Windows 8 Release Preview Review

Weather
There are some really nice improvements to the Weather applet too. Like Finance, Weather is near finished, too.  The current conditions screen is really nice, and Location Services seems to be working without an issue in the Release Preview.

I admit it – I’m a huge weather junkie. Now, this springs from my asthma condition as well as my bald head… I don’t like getting rained on, and on really hot days, like the ones noted in Weather’s main screen, with my asthma, it’s usually better for me to just stay indoors than venture outside.

I really think the hourly forecast should take up a whole screen. This is only 1042×768; and the print is just so tiny on the screen. There’s no reason why Maps should be bleeding over into the hourly forecast.

The app provides a nice assortment of maps, with most if not all, providing maps on motion.  Tap one of the map tiles to bring up the associated map.

The Maps section of Weather is really nice. This is the one section where weather junkies like me are going to spend a lot of time. Maps like the Doppler Radar map display as either an animated GIF or a movie; but instead of displaying in a full screen like every other Metro App screen, maps show as a pop-over.  It might have been nice to show these in a full window, with the ability to zoom in and out on a given area, with the appropriate level of detail showing, but I’m not sure how difficult that would be to implement, given what the data provider gives Microsoft to work with.

The Doppler Radar map that I chose to view of my home region was a map in motion. The region was pretty much clear of any precipitation the day I took screen shots. The map displays as a pop over and is the closest thing to a “window” you’re likely to see in a Metro App.

The next screen to the right is Historical Weather, and shows historical temperatures, rain and snow for your region (determined by network IP). This screen is historical temperatures for my region.

The historical, average rainfall for my region shows a nice “Cisco shaped” bar chart depicting the average rainfall I get at my place.

The number of snow days, defined as days when public schools are closed due to inclement weather conditions, are shown here.  The data behind this chart is obviously NOT pulled together by the local school district and superintendent. That guy doesn’t close the local schools unless his garage is buried…

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