Solar’s weather forecast takes finesse

This app by Hollr, Inc lets users advance through the upcoming 24 hours of temperature and conditions by moving their finger up and down the screen. While that’s a good idea on the surface, I found it difficult to keep track of when I was at any given position.

Like other apps I’ve reviewed, Solar’s background indicates the current conditions; in this case, roughly precipitation and temperature in the top and bottom halves, respectively. There’s also a 12-hour clock in one corner, and a digital clock in the other. None of it helped. Using this app, I found my eyes constantly darting around, trying to keep track of the time and conditions. That the up-and-down gesture is very sensitive didn’t help.

Solar app review from Ben Gremillion on Vimeo.

After a few uses, I gave up trying to find the weather at a precise time — say, 3:30pm – 3:45pm — and focused instead on getting the general idea of a whole day. Even that took some getting used to, as the colors don’t always match my idea of warm vs. cool or wet vs. dry.

Eventually I figured it out. Solar worked best if I found the conditions first, time second. For example, I pushed upwards in the app, watching the conditions. When I found something interesting, like the lowest temperature, I’d check the time. This differs from my approach with other weather apps, where my mental process is “I’m going out for a few hours. Will I get cold after dinner?”

Solar requires too much finesse for my liking, but I’m glad that Hollr, Inc. isn’t afraid to experiment.