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
    0

    Comment number 59.

    Installed it tonight. It's fine, nothing you wouldn't find on the BBC weather page anyway but its OK.

  • rate this
    -7

    Comment number 58.

    Yet another method of selecting the weather forecast which will change constantly as they struggle to predict it correctly, which then turns out to be incorrect after all. The amount of times the hourly forecast has changed for the same day in a given location is farcical, and only goes to prove that all the money spent on thousands of met employees and long term forecasting is a complete waste.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 57.

    I just installed this on my phone, it is so easy to use, download and install in a few seconds I was up and running, lets just hope this weather we are enjoying at the moment, stays like it is, until October then picks up abit. thank you, BBC, job well done.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 56.

    As a publicly funded body it would be good if the BBC Open Sourced the code (assuming this hasn't already been done).

    Then those of you who want it on different devices can do your own port.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 55.

    One problem with all weather "forecasts" is that, if you pay attention you find that at least half is not a forecast at all, it is a summary of the weather we have already had - what possible interest is that? We know, we were there living through it! Then they tell you what is happening now (we know...) then just as you lose all concentration they finally reach the "forecast" bit.

  • rate this
    -11

    Comment number 54.

    Good to see the BBC finding new toys to spend our money on. The BBC of old - the one we all look back on with such fondness & admiration - would have spurned the idea of wasting licence payers' cash on something they could get just by tuning in their radios or TVs - if only because they wanted us to tune in.

    Now they're more interested in trying to be Apple - or The Independent Lite. Very sad!

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 53.

    "22.
    Little_Old_Me

    ....hardly anyone actually pays attention to the forecast for THEIR area..."

    Not surprising when you consider how the weather is presented, with different areas and differing timescales all jumbled up together. I don't want to know that Scotland may see rain next Thursday while Cornwall will be warmer on Tuesday... I just want all the relevant data in one soundbite, thanks.

  • rate this
    -8

    Comment number 52.

    Inaccurate forecasts won't become any more accurate by delivering them via an 'app' or by any other means.
    Forecasts further ahead than about 24 hours are so unreliable that I question whether the Met Office is value for money. I'm sure the cost could be more usefully directed elsewhere.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 51.

    Instead of investing in all sorts of gimmicks, why don't they just concentrate on making accurate forecasts?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 50.

    Why not get the weather first hand from the Met Office app?

    That's where all the others pull their weather from, just a couple of hours later!

  • rate this
    -10

    Comment number 49.

    48. philjer
    10 MINUTES AGO
    How will the BBC get the app users who don't pay a lience fee to contribute towards the BBC's costs? Or are they expecting that those who have no interest in using such apps such subsidise those who can afford to pay a contract for a smartphone and those with Apple products who are willing to pay the 40%+ profit margin Apple makes on their devices?
    -
    That's life!

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 48.

    How will the BBC get the app users who don't pay a lience fee to contribute towards the BBC's costs? Or are they expecting that those who have no interest in using such apps such subsidise those who can afford to pay a contract for a smartphone and those with Apple products who are willing to pay the 40%+ profit margin Apple makes on their devices?

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 47.

    2.
    Lemog
    9 Hours ago

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

    ---------------

    I`m unsure as why you felt the need to tell that to HYS visitors as i`m sure you won`t be using it. It`s unlikely that the BBC weather forecast would be more or less accurate than from any other source so your comment is largely irrelevant.

  • rate this
    -11

    Comment number 46.

    Red button.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 45.

    I often check the weather through various websites and to be honest I find the BBC weather to be very poor. It is often wrong even 24hrs before. It is also gives a very broad brush approach, so they can say they were right whatever the outcome.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 44.

    A Windows Phone BBC Weather app would be worthy use of my license fee. Come on BBC, sort it out please!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 43.

    It would have been nice to have a combined BBC weather and news widget maybe with the time and date added.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 42.

    If I really want the weather for today I will tend to look out of the window and hazard a guess, The next few days is handy but what I really want is an overview of the next month to see if I might want to book some time off work.

  • rate this
    -10

    Comment number 41.

    I can't believe this is news. I can't believe it is worthy of a HYS.

    Oh hang on a minute. Yes. Yes I can.

    Big Bloated Corporation creating news about itself to keep its (public sector) people busy. Have we learnt nothing from New Labour's failed attempt to get the state to employ everyone?

    #Waste #again.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 40.

    I think it's great - brilliant app. Only slight issue is the ugly way the widget wrap long place names – the last 'h' of Loughborough drops onto a second line (screenshot: http://bit.ly/19XWefy) which is rather ugly. Would be better to reduce font size.

 

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