Buienradar is a popular service in the Netherlands for accurate weather forcasts and -almost realtime- weather developments. Buienradar was one of the first applications in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile as announced during the local Windows Phone launch event on October 6th.
In this article I hope to provide an in depth application overview, and cover most features and functionality within the application.
Installation of Buienradar via Windows Marketplace for Mobile
Buienradar is one of the launching partners present at the Windows Phones launch and is one of the first applications in the localized Dutch Windows Marketplace for Mobile. You simply launch the Windows Marketplace for Mobile via the renewed Start Menu, select most popular, and tap on Buienradar in the list with applications.
A new screen in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile is opened with a description of the application, some screenshots and if applicable reviews as well. However you just have to tap the green “install-button” to start the installation process. When this process is finished go open the start menu and select the Buienradar icon from the list to launch the application.
With the recent announcement that Windows Marketplace for Mobile is also accessible from the Windows PC, you could also try this way of installing Buienradar on your Windows Phone.
Buienradar for Windows Mobile – the application reviewed
The left screenshot above shows the main screen of the Buienradar application, which shows the map of the Netherlands. As you can see in the left upper corner you see the time and in the right corner the zoom-level.
The biggest part of the screen area is used for the map and the location of the rain clouds. You can see them as the blue spots above the Netherlands, and based on the rainclouds intesity the will get a different color. Purple clouds means high intesity and heavy rain.
Just below the map you can see a grey toolbar with 5 buttons, of which each represents a different view or -mode in the Buienradar application for Windows Phones. You can see in the left screenshot above the rain cloud information for the Netherlands, while the first button in the toolbar is selected.
If you select the second button in the toolbar you see again the rain cloud information, however now not only for the Netherlands but for complete Western Europe. This overview is shown in the right screenshot above.
The left screenshot above shows the overview, when the third button is selected. You see the sattelite view of the current weather situation of the Netherlands. Despite the fact that there aren’t many rain clouds it is harder to recognize them in the sattelite view. The right screenshot above shows the sattelite view for complete Western Europe (same as the rain cloud overviews earlier in this article).
If you select the fith button in the toolbar, you will get the written weather forecast. In the left screenshot above this is a daily weather forcast, while in the right screenshot you can see a weatherforecast that covers the whole week. With help of the left softkey you can easily switch between those different weather forecasts.
Some interesting general functionality
In all the screenshots above (rain cloud views, sattelite views and written weather forecasts) you see the “menu” label on the right softkey. When you open the menu you can select either “The Netherlands” or “Belgium” as the standard center of the map in the rain cloud- and sattelite views of the Buienradar application.
Furthermore you can open the about screen from this menu, which is shown in the right screenshot above. You can see that the Buienradar application is freeware, but surprisingl I couldn’t find a build- or version number. Furthermore there is the option to exit the application.
The final cool design aspect of Buienradar that I would like to address it the possibility to switch between a static overview or an animation overview in both the rain cloud- and sattelite views. In the following screenshot below you can see the animation of the rain cloud developments in time.
Concluding thoughts and wrap-up
Especially in the Netherlands Buienradar is the most popular website to check out the latest and almost instant real time information about rain clouds, their location, their movements and intensity. In addition you can find local temperatures and some interesting predictions as well.
In fact you can get the same information on the Buienradar website, that a professional educated weather forecaster provides to the public. Therefore it is even more interesting that Buienradar has become available on Windows Phones since the initial localized launch of the Dutch Windows Marketplace for Mobile.
Do you live in the Netherlands or Belgium and own a Windows Phone, visit the Windows Marketplace for Mobile and try your free copy !