Nexus One News & Weather app/widget

So I’ve been using my N1 for quite a while now and one of the pre-installed apps I just love is the News & Weather

Weather & News Widgets
The available Weather & News Widgets

app/widget. It’s not that it unique in what it does, I just find myself using it more and more. The functions are straight forward:

  • Widget presenting either current weather and headlines from Google news or just one of the two
  • Selecting the weather gives you some additional info and forecast for the coming 7 days
  • Selecting a headline gives you a tabbed list with categories with headlines

Nothing is perfect so when the product manager showed up on the Help Forum asking for feedback for a new iteration…I jumped right in. Good can always get better right? Trying to think outside, inside, around and over a defined box is always a fun challenge so here goes…

For the weather app/widget:
  • Option to set background colour, and transparency from 100%-0%
  • Option to set both Home location and Current location
  • Added view in the app to show hourly forecast for the day/24h/48h instead of day by day forecast
  • Night icons :)
  • When opening the app a small animation would be cute, raindrops splashing, clouds moving etc. (possible with an option to disable, relevant for low tier devices)
  • Different sizes available for the widget
For the News app/widget
  • Option to set locale (right now I depend on the “More locale” app to be able to get Swedish news, not everyone will figure this out). Now and then I also might be interested in reading us, uk or whatever news.
  • Option to set background colout and transparency from 0-100%
  • Ability to star news in the list, which should keep them on the top, and not fall of the list (hate trying to find that article I started reading only to find out that it’s not listed any more)
  • Articles I have already opened should not be displayed in the widget, unless I starred it (see above), option to dis/enable this feature
  • Different sizes available for the widget
News app displaying Headlines
News app displaying the current Sport headlines

I’m especially proud of remembering two things I have been thinking about. First the locale issue. So far you can only set your Settings->Locale (to simplify it, your location) to the countries where the Nexus have been launched. That means no-no for Sweden. The news app/widget read this info to determine which news to present to me and in what language. Now that’s a limitation I don’t like. Using the app “More Locale” from the market you can work around this but most users won’t figure that out. I would also like to be able to read other news than the localized now and then so an option in the settings would be the easiest way to go. More Locale also gives me metric units in Google Maps so if this is bugging you that’s a way to fix it. Just search for More Locale in the Market and then select your country. If it’s not available just choose “Menu”->”Add Custom” and fill it in like in the picture below.

Second great idea, staring articles. Fits right into “all” other Google services from Search to GMail and would be like a perfect bookmark for me until I finished reading/telling my friends about it or such. Together with the idea about read articles not showing up in the widget feed it’s a killer feature :)

What ideas do you have, what would make it better for you? Take your chance to contribute to Android :)

More Locale configuration
Just fill in the fields with your country code and enjoy local news

Original thread in the support forum can be found here.