The Weather Channel (TWC) has significantly redesigned its iPad app, with new features that include much more immersive graphics, a redesigned interface and significantly improved social media features.
As part of the redesign, TWC has inked a sponsorship deal with Westin Hotels & Resorts, which will be the presenting sponsor of the new app.
"In the age of the interactive social experience, we know weather information needs to be visual, accurate and at your fingertips," Cameron Clayton, executive vice president of digital product at The Weather Channel Companies. "Part of the success of our iPad app has been our ability to listen to consumer feedback for ideas on how to improve, and we have learned a lot since it first launched with the original iPad. This was an opportunity to create a better product that's all about the consumer and gives them the opportunity to truly explore and share."
New features include HD-quality video of news and weather forecasts and improved 3D graphics -- not to be confused with 3D stereoscopic content which requires a 3D screen not available on iPads.
One example of those more immersive graphics is an interactive 3D spinning globe that allows users to spin, pinch and zoom for weather at specific locations.
The app also uses background images that change to match local conditions, with 3D animated backgrounds available on iPad 2 devices.
Social media is also even more tightly integrated into the app, with users able to share weather conditions via email, Twitter or Facebook; post a tweet or upload iWitness photos and video directly from the iPad camera.
As part of its sponsorship deal with TWC, Westin Hotels & Resorts has developed a rich media campaign called "Wipe Away the Weather" that targets consumers based on location and current weather conditions.
For example, consumers in a snowy location will see their screen fill up with snow. They can then "wipe away" that snow to reveal a warmer, tropical Westin resort destination. Here they can interact with the property, learn about other Westin Hotels & Resorts destinations, and share the experience via Facebook, Twitter and email.
The campaign, which was created with creative agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, digital agency Razorfish and rich media vendor Celtra, will run on multiple TWC platforms.