Mobile Devices

June 11, 2013

BBC Launches New Weather Mobile App for iOS and Android Smartphones

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has revealed its new weather applications, now available for both iOS (requires iOS 5.0 or later) and Android (requires 2.2 and up) smartphones.

These free apps are designed to give the British public detailed and up-to-date information on weather conditions and at-a-glance forecasts for locations throughout the U.K.

According to the BBC media center, “The [newly launched] app follows a huge increase in users accessing BBC Weather’s services from mobile devices over the last year.”

The latter version comes with an interactive home screen widget and the ability to share weather data with other mobile phone devices via NFC (near field communications) by simply touching the two compatible handsets together.

Powering the weather app and providing the accurate and in-depth information for on-the-go consumers is the U.K. Meteorological Office (Met Office) national weather service. The group is in fact, responsible for the gathering of information from weather satellites in space and from observations.

All up-to-data weather statistics will be displayed by the Met Office once the application has been downloaded and installed by the phone user, which is available either from the Apple App (iTunes) Store or Google Play.

This new weather app from BBC joins a few other native apps, including BBC Sport and BBC News. Such apps optimized for mobile phones appeal to consumers as they enjoy being informed of what goes on around them while on the move.

From the get-go, the BBC Weather app is able to automatically detect users’ locations and give them real-time meteorological data: Information such as hourly forecasts, up to a five-day predictions, current and forthcoming environmental conditions (e.g., sunny, rainy, cloudy, snowy). Through impressive photos and on-screen text communications, users can understand if it is or will be wet, dry or windy that day.

The app even features weather warning notifications to indicate thunderstorms, for example, in addition to displaying info on UV, pollen count and, of course, the temperature in both fahrenheit and celsius and the day’s highs and lows, which makes it easy to identify what kind of day it will be to plan ahead.

What’s more, the app can reveal the relative humidity in the atmosphere, fluctuations in climate prevailing visibility, barometric pressure, changes in wind speed and direction.

If one wants to know the weather forecast in another region or the entire U.K., it can be done simply by entering in the town or postcode, as one would use the Web-based version of BBC Weather to retrieve the info. The app also allows the user to save these locations to a customizable list of favorite places for future retrieval.

Upon its rollout, the new BBC Weather app faces plenty of competition from the new Yahoo Weather app for iPhone and iPod Touch. Differently, that app was developed to provide weather conditions in locations around the world, and not just U.K. local forecasts. Although the BBC Weather app is limited to U.K users, it is sure to be as effective as the Yahoo Weather app to give mobile weather alerts, when needed.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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