Introducing the new BBC Weather mobile apps

 
The BBC Weather app

Most of us have had at least had a hint of summer now, and with big events ahead such as Glastonbury, Wimbledon and the British Grand Prix, the British public will be taking an even closer interest in the weather forecast.

Which is why I'm delighted to announce that we have launched BBC Weather mobile apps on Android and iOS.

Over the past year we've been working to offer you even more detailed weather information, including hourly forecasts for UK locations and three-hourly forecasts internationally. This has proven hugely popular with those of you who check the BBC Weather website, with many of you contacting us to say how pleased you are with this increase in data.

We have also seen more of you visiting our website from your mobile devices and, with smartphone users growing overall, we have taken an opportunity to review how we can use this data to bring you weather information whenever and wherever you need it on your mobile.

The launch of the BBC Weather mobile apps for Android and iOS marks a major step for us in beginning to meet this demand, and will enable you to access clear, detailed and up to date forecasts on the go with a simple click.

The Android version is now available from the Google Play store and the iPhone version is available from iTunes store.

We asked what you wanted from a mobile weather site. It became clear that one of the key needs is to get a quick forecast for the day. You want that information at a glance, with the option of digging for further detail when you need or want to. The BBC Weather apps allow exactly that.

They provide three levels of forecast detail for each location:

  • An overview screen displaying the weather conditions for today
  • A left swipe shows hour-by-hour detail for the next 48 hours (three-hourly international)
  • A tap on each hour-block exposes a detailed panel with fully detailed conditions for that hour including temperature highs and lows, UV reading and pollen count.

You've said that it's important to be able to get the weather forecast for the next few days to help in planning. This is provided along the bottom of the screen and is always visible. At the moment the app has five days of forecast information, but this will be increased to match the website, as soon as we can.

Start Quote

The introduction of these apps is just the start of our improvements to BBC Weather on your mobile devices”

End Quote

You've also told us that typing place names and storing favourites on mobiles can be tricky, and you are not always sure you have the best local forecast. In order to simplify and speed this up, you can take advantage of the location awareness of your phone and let your app do the work to quickly find a local forecast based on your current location.

As with the website, you can search for postcodes, towns and cities in the UK. You can also search for many major international locations, so if you are planning a trip (or just curious where the sun has gone this summer), global forecast information is at your fingertips.

Up to 10 of your location searches are stored automatically in the app so you can quickly view them in the location panel, or by swiping up and down to scroll through your list.

The introduction of these apps, as I mentioned, is just the start of our improvements to BBC Weather on your mobile devices. We have listened to your feedback and we have focused this first release on the most highly used features from our website for you to enjoy during some of the summer's biggest events. We will of course continue to improve the apps, as well as our mobile website, based on what you tell us.

In the past few months, we have invited hundreds of users to try out prototype versions, and take part in testing sessions, but we're still very keen to hear from you, so please try out the app and get in touch!

You can contact us using the "send feedback" link in the app. We're also using the @bbcweather account on Twitter or you can comment below.

My colleague James in Future Media provides more details on the features of both apps on the BBC internet blog and this will be followed with other blogs about the technical, design and accessibility challenges they face.

 

Comments

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  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 19.

    Great, now we have even better access to 5 minutes of satellite photos of what has already happened, followed by 5 minutes of the forecasts for Scotland and Ireland, followed by 5 minutes of the current conditions in Australia. I can hardly suppress my excitement.

  • rate this
    +12

    Comment number 18.

    It's amazing how many people come on to HYS to moan about the BBC. If they BBC were really that useless why would you be here in the first place?

    Shouldn't they be on some Sky forum telling their punters how bad the Beeb is?

    I'll get the app. It's no one's fault the UKs weather defies prediction.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 17.

    Bloody Hell!. . . . . It works! ;-)

  • rate this
    -8

    Comment number 16.

    Firstly, the met office is hopeless at forecasting the weather.

    Secondly why is the BBC developing apps anyway? This just seems like a way to waste even more licence payers money, I wonder how much it cost to develop?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 15.

    Just installed this and it's a very nice, simple, resource-light, Android app. If only the same could be said of more of the stuff on the Play Store! The only improvement I can suggest would maybe be the inclusion of humidity data as I find this has more of an effect on comfort levels during the summer than the temperature alone. Otherwise well done and ignore the naysayers!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 14.

    BBC weather forecasts are generated by the MetOffice for the BBC, so moaning about its accuracy (although actually they are generally very good) to the BBC is aimless. It also represents your lack of understanding towards the difficulties of forecasting weather. Those moaning about BBC wasting your money - has it occurred to you that you're currently browsing the BBC website?

  • rate this
    -18

    Comment number 13.

    And here is the BBC weather forecast. It is going to get increasingly hot, thanks to the evil capitalists burning fossil fuels. The Maldives will have vanished by 2005 and there will be world population displacement by 2010.

  • rate this
    -8

    Comment number 12.

    How I agree with no 7.
    The weather forecasters get paid to do a job-and a lot of what they tell us is completely inaccurate. If, in my job, I gave out such incorrect information all the time I would fully expect to be sacked!!

  • rate this
    -11

    Comment number 11.

    I don't live in Birmingham.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 10.

    Oh thank God.

    This is just what the licence fee was created for.

    Well done BBC for once again proving just like our PM that we're all in this together.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 9.

    Bid deal, be happier if the iPlayer worked on my Galaxy, or indeed if the Beeb used my money to actually produce something worth watching.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 8.

    A nice app, but having a HYS dedicated to it is a bit self indulgent. But if it helps, tell your university graduate who project led this that they are amazing if that's what they want to hear.

  • rate this
    -8

    Comment number 7.

    I prefer to stick with a far superior, user specific, high definition, three dimentional, real-time, free, 100% accurate way of finding out the weather.

    It's called looking out of the window.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 6.

    Aren't there enough weather apps out there already? While I appreciate the level of detail (hourly over 48 hours is nice), the Met Office - arguably the experts on the subject - already has a perfectly good mobile app. And most phones come with a built-in (albeit basic) one anyway. Not the best use of resources.

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 5.

    Is this really where the BBC needs to put its considerable resources? I'd have thought the dire programming quality, lack of variety of broadcasting, obsession with filling the airways with repeats, and a sheer outdated funding stream needs a bit more focus.

  • rate this
    -13

    Comment number 4.

    Another nail in the coffin for any company trying to compete against a QUANGO funded by a stealth tax. I really feel for those trying to compete on such an uneven playing field.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 3.

    It looks great but I would like some additional features, for example a map with rainfall radar/satellite/pressure charts. It would also be good to have weather warnings, forecast videos and pictures too.

    It's good that you have this hourly data, however the problem with it is that so many people take it literally - meteorology is not an exact science!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 2.

    So, now we can get an incorrect weather forecast on our phones as well as on the Beebs home page, deep joy indeed

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 1.

    Any reasonable means of being able to provide current information on the weather is always genuinely welcome.


    All I need now is a modern cellphone!

 

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