Unless you are in the wilderness and have to pay attention to how high birds fly or
the way smoke rises to the sky, getting your weather reports is a simple matter of pushing a few buttons. There are TV channels dedicated to providing this sort of information all day long. And, if you’re using a computer, retrieving the details on the state of the weather in your area of residence is easy as pie.
Also, there are plenty of widgets you can pin on the desktop to give you a hint on what to wear when going outside. Not to mention the plethora of websites ready to provide you with not only the basic temperature information, but also details on pressure, wind intensity and direction, precipitations, etc. All this, but in a very fun and organized manner is available in YoWindow
, a Flash application that connects to the Internet and retrieves meteorological data about a location of your choice in an instant.
It comes both in freeware form and as a paid program. The limitations applied to the freebie are the maximum of two locations to update weather details for at once, only three days of forecast and the manual update of the details. The developer has set a price of $9.99 to unlock the full version. We had no restrictions during our testing, so the reviewed version is the full one.
Installing YoWindow is no tricky thing to accomplish, as the entire process is smooth and eventless. Just choose the desired language (it can be changed after installation) and follow the steps on the screen. The next thing to do on the list is picking up a location to display the weather for.
The main screen of the application is as pleasant and fun as can be. Depending on the weather cast of the selected location, you will see a bleak or sunny landscape. The wind intensity is also influencing the movement of the flowers up front. So, generally, the landscape will be in tune with the weather. There is only one landscape available at the moment, but the developer is planning to release more. However, if this picture does not feast your eyes or the movement of the clouds and flowers does not impress you, you can change it with an image of your choice (JPEG, JPG, GIF or PNG) – maximum height supported is 2880.
What is interesting about this choice is that YoWindow will influence the way the image is displayed in accordance with the weather. Thus, it will appear covered in snow, rain or mist, bright and colorful to show a sunny forecast, or dark and bleak to depict cloudy weather. More than this, it will fade in at sunrise and out at sunset, depending on the time of the day.
The flexibility of YoWindow is extended by the possibility to set the number of days meteorological data should be displayed for to a maximum of 15, although, in our case, we did not see predictions beyond day ten. You can navigate from one day to another easily, either by going chronologically through the entire cast period, or by clicking directly on the day that interests you.
To return to the current date, time and weather cast, you can hit the “Live” button in the topmost left-hand part of the interface. You can also move to different hours of the day by dragging the time slider next to the date slot. The “Live” button will take you back to the current time.
As far as the set of details presented in the interface of YoWindow is concerned, there can be arranged to be shown quite a boatload of them. From temperature (metric or imperial), wind intensity, pressure and humidity to dew point, visibility, moon phase or day length, all are presented in the main application window. Of course, this sort of info has to be available on the current weather and forecast server YoWindow connects to (yr.no
and METAR stations network
News from personal weather stations can also be imported in YoWindow. Explanatory notes on how to set up your PWS to export weather in the application can be found here
. The few steps that need to be followed in order to achieve this are not difficult to understand, but a beginner may appeal to a more computer-savvy user in order to fix things up.
YoWindow can be set to be within easy reach at all times by configuring it to run with Windows. Thus, it will start with the operating system and minimize to the system tray. From there, it can display weather details of the home location by simply passing your mouse over its icon. The entire list pops right up and stays visible as long as you keep your mouse in place.
The system-resource usage is minimal in this state (about 5MB), but, if you play with it for a while, the RAM usage can increase to over 100MB. The CPU is also affected, but only when the application window is called upon. As soon as you send it to the system tray, the impact on the system resources is minimal.
YoWindow is a very cool way to get weather details on almost any location you want. It is extremely easy to handle and it relies on dependable weather services such as the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the NRK and US National Weather Service. The set of features available in the program may not be worth $9.99, but the money would encourage the developer to make improvements. And, even if you try the free version, there will be nothing to regret.The Good
The entire concept of weather station around YoWindow is amazing. The application retrieves a complete set of details from the Internet and displays it in a fun and easy-to-handle manner.
Learning the weather predictions is interactive and fun, as you get to see all the stages of the day from dawn to dusk, hour by hour, as well as move to future days. The application can be used as a screensaver and support for PWS is always a benefit of the program.The Bad
The resource usage when configuring the application or simply navigating through the interface is not something to be overlooked.
Weather details are not collected instantly from the Internet and the update lag may not be appreciated by the great majority of users. Also, a lower price for the full version would be more appealing.The Truth
If you want to learn about the weather outside, all you have to do is check the landscape in the application. It’ll give you all the hints you need in order to pick the right clothes when going out. YoWindow makes for a great weather station that presents all the data in a fun and creative way.This article is also available in Spanish
: Widget con previsiones del tiempo