22
Oct
Stormfly-Thumb

Spiderfly Studios has a knack for developing apps that extend Android's functionality in the least obtrusive way possible. Their most popular app thus far, Glowfly, offers holo-friendly SMS popup notifications with support for images and sending quick replies. Their latest offering, Stormfly, offers HD wallpapers that change as the weather does. It's not an original concept by any means, but the studio has managed to throw together an app that does this in the most integrated way possible, and they do so without putting much of a strain on bandwidth.

How It Works

All of Stormfly's functionality is visible and tweakable from a single Settings page. There are no deeper menus to dive into, but that aside, what's there offers a fair degree of control.

Stormfly1 Stormfly2

Each item on the screen shoots up a popup menu that lets you input information directly. The first and most important of which, naturally, is the location setting at the top. Three guesses what this field will ask you for. You're free to type in your location or, if you have precisely no idea where on Earth you are, you can tap the GPS symbol and have it bring that information down for you.

Stormfly3 Stormfly4 Stormfly5

The current temperature will appear in the notification bar once the app has pulled down local data. Unchecking the Persistent Notification option removes this number, which I'm sure many of you will want to do immediately. It's okay, I'm one of you.

By default, the app won't use GPS to hone in on your location. This is just one of many signs that Stormfly wants to use as little juice as necessary. But if you're someone who travels often, you're probably not going to want to be burdened with manually inputting your location every time you arrive someplace new. Having a wallpaper that displays the weather back home isn't much use unless you merely want another reason to feel homesick.

Stormfly6 Stormfly7 Stormfly8

Now I hear you, those images above look pretty static. I can assure you, they look just as static on my home screen. This isn't a live wallpaper. If you want that, you will have to look elsewhere. What's here is a crisp high resolution image that stretches nicely across multiple home screens and holds up even to the 1080p scrutiny of the HTC One.

Stormfly9 Stormfly10 Stormfly11

To keep the size of the app down, Stormfly only pulls down wallpapers when needed, but to avoid wasting bandwidth, it caches up to ten of them on your device. Given that in most areas of the world, the weather doesn't rapidly cycle through all that many temperaments in a single week, this should be fine.

Stormfly12 Stormfly13

In addition to changing weather, Stormfly also provides sunrise, sunset, and night time images, so glancing at your phone should be nearly as useful as looking out of a window. Unfortunately, given the somewhat drab color palette, even for bright sunny days, it won't be nearly as refreshing.

Should You Buy It?

Stormfly costs 99 cents to use. There is no free version to demo, nor are there any extensive features to unlock. What you see is what you get. This app isn't notable because it's more functional than the competition, it's worth checking out because it's less distracting. This won't kill your battery, it will save you from having to regularly change up your current static wallpaper, and 100% of the proceeds go to a cancer patient in need. It's nothing exciting, but it gets the job done.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. He now lives in the City of Bridges, adjusting to the presence of actual snow. His phone of choice is the HTC One.

  • Kaushal

    I wished it provided just an overlay of the weather condition on the existing wallpaper and not change the wallpaper completely.

    • Sniper435

      I'd like to see that too

      • smeddy

        Check out Weather Screen - I'm in love.

    • smeddy

      Check out Weather Screen - I'm in love

  • Ádám Zovits

    The app description does not mention charity, it only says 100% of proceeds will go directly to a cancer patient in need. As far as I know, this could be the developer her/himself, a family member or a friend, or nonetheless a charity organisation. Note that this distinction is not made to suggest that it is not a worthy cause (indeed it is), just different from the common view of charity where a competent and goal-oriented non-profit organisation gets the funds.

    However, it might just be that my understanding of "charity" is flawed, in which case I'll happily accept any correction.

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      You're right, that is broad phrasing. My mind immediately jumped to charity, but that may not be the case, so I've changed the sentence to use the same wording as the app description.

    • Qliphah

      I certainly hope the money does go to 1 patient in particular. The "proceeds" that most charities receive barely cover their operating costs. So I would much rather give this guy a dollar than have him wait weeks or months to receive a check for a fraction of that.

  • Josh Rahn

    It looks nice, but not $2 nice. Maybe when it goes on sale.

    • PhoenixPath

      99 cents on Google Play.

      • Josh Rahn

        I missed that, Thanks for pointing that out. 1.99 on app brain .99 on play store.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          I'm currently working with Playboard.me exploring the option to switching to their widgets, which seem to be a lot more accurate. For example, http://playboard.me/android/apps/com.spiderfly.stormfly lists the price correctly.

  • Rohan Shankar

    The icon looks quite similar to the Falcon Pro one

    • Spasillium

      Dammit. Can't unsee.

  • billykent1972

    or users could just change their lock screen to weather in the personalize settings, just saying...it's free and you don't have to unlock your phone to see current weather.

  • Kostas

    Why does it cost twice as much on appbrain? I don't use it but I 'm just wondering...

  • PhoenixPath

    The app itself needs to be able to set the wallpaper.

    On my HTC One, stock, I had to set it manually to the live wallpaper after setting the app up.

    On my Nexus 10 running AOKP, I cannot even find the option to add the live wallpaper. (Missing LWP picker in this nightly??)

  • MarkMatt

    First time I won't be downloading an app because of a developer. That guy is extremely rude and condescending.

    • Matthew Fry

      I sent several bug reports regarding GlowFly and they never really got resolved. I'm more worried that it will just go unmaintained.

      • Angel Zapata

        I have Glowfly, don't have a problem with it and when I do I email or msg them on their social networks and they help. Have you tried that?

        • Matthew Fry

          I emailed them, they were nice and said they'd look into the issues but they were never resolved. I emailed for an update and received no response.

    • Angel Zapata

      Maybe instead of posting ugly comments on the rating section of the app in the play store, you should email, or msg them on their social network. I have 2 of their apps and they have been nothing but helpful and nice.

  • D Canfield

    The author speaks as though there are a number of these types of apps floating around. The only other one I've ever encountered is included in Beautiful Widgets. Are the other good ones out there?