Stop installing weather apps on your phone, do this instead

Everyone has a weather app on their phone, but do you need it? No. Get weather forecasts from Microsoft and Google without installing any apps on Android phones. Here’s an easy guide.

What is the problem with having a weather app on your phone? After all, there are many to choose from. There are few, if any, free ones. You must either pay a fee, or more likely a subscription these days, or suffer from endless annoying adverts. Neither is much fun.

So, what is the alternative? Did you know that you can add a weather forecast service to your Android phone that is free, has no ads, works brilliantly, and uses zero or close to zero storage?

Here is how to get something for nothing. It takes just a few steps to set up these two weather forecasts on an Android phone and they work really well. Forget ads and subscriptions, do this instead.

Use MSN Weather

Microsoft weather app on an Android phone.
Weather forecast using the MSN web app on a phone

Start Weather is the weather service at the Microsoft news site and it can be added as a web app to your phone for free. It is tiny and it only uses 1.2 MB of storage. You could free up a lot of space by switching to it instead of your regular weather app.

1: Go to MSN

MSN website in Chrome on an Android phone.
MSN website

Open Chrome browser on your Android phone and go to Press the hamburger menu button in the top left corner of the web page.

2: Select a section

MSN website showing the different sections on a menu on an Android phone.
Open the menu, tap Weather

A list of website sections is displayed in a menu on the left. Press Weather to open the weather section.

3: View the weather

Weather forecast at the MSN website on an Android phone.
Microsoft Start weather forecast

A great weather forecast is displayed by MSN and it contains all the information you need, like temperatures, precipitation, wind, and more. It automatically detects your location.

I am not suggesting that you use this as is, and there is a way to turn it into a web app that can be added as an icon to the phone’s home screen.

4: Chrome options

Microsoft Start weather on an Android phone. Open the Chrome menu.
Open the Chrome menu

We are in Chrome, so press the three dots in the top right corner of the screen to open the menu. Look down the list of options and press Install app.

5: Install the app

Install Microsoft Start Weather on Android.
Install the web app

Press Install in this popup. It is not installing a regular app from the Google Play Store. It is installing a web app, which is basically a specially designed web page or website. It is only 1.2 MB, which is almost nothing.

6: See the weather

Microsoft Start Weather icon on the phone's home screen.
Start Weather web app

An icon is added to the home screen. Look for it and drag it to wherever you want it. Press it to see a great looking weather app.

Shortcuts to Start Weather by long pressing the app icon.
Long press on an icon to see a menu

Here is a useful feature, press and hold on the icon to display a menu. Tap an option to open the weather app and show temperature, precipitation, radar or wind. You can even find animated maps with selectable layers that show the weather over the next hour or two.

Use Google weather

Google Weather on an Android phone.
Google Weather

If you have an Android phone you probably have the Google app already installed. That is all you need to add a great weather forecast app to your phone.

1: Google app features

Google app on an Android phone.
Go to Weather in the Google app on a phone

Open the Google app on your phone and look for the weather forecast. It is one of many things the app can do and you may find that it helpfully puts a weather button right on the home screen. Press it.

2: View the weather

Google Weather in the Google app on a phone.
Weather forecast in the Google app

The Google app displays a nice weather report and you can see the temperature and rainfall hour by hour throughout the day. There are options to view the forecast today, tomorrow and up to 10 days ahead.

3: Weather options

Google Weather options in the Google app on a phone.
Google Weather options

A better weather forecast is available and it does not require opening the Google app first. Press the three dots in the top right corner to show the options and press Add to home screen.

4: Add Google weather

Install Google Weather on an Android phone.
Add the Google Weather app

When this message appears, press Add. All it does is to add an icon to the home screen. No app is installed and no storage is required.

Google Weather and Microsoft Start Weather on an Android phone.
Google Weather and Microsoft Start Weather

Here you can see the Microsoft weather web app and the Google weather icon. Two excellent weather apps that are free, ad-free, and the total storage required for both is just over one megabyte.

There is more to see in these weather apps than I have shown here. Explore them by swiping up to see more information or to access interactive maps.

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