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Google Pixel Devices Now Boast a Fully-fledged Default Weather App

In an effort to rival Apple and Samsung, Google has finally introduced a default weather app for its Pixel devices. While Pixel phones previously displayed the current weather in widgets, tapping on those widgets only revealed a basic screen with minimal information and a charming weather frog. Essentially, it felt like a simplified web page.

(The Verge)

However, with the recent launch of the Pixel Tablet, Google has addressed this issue. The new weather app, accessible through the same widgets as before (as there is no dedicated app icon), features a much-improved design that retains the playful nature of the older experience. It offers 10-day and 24-hour forecasts, wind, humidity, barometric pressure, and UV index reports, along with sun position and sunrise/sunset times. It even provides hour-by-hour breakdowns of precipitation, wind, and humidity. All this information is presented in a single, user-friendly screen complemented by delightful animations reflecting the current weather conditions.

Moreover, the new app incorporates a valuable feature: it can provide imminent precipitation details, including intensity and duration, up to 12 hours in advance. This capability is made possible through data sourced from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other reliable providers. The app selectively displays this information only when relevant, ensuring a clutter-free experience devoid of unnecessary data.

However, it appears that the new weather experience lacks a radar view. If such a feature exists, it has eluded my discovery within the app. Additionally, it would be beneficial to have an app icon for launching the weather app, rather than relying solely on widgets. Similar to its bare-bones predecessor, this new iteration is powered by the Google app, but it feels much more native and less like a rudimentary website.

Currently, the new weather app is exclusive to tablets, including the Pixel Tablet and the upcoming Pixel Fold. However, there are reports that Google intends to extend its availability to other devices in the future, although no specific timeline has been disclosed. Android Police has showcased images of the app running on a phone-sized screen, thanks to developers who managed to activate it on their devices.

While Samsung devices already come equipped with a comprehensive preinstalled weather app, it is my hope that Google will eventually make this new weather app accessible to a wider range of devices beyond the Pixel line. This wouldn't be the first time Google has expanded Pixel-specific software to devices outside its own ecosystem.

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