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Treo Handy Weather Software Review

Best Treo Weather SoftwareThe newly released Handy Weather application (available for all Treo models including Windows Mobile) is without a doubt the best Treo weather software that I have used to date – it offers superb graphics, has a clear and simple visual display of information and also provides an excellent user friendly interface throughout.

1. Getting Started
When you first launch Handy Weather you will be presented with a screen to first select your country (below left) then city of your choice (it offers more than 40,000 preset cities worldwide to choose from).

 Treo Handy Weather Country Treo Handy Weather City

You can save up to 30 locations by simply adding more cities in the menu under Location > Add City or > Add Custom City (where you enter longitude & latitude coordinates).

2. Weather Views
After quickly adding some cities (San Francisco, London and Paris) Handy Weather offers three clear views of forecast weather conditions.

 Treo Handy Weather Week 1 Treo Handy Weather Week 2

The first view pictured above provides a five day forecast with clear and well designed animated graphics, Low/High temperatures as well as a short text indication of the general status (eg. “A couple of thunderstorms”).  I particularly like the way that you can easily scroll through the weather for your different cities by simply using the left/right or up/down 5Way buttons and also go to a detailed day view by pressing the Center button.

My only comments for this view is that I would have liked the low/high temperatures to have been displayed in different colours (low/red + high/blue for example) and also that the text indication could have been fitted on two lines so as not to cut the text.

 Treo Handy Weather Detailed 1 Treo Handy Weather Detailed 2

The second is a “Detailed Day View” which offers a more complete description of weather conditions with: animated graphics, text indications, low/high temperatures, “Real feel” temperature (should have been “Feels like”…), Wind direction, gust and speed, UV Index and anticipated precipitations.  (All units for degrees, wind speed and precipations can be changed – for example from Celcius to Farenheit – in Menu > Settings).  Using the left/right or up/down 5Way buttons you can scroll through each day while pressing Center will take you back to the 5Day view.

 Treo Handy Weather Graph 1 Treo Handy Weather Graph 2

The third and arguably my favourite view accessed via the Menu provides a “Temperature Graph View” (above) that makes it extremely easy to quickly get the weather “mood” in the coming days.  I like this view so much that I wish there was an option to make this the default screen…

3. Preferences
Aside from setting your cities and unit preferences Handy Weather also allows you to choose an “Auto Update” function which can be set at “Periodically” (with an update interval of 6, 12, 18 or 24 hours), “At Preset Time” with an update time of your choice or “Off”.  Note that the wireless data requirements of Handy Weather have been optimized so that less than 1 Kb is used per city per download.  Naturally you can also simply perform a manual update if you prefer.

 Treo Handy Weather Update Treo Handy Weather KeyGuard

Finally, Handy Weather also offers the option to quickly have a 5Day view of the weather for your first city at every Keyguard press (above right) – ideal if for example you want to know what the weather forecast is like the moment you wake up in the morning after (for example) having set a 5am timed regular update.  Unfortunately there is currently no way to easily change your “Keyguard city” but hopefully a future version will address this.  Alternatively a 1Day view for five cities could also prove interesting.

I know that some people will perhaps question my Handy Weather rating of “Best Treo Weather Software” arguing that it doesn’t quite offer _all_ of the weather information that they want (radar/satellite views + sunrise/sunset times among others). 

However, having tested dozens of applications (including the very popular TreoWeather) in the hope of finding “the” perfect weather solution Handy Weather with its rich graphics, simple and quick interface is the one that comes closest to meeting all of my requirements – it would be nice if they could add moon phase data as well…

Treonauts always have the weather at hand

Posted by Andrew on June 22, 2007 at 10:44 AM

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by Jeff | Jun 22, 2007 1:28:30 PM

With all these weather programs are there any that offer easy access to current radar views?

by Ronin | Jun 22, 2007 2:42:48 PM

This .prc file is huge! 2.2 MBs for a weather program. Geez. Are the days of small, efficient Palm program gone? Say it isn't so.

by Barb | Jun 22, 2007 3:39:56 PM

for a weather program with radar & satellite info checkout xWeather by Moxsi.

by Tom | Jun 22, 2007 4:03:32 PM

Yes, Xweather rules. You can configure it to bring up any image. I have mine setup to bring up Weather channel pages for storm forecast and outstanding alerts. Combined with the satellite and radar images, it's the best.

by kevin | Jun 22, 2007 4:46:40 PM

Ronin, I think the days of small and efficient programs are over for any platform. Sure, you could write a spreadsheet in 100k for some ancient system, but then it wouldn't be all flashy like Office! :)

High-quality graphics take up a surprisingly large amount of space, which might be where the bloat came from.

by Randy Owens | Jun 22, 2007 10:28:33 PM

Well, I installed this based on Andrew's review. It only took about 5 minutes to realize that YES, it has a lot of city choices and YES it allows you various display options and YES it has animated (barely) graphics but does it tell you the CURRENT temp???? NO!!!

Who left that tiny tidbit out of the code??? :) Sorry, I'll just keep using Handango's In-Hand and the default weather app (3 day forecast). Good enough for me!

by Aaron Riemer | Jun 22, 2007 11:54:50 PM

Andrew, you are quite right overall. This program has very nice graphics and a good feature set. But I agree *even more* with Randy Owens. Without a current conditions function, I can't see paying any amount of money for it. I too am an Xweather fan. I love the sat/radar images and the current conditions (although it isn't always able to find a weather station location near enough to the actual town I want for accurate info based on NOAA or Yahoo weather stations - i.e. Buena Vista, CO). As far as a similar program that *has* current conditions, I like TreoWeather from GX5 better than this program. Add current conditions, and I might change my mind. Thanks for the review, though.

by Muggle | Jun 23, 2007 1:21:27 AM

Guys, just go to the AccuWeather website...I use that all the time...and it's free !!

by Ivan W. Halperin | Jun 23, 2007 3:01:57 AM

I loaded HandyWeather onto my Verizon 700p. Pretty interface. I then loaded the lat and long of several cities (taken from an Almanac, known to be accurate). The weather information, even after being updated, was absurdly in error. One example: Santa Barbara, CA, a pre-loaded city, showed the low temp at 54F (what I would expect). Goleta CA, immediately adjacent to Santa Barbara and the home of UCSB, was shown to be almost 20 degrees hotter. Using Express, having put in the name Goleta (Express doesn't require Lat and Long, only City Name) the correct low temp was shown.

When I went to remove the app, it apparently write-protects itself so it can't be removed. I loaded yesterday's back-up.

I strongly recommend NOT using HandyWeather.

by Fred | Jun 24, 2007 2:43:57 PM

Yea, xWeather looks nice, but of course it's only for US locations.

by Wanderer | Jun 26, 2007 9:46:53 AM

The program is not yet quite mature. For instance, it has an option for adding custom locations, but (as their Support confirmed to me), you can only add locations East of Greenwich, and North of the Equator!

by Dave | Jun 26, 2007 12:38:59 PM

Another problem with the program is the wind speeds in mph are incorrect and do not agree with the accuweather web data. Also how does one remove this program??

by Steve Gardner | Jun 27, 2007 9:32:15 AM

I tried Handy Weather and didn't like it, for several reasons (large size--nearly 3 MB--and incredible misspellings, among them), but I can't delete the application, using Palm delete or Destaller Lite, which says the file is locked. So now I have a large app that I'm stuck with.

by Dave | Jun 27, 2007 6:28:20 PM

To uninstall perform a soft reset and then delete the application, it worked for me

by Hooty | Nov 24, 2007 7:46:32 PM

Did the soft reset and the delete again ... no more handy

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