Ever use your computer to read the weather forecast? It can’t be a very exciting experience; reading about the weather, intrinsically, is just boring. YoWindow is a weather forecast program that aims to making reading (watching) the weather forecast a bit more delightful and enjoyable, rather than the dull experience it usually is.
To put it simply, YoWindow takes weather forecasts and aesthetically pleasing weather animations and combines them together into one application. In other words, YoWindow allows you to not only learn about what the weather is/will be, but also view what the weather is/will be:
With the free version of YoWindow you are allowed to view the forecast for three days (today and the three next days) and of up to two cities, while the paid version ($9.99) allows you to view the forecast for six to nine days and of as many cities as you want. Take note that you aren’t actually viewing the forecast of multiple days or multiple cities at once, but rather you have the option to switch between the weather forecast for different days and cities.
Using YoWindow is very easy. When you first run the program you need to set the cities who’s weather forecasts you want to view:
YoWindow supports 21,000 cities from all around the world, so there are good chances that the city you live in is supported. The city that you set first is considered your “home” city, while the cities you add afterward are just other cities (keep in mind in the free version you can only have a total of two cities saved, but you can keep changing what those two cities are). To add another city you simply need to click on the “+” button located next to the city name at the right of the program window:
YoWindow allows you to easily toggle between viewing the weather for a specific city, day, or even time of the day:
As the weather changes, the background animations change (i.e. if it is sunny the graphics will show the sun, if it is raining, the animations will show rain, etc.). By default all animations are shown on a village landscape, but you are allowed to import your own image and change which landscape the background animations are displayed on (“Landscape” -> “Landscape pictures” -> “Add”; PNG, JPG/JPEG, and GIF are supported).
You can view YoWindow in windows mode, as shown in the above screen, in full screen mode (“View” -> “Fullscreen”) or even make it your screensaver (“Program” -> “Set YoWindow As ScreenSaver”). Additionally if you go to options (“Program” -> “Options”) you can customize settings such as the components displayed in YoWindow (i.e. remove the time bar, cities list, etc.), which number system to use (US, metric, or “custom”), which cities are saved as locations in YoWindow, and how YoWindow appears as a screensaver. One feature I find lacking and wish to be added in the future is the ability to set YoWindow as the desktop wallpaper.
Take note that if you have an old or “weak” computer you may want to pass on YoWindow: CPU usage can varies from 0-30% (depending on the type of weather being displayed, i.e. rain uses up ~20% CPU while sunshine uses 0%) and RAM usage varies from 50-80 MB (again depending on the type of weather being displayed). The good thing about YoWindow, though, is if the window is not in focus (i.e. the program window is open but you are viewing something else) CPU usage drops down to 0% because the animations ceases; further if you minimize YoWindow to the system tray (by default clicking X on the program window does not close the program but rather minimizes it to the system try) not only does CPU usage drop down to 0% but RAM usage drops to about 5 MB also.
In the end, YoWindow does not add value to your weather forecast viewing experience by providing extra information other programs don’t provide; rather it adds value to your experience by pleasing your senses of sight – who needs just boring numbers and lame cloud animations when you can have YoWindow! You can grab YoWindow from the links below:
Version reviewed: v2.0 Build 298
Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/Win7
Note: To use the free version, just download and install the program. If you purchase the Unlimited version ($9.99) you can register the program to unlock the extra features.