Degrees 4.0 for OS X

Update: Degrees is no longer available.

Degrees is a free menu bar application for Mac OS X that displays the current weather conditions & temperatures for either your current location[1] or another location set in the application’s preferences.

Degrees in action – it's the one with the snowflake with -5°C next to it.
Degrees in action – it’s the one with the snowflake with -5°C next to it.

Degrees is an excellent application, especially for free. Utilizing crisp iconography that has been optimized for retina displays as well as OS X Yosemite’s new dark mode display, Degrees provides the current weather at a glance whenever you’re working at your computer. With a quick click on the icon, a well-designed dropdown pops open and displays the current conditions with a text description and more concise iconography which, as far as I can tell, seems to be a slightly modified version of Erik Flowers’ excellent Weather Icons. Additionally Degrees also displays the current wind and humidity.

Through an in-app purchase of $2, you can also unlock the ability to have a 4-day forecast displayed in the dropdown menu as well.

The two states for the dropdown in Degrees – on the left is the default display, on the right is the preferences.
The two states for the dropdown in Degrees – on the left is the default display, on the right is the preferences.

Preferences are fairly sparse, but appropriate. You can choose your location, whether to use metric (°C, wind in km/h) or imperial (°F, wind in mi/h), whether to display weather conditions or the temperature unit in the menu bar, and whether to start Degrees when you log in to your computer.

I’ve been using Degrees for over a year now, and I’ve found that it performs admirably. It’s always quick to update, has essentially no impact on battery life, and displays information in a clear, concise way.

There are a few things I think could be improved, though. First is the humidity display. While the general public is used to seeing relative humidity, most people interested in the weather know that it’s a relatively useless number. I’d love to see the option to display the dewpoint temperature instead. I have not paid to unlock the forecasts because I cannot find any documentation that states where they are supplied from. While current conditions are reliable from nearly any provider (since they’re generally sourced from WMO-member organizations), forecasts are a different matter. Before I pay to have them, I’d like to know whether they’re from a reliable provider for my area or not. Lastly, I’d prefer it if the application had some mechanism to convey weather alerts for the selected location. I understand that would dramatically increase the complexity of the application, but it would be very useful as a user.

Overall, I recommend Degrees. While it would be great if it offered a little more information, there are relatively understandable limitations in obtaining some of that data, especially for a free app. If you’re looking for a light-weight menu-bar app that tells you what it’s like outside[2] then you can’t find much better than this.

Degrees 4.0 is available on the Mac App Store.


  1. Degrees will utilize OS X’s location services to detect your current location.  ↩
  2. I know you can look out the window, but I can’t quite eyeball the temperature yet.  ↩
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