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Re: No default weather app/widget??
I agree with Diddy in that I'm glad our vanilla Android doesn’t force feed a weather app on us. The closest it comes to that is Google Now, and that card can easily be disabled, though I kind of like it.
There are so many weather apps out there that it can take a lot of downloading, trying out, and uninstalling before finding the one that you like and works best for your needs. If you're like me, though, it's almost impossible to find the perfect app to meet all my criteria, so I ended up with way more apps than I needed. And I'm not even a weather junkie!
Keep in mind that a weather app is only as good as the weather sources that it uses to get the information to you. Some apps are very limited and don't give you a choice of weather stations to use for a particular location. This can be a problem if you live in an area that is some distance from the weather station the app uses for your location, or you live in an area with microclimates. Some apps only use official weather service sites, often located at airports. If you live in a rural area, it's possible that location is 50 miles and 5 degrees of temperature from you. So keep that in mind when choosing an app.
Here's what I have left after testing quite a few, but certainly not all, the weather apps on the market. Keep in mind that I'm more concerned with weather in the USA, so my focus was more on apps that work well here. However, I also track world locations where friends live, so each app had to have world weather capability.
BeWeather Pro: The best thing about this one is that it allows you to choose from among many unofficial weather stations, often located at schools or operated by hobbyists, as well as official weather service stations. This is only available in the pro (paid) version, though, and is probably more useful in the USA because of the large number of such alternative stations. BeWeather also has beautiful weather animations that give this app a special look, and a simple, easy to use layout, but it's a little bit lacking in detailed weather stats. The widgets are well done and customizable. Weather alerts are very customizable, including the alert sound (I use a sneeze), and can be enabled for locations other than your current location. You can add the temperature in the notification bar and customize it by choosing a color and weather location, as well as a different color for the notification tray. The free version, besides not being able to choose the precise weather station, has ads, and also fewer widget and icon options. For some reason, however, BeWeather only allows 10 locations to be stored. Others may also have limitations, but I've not tested them.
eWeather HD: This is probably the coolest looking app, with lots of information and graphs and different ways to look at the weather data. It also has some unique and very customizable widgets, plus a nice earthquake alert feature. It's a bit complicated in terms of understanding the layout and customizing exactly the information you want to see, but once you figure it out, it's quite detailed. The alert system is very customizable with lots of alert types to choose from, but I think it only applies to your current location. It's radar map is top notch, probably the best of these apps. The notification bar options are also the most extensive of all these apps, enough to significantly clutter your notification area! Its biggest drawback is the lack of weather station locations available, though you can make a choice as to which you want to use. The default station usually makes the most sense, but that could be 40 kilometers from your location. You can also choose between the US provider or Forseca.com for forecasts. I have no idea which is better or what the difference is! Also, there's no free version, so you'll have to check it out quickly in order to get a refund if you don't like it.
WeatherBug Elite: This has what I consider to be a more traditional weather app look, meaning not too fancy, but with plenty of information and easy to navigate and view. It allows you to choose from local weather stations beyond the official ones located at airports, though the list isn't as extensive as BeWeather. It offers weather cam views, a video weather report, and lifestyle forecasts (I guess that forecasts what your lifestyle will be). Weather alerts can be enabled for all locations, though they aren't very customizable. A unique alert feature, though, is for lightening, which is only available for your current location, and only in the USA. The temperature for a specified location can be placed in the notification bar, with only three color choices. The widgets are uninspired. The free version has ads and maybe some minor feature locks, but I forget what those are.
The Weather Channel: This app also has a traditional look, with pretty basic weather details and the most uninspired presentation of this group. But it offers a few unique items, like a Twitter feed, Weather Channel videos, a fun photo gallery (lots of user supplied weather and nature photos in different categories, especially pets outside), and a pollen report. Severe weather alerts are limited to a single location (doesn't have to be your current location), but a pollen alert is also available, probably only for the USA. This free app does not have ads, which is quite nice. Unfortunately, its widget options aren't very good, and the notification bar option is poorly implemented (thanks for the correction, @t-rex). But the worst thing is you have no options regarding the weather station it uses, nor does it indicate where the station that it uses is located. Still, it might be accurate enough for your location.
AccuWeather: The AccuWeather app is probably the least feature filled of all these apps. It's similar to the Weather Channel app, though looks nicer with its dark background and better graphics. It has video reports, plus a lifestyle forecasts guide and a useful AccuWeather news feed. Weather alerts are available for a single location only, the one you designate as your "home" location. It has basic notification bar capability, showing the temperature for either your current or "home" location. However, as with the TWC app, widgets aren't very good, and you have no choice of which weather station to use or indication of its location. The free version has ads that aren't too intrusive. The paid version only removes ads, but it's currently only USD $0.99.
World Weather Clock Widget: As the name implies, this is a widget-only app, but tapping on a widget brings up a nice weather information chart and radar for that widget's location. The widgets are very customizable and come in various sizes and configurations. There's a slight learning curve to customizing, but once you understand the options, setup is pretty quick. I set widgets up for places around the world where I've visited or have friends, so besides seeing the weather, it let's me quickly see the time there. You can't specify the weather station to use, but for the purposes of these widgets that's not very important. The best thing is that this app is free and without ads of any sort! In the photo below, the red widgets are from World Weather Clock, and the bottom row widgets are from BeWeather.
Of these, what do I recommend? I like BeWeather for its weather station flexibility and beautiful weather animations, which looks fantastic on the N7, and eWeather HD for its detailed weather information and extensive customization. WeatherBug Elite is very close to the top, as it has some other features like weather cams and weather station choices. World Weather Clock is also a favorite, but I look at that less as a weather app, and more as a well done and free widget with time and weather information, so I don't compare it to the others.
If I needed to free up space on my N7, AccuWeather would be the first to go (even though I foolishly spent a buck on it to get rid of ads), then The Weather Channel. They're decent, basic apps, but nothing special, and don't allow any weather station choices or location information.
Someone else recommended 1Weather, which I tried. I didn't really like its overall look, so got rid of it for that reason alone, regardless of its functionality. I say this because, despite my recommendations, it really comes down to personal choice and needs. But the most important consideration should be, does it give you weather information for your area that's seems accurate, and is it presented in a way that is useful to you?
There are plenty of other weather apps out there, including very localized ones, but I've promised myself to quit looking at and testing them, and instead to perhaps get a life. I'm still giving that some thought.