Thursday, 30 May 2013

Top iOS Apps (Weather Channel #2 iPad 'free' app)

(Morning Rain drops on Day Lilies)

If you haven't seen is already Apple has released it's list of top iPad and iPhone apps (both free and paid). Here is a link to TUAW version:

I love stats.  For Design Thinking we often get our best "Insights" from User Interviews at at a person-by-person/micro-level but sometimes I just like looking at macro-level info like download statistics.

So what stands out? The Weather Channel is #2 on iPad (free) and #7 on the iPhone (free). It's only behind Skype on the iPad. There are 10 million downloads for the iPad App since 2010!

I was a little shocked at first. However afterwards I realized how many times when I wake up I check the weather (especially when I need to know how to dress my 2.5 year-old for daycare). Checking the weather forecast (regardless of how accurate) is so natural, it's like checking the calendar or the time/clock. People *need* weather info.

Amazingly if you search weather on iTunes you will get tons of apps. It seems that this *particular* app is heads and shoulders above the rest in downloads. When compared to other apps in general, it's surprisingly even more popular than Netflix and YouTube, which I thoughts were mainstays for Mobile Devices. (However I have this eerie feeling that Google Maps, when it comes out on iPad might eclipse them all shortly... see Google Shows Off Upcoming Map Changes, Announces iPad App)

Here is a screen-shot off the iPad and it's honestly not that complex. It's fairly "plain-Jane" simple with what seems like a download bar for % chance of rain. (FYI - I keep expecting the blue bars to finishing download something... but it *never* does...that would be my first feedback to Weather Channel if they mind has a totally different expectation for this control). It is technically free *but*  it does come with built-in ads (which I initially thought would drive users to other apps...). The ads are fairly large @ the bottom of the app. Honestly it's not that different from The Weather Network's app or others I've seen or used.


Bottom Line: Mix a Maslow's like need with decent execution you get a great success story! Maybe that's the "Insight". Primal need trumps slick design, neat-UX and eye-candy every time.

p.s. If you haven't seen this already, when talking about weather sites/apps, I thought his was very novel from a UX point-of-view:

It's like original Google site for weather. It doesn't have barometric pressure or wind speed, etc. It's just displays YES or NO answer. If you are asking: "for the record" as novel as the idea behind Umbrella Today is... unfortunately isn't my go-to site.

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