A dedicated Google Weather shortcut is now rolling out to Pixel smartphones. This shortcut behaves like an app and saves you the trouble of manually creating a Google Weather shortcut. It should appear in your Pixel phone’s app drawer within the next few weeks.
The lack of an official Google Weather app is a constant source of frustration for Android users. Of course, Google has a web-based Weather service, but it doesn’t offer the service in a dedicated app. Google Weather can only be accessed through Pixel-exclusive widgets and the Google Search app.
Manually adding a Google Weather shortcut to the Android home screen is an awkward process. That’s why the official Google Weather shortcut is such a breakthrough. You don’t need to look up any instructions, and you don’t need to be familiar with Google’s weather service.
And although this isn’t a real app, it behaves like one. It’s listed in your app drawer, it isn’t deleted when you remove it from your home screen, and its icon isn’t obstructed by an ugly web app badge. To put things in perspective, Google Assistant and some other Google “apps” are also shortcuts—this isn’t a cheap or lazy solution; it’s just the solution that Google chose.
Of course, Google Weather has received several improvements this year. It still doesn’t have a radar view, but it’s gained real-time weather data, precipitation warnings, detailed humidity and wind speed metrics, and more. These improvements originally rolled out to Pixel devices and are slowly making their way to non-Pixel smartphones.
Personally, I’m a big fan of Google Weather’s design, and I’d like to see the service prominently featured on every Android smartphone. But this kind of aggressive rollout may never happen. Brands like Samsung already have bespoke weather apps, and forcing a Google-made weather service into the mix could confuse customers.
Oddly, Google isn’t offering its Weather shortcut on the Play Store. It’s simply adding the shortcut to Pixel smartphones. If you own a Pixel phone, you may find the Weather shortcut in your app drawer. Note that you can also open Google Weather from the “At a Glance” and “Weather” widgets on your Pixel device.