Why the weather forecast will never be the same


If you’ve never heard of Swackett, one or more of the following may be true for you:

  • You still get the weather from the morning newspaper (It’s OK, I used to too)
  • You still use Weather.com and get bombarded with ADs (Psst, Google “Weather:”)
  • You wake up at 4am and turn on the TV to get the weather forecast before heading to work (Hey, if it works, it works)
  • You don’t care about the weather (Because looking out the window is easier)
  • You haven’t spent enough time in the Mac App Store
  • Or you just don’t have a Mac
So, what is Swackett and why should you care? Well for one, it puts weather forecasts in plain English. Second, it’s the only weather forecast where you just have to look at a picture to figure out what to wear today. Finally, it makes weather less boring.

Swackett comes in two flavors, Swackett and Swackett X. Swackett is the original, ad-supported, just-give-me-the-freaking-weather-in-English version of Swackett. It’s simple, it works, it’s accurate, and it’s free. Swackett X is the paid version of Swackett that comes with some extra goodies, such as full screen support in Lion, This Day in Weather History, and Flickr photos of the weather. Personally, I just use the free version of Swackett as it gets the job done, but I have considered Swackett X on multiple occasions. Before Swackett, I just used the Dashboard widget that’s built-in to OS X. It’s simple, and it tells you the weather, but just the weather. No radar, no hourly forecast. It’s meant to be just a quick reference. However, that also means you don’t really have any clue what the weather really is going to be like.

While the widget does actually do what it’s supposed to, I wanted a forecast that was more detailed. Living in Philly for a year taught me just how important it really is to check the weather and get a detailed weather report (trust me, it’s not fun having to run back to your dorm in the rain with a laptop in your bag that obviously doesn’t play nicely with water). However, that actually isn’t the reason I decided to get Swackett. I got it because… well, it was free. And I was playing around with the Mac App Store. I honestly never thought I’d actually use it on a regular basis. That said, it’s now the first think I open on my computer when I get up, even before I start going through email now. As you may have guessed from the screen shot above, Swackett is pretty simple, unlike some of the online weather services I’ve seen (cough weather.com cough). When I get up, I can open Swackett and see just from looking at the picture (obviously not when it’s one of the fun ones, like above) what the day’s weather will be like. I actually usually don’t look at the actual temperature anymore. Swackett is the only weather forecast I’ve ever seen where it takes only three seconds to figure out the weather for the day.

At the same time, Swackett also offers a complete, detailed report of the weather, all on one page. You don’t have to click around to get details, you just have to scroll down. In addition, if you need to check the weather for somewhere else, Swackett does that too with literally just four clicks (or two if you’ve already saved a location). Another great thing about Swackett is that it offers the optional feature of creating an account, allowing you sync all your settings so no matter where you open Swackett, another computer, your iPad, etc, it’s all there exactly as you left it.

Simply put, Swackett looks as if Apple or Google had designed it themselves (I’m leaning more towards Apple), but it’s not. While the app is currently exclusive to the Mac App Store, there is now a web app as well that runs in any modern browser, which means if you don’t own a Mac, you can still use Swackett. Swackett is currently expected to launch on iOS devices as a native app later in the year. No word (that I’ve seen) on when a native Linux or Windows application might come out. If you’re looking for a better weather forecast, I strongly recommend giving Swackett a shot. Swackett transforms weather forecasts into simple, fun, easy to read blurbs of information, not that technical mumbo jumbo. Or, in other words, weather forecasts will never be the same.

Swackett Web App

Swackett on the Mac App Store

Swackett X on the Mac App Store