Dashboard weather widget review

October 5, 2011 in Mac OS X

Your Mac comes with a weather widget already installed on the Dashboard, but there are many more to choose in the “Information” category on Apple’s Dashboard Widgets page. Each has some neat features but also some drawbacks. Watch this video for a quick review of five popular weather widgets.

Video too small? Watch full screen by clicking the YouTube Full Screen button button here

You can get more information and download these widgets by clicking on these links:
The Weather Channel widget
WeatherBug Local Weather widget
Weather Underground Dashboard Weather widget
Radar in Motion widget

[To learn how to download and install Dashboard widgets, check out “What is the Dashboard and what are its widgets?”]

Like most Dashboard widgets, these weather widgets show the value of acting like an explorer and clicking on the various parts of the widget to see what happens. Sometimes the effect is expected, like clicking on “Forecast” or “Radar” tabs, or the little Widget i button button to display the settings page(s). But other times, it may not be obvious that clicking on part of a widget will do anything. Learn by exploring! Don’t worry, you won’t break anything.

It’s also sometimes unclear whether clicking on a word or button will change or open sections of the widgets, or open a web page in your default web browser. Again, you’ll never know until you try.

To help you choose the best weather widget(s) for you, here’s a summary of some of their features.

Widget Data Source Location Selection Forecast Days Radar Map Notes
Weather (built-in) Yahoo (Weather Channel) City or Zip Code 6 No  
The Weather Channel Weather Channel City or Zip Code 2 Large, still Show forecast, radar map, or both
WeatherBug Local Weather Weather Bug’s networks of school and personal weather stations, plus National Weather Service Often many within a zip code 3 Medium, still Show forecast or radar map, but not both
Weather Underground Network of personal weather stations, plus airports Often many within a zip code 6 Small, animated Show forecast, radar map, or both
Radar in Motion Weather Channel Continents, countries, down to 300 mile maps 0 Large, animated Can cycle through numerous maps

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