We’ve covered dozens of ways to stay up to date with the latest METARs over the years, with options ranging from favorite airports in your aviation EFB app to dedicated weather apps and even right on your wrist with aviation weather apps for Apple Watch.
The latest option takes advantage of the improved iOS 14 widgets, which allow you to display key data from your apps on the home screen of your iPad or iPhone. The first aviation app we’ve comes across that takes advantage of this new iOS 14 feature is called METAR Widgets, an app that is dedicated solely to aviation METARs.
You’ll find the app is very basic after launching—it and allows you to look up the latest METAR by airport code, but you likely won’t spend much time in the conventional app view.
Its secret weapon is the ability to display a smaller METAR panel right on your iPad’s or iPhone’s home screen. To use this new feature, first make sure you have iOS 14 installed and hold your iPad in the (wide) landscape orientation. To customize the widgets, tap and hold anywhere on your home screen until the apps start to wiggle (edit mode), and tap the + button at the top left of the screen.
You’ll then see a new Widgets control panel which was added in iOS 14, allowing you to choose from both a collection of new Widgets from Apple and those offered by any of your 3rd-party apps. Select METAR from the list, and you’ll be presented with a preview of what the new app’s widget will look like:
Widgets designed specifically for iOS 14 are now customizable, providing you the option to change both the size of the widget and data shown, based on capabilities enabled by the app developer. METAR Widget only uses the small square size for now, but offers multiple formatting options: the text-based version shown above, and a graphical version with various weather factors displayed. Swipe to switch between the options, and then tap Add Widget:
The next part gets a little confusing, because Widgets are treated differently on iPad vs. iPhone. On iPad, widgets can be displayed on the left side of the screen when in landscape orientation, but require you to swipe from left to right when in portrait orientation to view them in what Apple calls the “Today View”:
The iPhone provides additional functionality and allows you to add widgets right in in line with the app icons on the home screen, providing lots of customization options. You can also view them in the traditional location, by swiping left to right to access the Today View:
METAR Widgets is available for $1.99 in the app store.