App watch: Laggy Yahoo Weather, amazing Facebook Messenger
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Yahoo Weather for iPad
Earlier this year, Yahoo launched its Weather app for iPhones. The app is a visual treat and showed how weather information can be displayed in an eye-pleasing format. This month, Yahoo launched the same app optimised for iPads. Even though the app makes the most of the iPad's large display, its performance leaves a lot to be desired. When scrolling up or down, there is a noticeable lag. The smooth transitions between various weather data, such as temperature, forecasts, wind, etc that are seen on the iPhone version, are missing in the iPad variant. Transitions are choppy and make for a terrible user experience. The app was tested on an iPad Air, which is the best iPad in the market. I checked the App Store to make sure that I wasn't the only one facing the issue and found three reviews complaining of choppy animations. This is very disappointing, considering that the iPhone version of the same app won Apple's design award earlier this year. Apple had said, "Yahoo! Weather has great layout and typography, compelling animations, fast image processing, and clear iconography. This attention to detail means that in a saturated category, an app can rise above the crowd."
The iPad variant has all the makings of an excellent weather app. Rain forecast information has a great animation that shows raindrops blending with rain icons. Great effects can be seen for wind and sunrise, sunset timings. Yahoo has paid attention to all details but the most crucial one – transitions. Let's hope that this is fixed in future iterations.
Over the past couple of months, Facebook has revamped and polished its Messenger app. Messenger makes it easy to message Facebook users, whether who are not your friends if you have their telephone number. Recent updates to Messenger have given it an iOS 7 design and have integrated it tightly with the Facebook app. If you have both apps installed, everytime you open chats on the Facebook app, it redirects you quickly to the Messenger app. From Messenger, two taps can take you to a user's Facebook profile. The switch feels intuitive. When you are in a conversation, tap their profile picture to access their timeline or call them.