Developer: Best Search Infobrokerage, Inc
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Trying to track the weather is not always a predictable endeavor, but when you want mobile updates of current conditions and weather forecasts on the go, it’s nice to have a predictable app that’s easy to use and view. Global-Local is a new weather app by Best Search Infobrokerage Inc. that has some unique features. It isn’t the best weather app ever, but Global-Local does provide the weather basics along with options that provide a unique view of – you guessed it – global and local weather.
Global-Local uses the iPhone’s GPS function to locate a current position upon launch. The view provided is from the vantage point of space featuring most of the globe on screen. Users can navigate to all parts of the world, zoom in on a specific region or use the magnifying feature enabled by touching the screen for two seconds. A world-wide cloud formation view is also available that refreshes every three hours when enabled. The app stores and displays up to ten locations for at-a-glance current conditions. Locations are marked by information bubbles and can be added by simply tapping any desired location on the map.
Despite the fact that the Global-Local view, complete with cloud coverage and formation, light patterns from sunlight, including night views where appropriate, is a visual enhancement, the overall visual aesthetics are crowded by the active location bubbles. Each bubble can be closed individually from the main view, or bring up the menu in the upper right corner to close all active bubbles at once. The "close all" feature is nice because the touchscreen is very sensitive and it's quite easy to create a new active location. Perhaps my fingers are larger than average, but I activated two new weather locations while trying to tap closed my current location. (If you're like me, you may find it easier to zoom in on the active bubble before trying to close it!)
Transparency of markers and bubbles can be adjusted in the settings menu.
The app is available in seven languages (English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, German) and allows users to search for a specific city. The newest update, released April 27, considerably improves the app's GPS location services by defaulting to the closest town or city of any size rather than the nearest metro area as in previous versions. In addition, if you tap an area where no city is available, Global-Local will show you the weather for the specific coordinates — the coast just off Long Beach today will be 55° F at 24° 29.29'N, 119° 57.21'W.
The map view aside, the forecast information available when tapping a location bubble is a complete eight-day forecast that includes temperature, precipitation, cloud coverage, wind speed, air pressure, fog and humidity levels. Sunrise and sunset times are included as well. The forecast is presented in 3-hour increments for the current day and the next 48 hours. After that, the forecast increments drop off to six hours through day eight. Presumably, Global-Local’s forecast information comes from somewhere with meteorological integrity as it pretty much matches all the local news forecasts.
All in all, Global-Local is a fairly attractive and replete weather app. It's universal, so even if you mainly use the app on your iPhone, if you have the chance to check it out on the iPad do so! It's more impressive and the larger screen makes tapping precise areas much easier.
The map view is cool, even if the flagging system seems a bit clunky. The cloud view is the neatest part, but be warned, though this feature is turned off by default, if you have a limited data plan, it will be using data to refresh itself when turned on. Though Global-Local functions perfectly adequately as a weather forecasting app, the absence of a radar map view will be dissatisfying to many weather watchers and the global cloud view, nice as it is, isn’t likely to make up for that. However, as a simple to use app for anywhere-weather on the go, Global-Local is fairly priced and functional to boot.