hope you’ve added a random pop-up asking if you want a shortcut for it on your home screen.
Google can update a weather app more often or without the need to update the Google app and other parts around it. As I said above, the current weather experience is at least 7 years old, so you’d think Google could keep a standalone app updated with the times. And look, everyone else has a weather app – it’s time for Google to make one.
To see what the new Google Weather app will look like, take a look at the top of this post. Google previewed the new look at I/O a few weeks ago. When on a foldable (or tablet), you’ll see a two-column setup with location and an 8-day forecast on the left. The right side will then dive deeper into a specific day, starting with the hourly forecast, wind, humidity, UV index and sunrise/sunset times.
When can you download the new Google Weather app, you ask? It’s hard to say for sure, but Google is teasing it on the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet, so when these launch in the next few weeks, we’ll hopefully see it roll out, even as part of the Zune Pixel update.
I’m weirdly excited about an official Google Weather app.