Weather apps are one of the most popular app category on all mobile platforms like Android and iOS due to their utility as well as people’s obsession with weather updates. WeatherSignal is a new Android weather app from the UK based startup OpenSignal which lets its users to create and share weather data with others. The app takes advantage of the multitude of sensors that are now available in smart phones like barometers, light sensors, and magnetometers to collect local atmospheric conditions. The collected data is pooled and made available to others through the app’s network. Conventional weather apps source weather related data from professional sources. The beauty of crowd sourced weather apps like WeatherSignal is that they take weather updates to a very local level which was never achieved before.
Interface of the app is very simple. The app calculates the current temperature by taking readings from the battery temperature sensors of multiple users using the app (data is averaged and filtered). Other widgets displayed on the apps dashboard are: humidity, pressure, acceleration, light, and Magnetic Flux. Remember that the information displayed depends on the sensors available on your phone. The more the number of sensors like lux meter, light meter, magnetometer, hygrometer, etc., the more will be the information disolayed. Users of the app can also save all the data from the app in the form of CSV (Comma Separated Values) in their memory cards. A nice map menu in the app shows a map of readings collected from other users and you. If you are traveling anywhere, you can just go to the location on the map and save the required weather data collected from other users.
Apart from the anonymous data collected by the app, more enthusiastic users can also send manual reports regarding the prevailing weather conditions (raining/snowing/hailing) and location (indoors/outdoors) from the ‘Report’ menu. Privacy of the users is assured as the data collected and published by WeatherSignal will be kept anonymous. Users who don’t want to share data from their phones can opt out by turning ‘Off’ the sharing option in the app’s settings.
But the catch is that the calculations made by the app are prone to errors. Batteries which get overheated due to over use might give false temperature readings. And, as the app depends on sourcing and averaging data from multiple sources, limited number of app users in any particular location might give less accurate results. OpenSignal says that it will improve the accuracy of the app in future .
As claimed by the developer, WeatherSignal is a very ambitious weather crowd sourcing project. We can surely expect more improvements to the app in future. I advice you to surely give it a try.
The app is currently available only for Android users and an iOS version will be released soon.
Version reviewed: 2.3
Supported OS: Android 2.2 and above
Download size: 1.2 MB
Download link on Play Store