I’ve been sitting in various spots around campus for the past day in an attempt to write this article. I wanted to find an efficient and concise way to introduce the application before breaking it down a bit. I’ve deleted well over a couple hundred words by now and I still couldn’t think of a proper way to introduce this app. Until now.
Haze by Robocat is the application I’m referring to and it was released just yesterday in the App Store. To introduce this app in one sentence; Haze is what the smoothed out love-child of Clear and Rise would look like if it grew up to be a meteorologist.
What is it
Haze is a weather application built around three main components: temperature, sun, and precipitation. The interface is almost entirely gestural and gives a very fluid feel to an app genre which is usually defined by a rigid interface (with one exception coming to mind).
The components mentioned above are presented in three different screen modules, each of them having a white circle with the prime information, as well as having their accompanying color scheme.
To switch between the modules, there are two methods. The first is a simple swipe from side-to-side. In doing this it will transition you from the three categories in a smooth animation. The second is an extremely thoughtful approach, which is using the accelerometer to switch between the categories when you tilt your device. This feature can be enabled in the menu and allows for a very nice way to transition even if you can’t efficiently swipe between the screens.
When looking up the weather, there are plenty of times when you want more information than just the technical temperature or just the chance of precipitation. For this, Robocat implements an extremely unique way to display the more detailed info. Tap on the circle within each module and a collection of smaller circles will slide out from the main one. It’s an animation I am yet to see this utilized in such a manner and one which efficiently displays a greater deal of data for the user to take in without having to stare at unappealing charts.
While using the app, you will also notice within each module, there’s a subtle animation going on in the background collaborating with the circle moving up and down. This is used to display the upcoming conditions; if it’s going to be colder the next day, the animation will move downward and the circle will be lower; if the animation is moving upward and the circle is up higher, it will be warmer. It’s a hard visual to get across with words in its implementation.
Beyond the subtle animation, Haze includes a five-day forecast above each module for a further view of upcoming conditions. A simple swipe down anywhere on the screen will do the trick. This is yet another neat way to keep the more detailed info hidden unless beckoned upon by the user.
A longer swipe down on the screen will bring up the menu for Haze, which is about as simple as a menu can get. Very large icons and precise animations make for a very friendly experience where a lot of other apps lack the detail and usability.
To sum it up, Haze is an absolutely beautiful, gesture-based weather application. I’ve done my best to portray it in words and photographs, but you won’t truly understand just how well it’s done until you play around with it yourself. Head over to the App Store and me sure to grab yourself a copy. It may be the only weather app you use again.
Once downloaded and given it a try, I’d love to hear feedback. I’m obviously quite fond of it, so I would like to hear other opinions, especially if they’re a bit more critical.