Mobile Future

New Apps Turn Smartphone Users into Meteorologists

Daily morning routines usually include checking your smartphone for the day’s weather forecast.  Do you need an umbrella?  Will it be too warm for a sweater?  A study published by the Online Publishing Association showed that nearly 47% of smartphone users regularly use their phone to check the weather.  Until recently, weather forecasting apps have generally only focused on streamlining the delivery of the forecasts themselves, instead of creating more accurate weather predictions.  However, new, innovative products are changing that.

For example, according to The Verge, a recently developed app called Dark Sky utilizes smartphones’ built-in sensors to gather real-time, location specific weather data that helps give smartphone users more accurate, personalized weather forecasts.   Another app, PressureNet, uses sensors built into specific Android phones to measure the barometric pressure at the app user’s location.  Android owners can also download WeatherSignal, an app that collects weather data from phone sensors in the same way Dark Sky does.  One of the most fascinating aspects of these apps is that the data collected can be crowdsourced by meteorologists to create stronger weather predictions.  As we’ve seen recently, accurate weather forecasts are important to the safety and economic success of communities across the globe.  Apps like Dark Sky are helping to make the world a safer, more predictable place.