AccuWeather for iPad

What a beautiful app. But will it be a beautiful day? This app can tell you. It’s AccuWeather for the iPad. It’s my weather app of choice for iPad (with RAD Now! still taking the cake on Windows Phone 7).

What I really love about is the hour-by-hour break down that lets you swipe and see the time of day, and the expected conditions for that hour. Do you need to wear a jacket on your way to work? Need an umbrella at lunch time? Sun glasses for the drive home? (If you said “yes” to all three, you must be living off of the Great Lakes). The multi-day forecast works in the same fashion, and it’s quite nice to get a glimpse ahead. And if you’ve never heard of “AccuWeather” then you haven’t been paying attention, because my local news networks growing up were members of the “AccuWeather” nationwide network of Doppler radars. Their weather predictions are just as accurate as anybody else’s.

If you want something that’s fast and easy to read, look no further than AccuWeather for iPad.

Yahoo Fantasy Sports (Football) for Windows Phone 7? Yes!

Football season is upon us. Fantasy Football players are an “on the go” group, these days, and as such need their fantasy stats to go with them. One of the leading places Fantasy Football players meet up is with Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football. While the iOS and Android ecosystems have easy to use apps direct from Yahoo!, Windows Phone 7 has no such luck. However, the sports loving geek(s) that make up app developer Bushwood Studios has come to our rescue with Fantasy Ferret – a Yahoo! Fantasy sports app for Windows Phone 7. It covers more than just football, and seems as fully featured as Yahoo’s official apps!

When you open the app, you see your current week’s matchup (or matchups, if you’re in multiple league or playing multiple sports), and both teams’ scores. Swipe to the right to see the whole league. Press the Menu icon to the far left to open the “leagues” Window, select the league you want to make changes in, then tap your team name. From there you can make roster changes, add or drop players, and even read the latest news about your player, to decide whether or not you should start them next week!

Not that I want this app, anymore. After my sound 129.5-to-91 butt-kicking against the London SillyNannies I think I’m already about to throw in the towel on my fantasy season!

Siri's Android & Windows Phone 7 alternatives…

Remember when Siri was a big deal? Siri got a big ad campaign, but I haven’t met too many people who actively use it. It has been promised in the iOS6 iPad (3rd gen) update, but I’m not looking forward to it any more than the addition of any other feature. But if you’re the kind of person who was jealous of the iPhone owners with Siri, then I encourage you to check out these applications for your handheld of choice:

Windows Phone 7: Check out Ask Ziggy on the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Android: Enjoy iris. on the Android.

In both cases, the applications pull from various sources on the internet to find the answers to questions you’re asking. I have found both of them to have excellent speech recognition engines, and be very fast. I have to give bonus points to iris. for having partnerships in place that allow them to pull data from services like ChaCha and Wolfram|Alpha. But Ask Ziggy is no slouch – it includes great in-line graphical forecasts when asking for the weather, and easy to read and time-stamped information when providing stock quotes.

Although neither integrates as flawlessly into the OS as Siri (and how could they?), and you may not be able to check your calendar on the fly, these are still two excellent apps that provide users of other platforms excellent alternatives to living a life without a voice activated digital assistant (boy we’ve come a long way from the PalmOne m505.