Review: MeteoStation (UWP)
If there's one gadget that has always typified a geek's household, it's a weather station. A sensor that sits outside the house, wired through somehow to a base station inside the house, displaying lots of current metrics about the weather. Pressure, temperature, rainfall, and so on. You may even already own one. But if you don't then did you know that for the less than the price of a cup of tea you can have access to more or less real time data from tens of thousands of domestic weather stations around the world? There's a good chance that you have several within a mile of your house!
Effectively, MeteoStation becomes a virtual weather station. Saving quite a bit of money and charging or cabling hassle. With the option of seeing what the weather's doing right across the world too.
MeteoStation uses the worldwide 'NetAtmo' network of measuring stations - if you do own a compatible weather station then you can also contribute your own property's weather conditions to the global mix.
MeteoStation can handle:
- Air temperature (°C)
- Humidity (%RH)
- Barometric pressure (hPa)
- Precipitation (mm)
- Wind (km/h)
Although the exact data reported by each station will depend on the hardware and sensors installed, of course. When browsing through the stations around you, a brief preview of the current stats are shown at the bottom of the screen, giving an idea of the sensors available.
Having tapped on the tick to select a weather station then you're in business, with a vertically scrollable pane containing indicators for (up to) the five main weather metrics, plus a 'historical' plot of each metric over the last three hours, making it easy, in theory, to spot trends.
MeteoStation is under extremely active development as a UWP app, see the welcome in-app changelog below left - rain and wind gauge support has been added in updates in recent and it's great to see a developer getting stuck into the Windows 10 ecosystem with relish.
The polish extends to all areas of the application - on the phone form factor, at least, with a live tile showing refreshed data from the last weather station looked at (usually the one closest to your home), showing the basics of temperature, pressure and humidity - see the example below, left. Also notable is the customisability, from choosing the units to be used for each metric to the live tile updating frequency.
The gauges and charts are very much optimised for portrait use on a Windows 10 Mobile phone (see the comments on the PC screenshots below), though MeteoStation does work (of course) in landscape mode, as shown below:
I have a feeling that there's quite a bit of tweaking of the UI scaling to be done by the developer in future updates. Something in Settings would be a start - there's plenty of resolution to spare on most current phones.
But ignore me, I'm nitpicking here - MeteoStation is a good example of a UWP app and one which is extremely useful to boot. I know I'm English, but I can't believe that anyone isn't interested in what the weather's doing... This would make a great counterpoint to Microsoft's own free Weather UWP app that's built into the platform.
MeteoStation is £1.59 in the UK Store and (probably) $2 in the US one. To my mind that's a great deal, and hopefully I've shown here that it's worth buying. Come on, let's support good UWP app developers, especially those (as here) who are putting mobile first, ahead of the desktop experience!
PS. As proof that MeteoStation is a full UWP app, here it is running on a Windows 10 PC (it looks much the same in Continuum, when hooked up to a monitor from the Lumia 950, 950 XL and Elite X3):
Reviewed by Steve Litchfield at