Climatology is a new app from Microsoft that is designed to provide information about the climate in different countries for each month of the year.
What´s the weather like there?
Climatology measures the expected daily temperature high, days of rain, clear sky and humidity in countries across the world for each month of the year. There is a map, which shows a visual representation of the data and a small scale below which shows the exact figure. You can share your findings via email or social media or save them in note-taking applications, such as OneNote.
The app´s data for countries in certain areas is poor and coverage in Africa is particularly patchy. But, as Microsoft points out in the app description, it does cover Kazakhstan. It also doesn´t provide any real-time information or even any data about what the weather has been like this year; it´s all about predictions. The data comes from Microsoft´s FetchClimate project, which is a free cloud-based climate information retrieval service.
You can also only search by country, not by city and it lacks any kind of GPS or location tracking functionality. And, unusually for a US company, the temperature measurement is only in Celsius and not Fahrenheit.
Slow and sluggish
This app is simple to use as you only have to scroll between the four different options to change the measurement displayed or pinch the screen to zoom in to your location.
The zoom functionality is clunky and slow to respond. In fact, the whole app seems a bit sluggish. It only works on Android 4.4 or higher, although Microsoft says it is working on expanding coverage as it adds functionality.
Climatology can be quite unresponsive when you are moving around the map and the graphics are very basic.
Room for a lot of improvement
While Climatology may provide some useful information, it´s nothing particularly groundbreaking and its usuability is poor - it´s too slow and clunky. At the moment, doing a quick Google search would probably be quicker and easier. Microsoft is keen to stress that the app is only in an experimental stage and that it will be making improvements and adding functionality in the future. Based on the app in its current state, the company has a lot of work to do.