WeatherCan – Environment Canada’s weather app

WeatherCan – Environment Canada’s weather app

Environment Canada’s new app WeatherCan is a must have for Canadians. The app moved out of beta testing and is available in both the Apple Store and Google Play Store. A quick note: this is an app geared towards Canadians and not applicable outside of our borders.

I’ve been using WeatherCan for a few months now since it was in beta. It’s run on two phones – both budget smartphones – and worked flawlessly.  I’ve played around with dozens of weather apps over the years, usually tearing them out quickly because they are resource hogs or heat the phone up (on two occasions, dangerously so). I’m pleased to say this one does neither.  It’s fast response time, even on a low-end phone, was a surprise. Another positive, WeatherCan doesn’t drain the battery, even when allowing notifications and real time updates.

Best weather app for Canadians

There isn’t a lot to be said about the app – it works well, it doesn’t crash, and it’s pleasing to look at. The visuals are clean and easy to understand. If you’re familiar with the Environment Canada website, it’s pretty much the same. The big bold images, and lack of clutter makes WeatherCan one of the better weather apps out there.

Screen capture from Enviroment Canada's WeatherCan app showing current temp

Weather looks a bit chilly

Screen capture from Enviroment Canada's WeatherCan app showing hourly temp changes

Easy to understand interface

WeatherCan packs a lot of information on each screen. 

Screen capture from Enviroment Canada's WeatherCan app

Detailed single day screen

Screen capture from Enviroment Canada's WeatherCan app

A week at a glance

The only flaw** I could find is the lack of ability to turn off weather notifications for other regions/provinces. For a few weeks, I was hammered with weather alerts for Sask. On the upside, I learned to appreciate how truly bad Sask. winters can get. Maybe it’s part of Environment Canada’s cunning plan.

** update: this glitch has been fixed and no longer sends erroneous weather alerts – Dec 14/20

Look for the WeatherCan app in Google Play and the Apple Store or go directly to Environment Canada’s page   –  WeatherCan. If you download the app, drop a note in the comments and let me know how it runs on your phone.

NOTE: minor updates to grammar and information regarding the app made Dec. 14, 2020.

Photo resizing for Surface  – Fotor

Photo resizing for Surface – Fotor

Windows 8.1’s built in photo editing app allows the user to straighten, colour correct, fix red eye, add funky effects, crop, and improve much more. All in all, it’s incredibly useful. One thing it doesn’t do is resize – not crop, but resize a photo. If you are working on the road, and want to throw up a few photos onto your blog, or email them, you are stuck with struggling with high rez photos that are too large and unwieldy.

A number of apps are available that claim to resize but in testing a few of them, they confuse cropping with resizing. It’s not the same thing. If you want to resave in a lower resolution, you are stuck. Fotor is one of the best, and the developers understand the difference.

FFoto app for 8.1otor offers the usual list of touchup tools, but a the bottom of the list is the “SAVE” button. Tap that and you can resave the photo in a lower resolution and manually set the dimensions. You can downsize any photo in seconds and whip it off in your email without worrying about it bogging down.  If you are so inclined, you can use the collage and slideshow features, but the resizing option is what sets this app aside.

The price is right to – it’s free.  Fotor is available for the following platforms: iPhone, Android, Win 8 (and 8.1), Mac and other flavours of Windows.