Every smartphone, you buy comes with an in-build weather forecasting app. However, there is a plethora of apps available on the app stores that are way more precise and come with a host of features, besides accurately forecasting the weather all around the world.
A lot of weather apps today display climate data and inform the users about any nature change on the planet. Of course, most of the users only check the weather report and do not pay much heed to other functions, but these added features are definitely a plus.
Types of Weather Apps
There are three kinds of weather apps available today. Let’s have a look at them.
1. Forecast: Indubitably, this is the most popular and widely used type of weather application. Using location services, forecasts provide weekly and daily weather report. Some of the apps offer numerous added widgets, including hourly forecasts as well. Generally, the basic features are free, but for some additional ones, you will have to pay.
2. Climate apps: Climate apps come with a hub of functions such as displaying the climate changes, current earth’s climate map around the globe etc. Apart from this, they show air temperature, sea level, percentage of CO2 in the air, gravity field, etc. some of the advanced apps also come with a feature of hurricane tracking.
3. “Image of changes”: This type of app is much less popular in comparison to the above mentioned two, however it is quite fascinating. It displays the overall climate change that has taken place over the years or a specific period of time. It is mostly used for learning purposes.
Weather App Development
The most important step involved in developing a weather app is selecting the interface and functionality. Here is a quick rundown of some essential tips and tricks that will help you in choosing the best design and features for your app.
Weather forecast: This is the primary function of the app and should be able to show the prevailing weather conditions, weekly, daily, hourly or even minute-to-minute. Try to integrate the “real feel” temperature function to make your app even more interactive.
UV weather map: UV weather map displays a solar UV index showing the sun’s ultraviolet radiation level on the world map. This feature is not very commonly used, but it can be a useful addition to the app especially in the summers.
Wind Information: This feature is specially integrated for use by windsurfers, paragliders and sailors, as having the accurate wind information is a prerequisite for such people.
Humidity + Visibility: This feature helps in knowing the accurate humidity and visibility levels before going out or driving down to any place.
Climate Map: This feature is extremely significant for educational or scientific purposes. It offers complete climate data which include air temperature, carbon dioxide level, sea level, humidity and more.
Sunrise and Sunset time: Along with displaying the length of the day, it charts the accurate sunrise and sunset time as well.
Rain possibility: This is a basic and very significant feature that displays the possibility of rain in percentage along with other indicators such as “cloudy”, “partly cloudy”, etc.
Earth time lapse: This is the most important feature of the “Image of changes” app that displays the climatic changes taking place all over the earth.
Furthermore, your app should be easy to operate and user friendly. The app icon should preferably be in blue color as it is the color that easily relates to the basic theme of sun, rain, clouds and weather.
How to Gather Weather Forecasting Data?
There are 6 ways of gathering forecast information for your mobile app. Let’s have a look.
Weather conditions data: In countries like India, where we do not have weather cameras or satellites, this method works perfectly for gathering the most reliable weather information. The basic idea of it is to assemble the statistical information of last 2-3 decades and thus, based on that it forecasts the weather
Satellites: The best and most precise weather prognoses can be made by using satellites or meteo stations data.
Camera: Camera is another way that helps in making the forecast even more accurate. Together the three- radars, satellite and camera seek to proffer the most correct results.
Doppler radar: Doppler radar makes use of short radio waves known as pulses that have dual-polarization and high transmission. They have the capacity to foretell rain, snow or even ice pellets with optimal accuracy.
Smartphone functionality: This feature allows weather forecasting using the smartphone sensors such as gyroscopes, barometer, battery temperature, etc. However, the results in this case are not very accurate.
National weather service data: Mostly all weather apps in US make use of the NWS data that collects all information from the meteo station and the satellites of the country. However, this feature does not guarantee accurate results.
Some of the Best Weather Forecast API Providers
Unless you are endowed with magical powers of predicting the weather yourself, you will need an API provider to gather the weather data. Here is a quick rundown of a few of the best and tested weather provider’s APIs that extend close to accurate forecasts.
Some Essential Weather App Design Ideas
Designing a weather app may seem to be rather simple at the first glance, with forecasting the weather being the only function, but, there are a plethora of ways to deliver the aforementioned information. So, here are a few tips that must be considered while designing the app.
Go for a clean minimalistic look
Try to impart a distinctive character to your app
Incorporate engaging custom elements and transitions
Add a feature of extending appropriate dressing advice to the app users
— OctalInfoSolutionUK (@octaluk) June 29, 2017
Even though the weather app development may seem to be an easy task, it calls for a lot of time, dedication and the right skills. Not only they must be improvised with just a few features and uncomplicated design, but instead location and weather forecast services must be inputted to in order to pave impressive results. So, it is important that you hire a team of competent iPhone or android developers that assist you in building the perfect weather app that matches your expectations.