YoWindow Weather - App Review

Thursday, April 4, 2019



YoWindow Weather is an app that not only tells you the weather but shows it by using animated backgrounds that adjust to current conditions and seasons. These environments also have fun little bonuses during certain holidays (jack-o-lanterns, Santa, polar bears, turkeys..etc). YoWindow has eight backgrounds to choose from.

Backgrounds:

Village:
Not truly a village, it features a farmhouse and a field that is visited by either a horse or a cow. Bushes show the current breeze and the lights on the farmhouse change throughout the day and night. Sound effects include the wind and rain (if applicable), either a wolf or coyote howl and crickets (during certain seasons). The cow and horse also occasionally make noises.

Valley:
Shows a valley with a small river going through it and a small town in the far distance. This backdrop uses a windmill to show you winds current speed. You can see the lights in the small town at night. Sound effects for this choice include the wind, rain, and an owl (At least I am pretty sure it does. I may just be hearing a real owl outside.) This is one of the more boring backgrounds (in my opinion), but it really looks beautiful during spring when fireflies are added.

Americana:
This background shows a small town that has a dance academy, church, theatre, high school, grocery store, houses, and a few restaurants. It is one of the backgrounds that features people and animals walking around (and ghosts appear at night). Cars, trucks, bikes, and buses are also shown on the road and the movie showing at the theatre changes weekly. Sounds included in this background are the wind, rain, and car/bus sounds/horns. This is my second favorite of the bunch as it always seems like there is something new to see each season.

Seaside:
Shows a small seaside village with a dock and a lighthouse. I have not used this background very much, so I am unsure about all the things it features. It does have animated boats on the sea and lights in the houses. Sound effects include a foghorn, the sound of waves, birds, wind, and rain.

Town:
Similar to Americana, just fancier. It is the best background for Christmas/Winter holidays, as the style of the houses and stores resembles Christmas Village decorations.

Sky:
An image of the sky based on the current weather conditions in your selected city.

Airport:
It shows an airstrip that has airplanes departing and arriving with a big city in the background. The lights on the buildings change during the day. Your current city (Chicago, Knoxville..whatever) is displayed as the name of the airport. Sounds include aircraft, wind, and rain.

Pagoda:
My absolute favorite and most used background that the app offers, it features an Asian inspired scene that has either a cow or horse appear in a field. Sound effects for this background include frogs, the sound of a pond, crickets, birds, wind, and rain. A lantern hanging on a tree tells you the current speed of the wind.

Custom:
If you have the PC version of YoWindow Weather, you can create your own custom landscape background and some larger cities have their own unanimated backgrounds (such as Seoul and Toyko) with additional "Nearby" background options.

Additional Background Information:
Each background randomly shows things in the sky such as airplanes, hot air balloons, and shooting stars. They also include the moon (in its current state) and plenty of stars. Also, depending on the version you use...there are secrets to be discovered. The seasons change based more on the month and current temperatures than on the official dates.  A background is automatically picked based on the place you pick, but you can change the background to any of the options.

The Weather:

The weekly forecasts are not very reliable and the time rain or snow are supposed to arrive on the daily can be a bit iffy. However, the general daily forecast for temperature is usually correct (or very close) and I think it really just comes down to what service they decide to use for the area you are tracking (for my area it usually uses the National Weather Service for weekly and Weather Underground for daily). For the sake of giving an example, on the day I am writing this review, YoWindow has the high for my area as being 50F and other services like Amazon Alexa, WeatherNation, Cortana, my local news, and the Weather Channel has the high as 52F. So, not a huge difference, but still something I thought I should mention.

 I love to use it as a background on my tv while I have Pandora or Spotify playing music. There are a few style differences based on the version you are using and the size of the screen, but overall I find YoWindow to be a pretty fantastic little weather app.

Versions & Notes:

Browser:
Go to their site and select live weather (or click on the previous link) and enter the name or zip code of your desired area. On the left side are options for background, unit, and time. *Note* Pagoda is listed as Oriental here for some reason.

PC/Screensaver:
Does not include all backgrounds unless you unlock them by buying the premium version for $9.98. The background quality is also a bit higher in comparison to all the other versions and less zoomed in. Additionally, in this version, the backgrounds that have the cow and horse...have both.

Android/Amazon:
This is the version I use the most, so the majority of my opinions in this review come from my experience in using it.

Apple:
I have no experience with this version of the app.

Weather Widget (for blogs and websites):
I have considered adding it to the sidebar of this blog, but I am afraid it would slow the site down and end up not being very useful.

Rating: 4/5

Mean Girls Rain gif is from giphy.
All other images are from YoWindow Weather.


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