How to Create a Weather App and Not Get Caught in a Storm
By building a weather application, you meet a certain demand. What kind of demand and why, you may ask? It's pretty clear!
Let's honestly admit: the weather greatly affects our life. Wherever we are now - in the city, on vacation, on a business trip - in any case, we need to know what to expect: rain or snow, heat or fog. And since we don't have the gift of prophecy, we resort to the help of relevant services to obtain current weather data, which explains the growing demand for programs of the sort.
Do you want to meet this demand - and, of course, get your profit? You have every chance! However, don't forget that the idea isn't brand-new, and you'll have to do a lot of work to make your weather data application profitable and successful.
In our article, we’ll describe in detail how to create a weather app. We hope our tips would help you find a way to avoid the most dangerous traps and pitfalls.
Let's get started.
Know your competitors: the best weather apps
First of all, what's the weather app? The answer is quite simple: it's a service, which tells its users what weather they should expect in the next few hours, days, or weeks. And the more accurate the forecasts, the more beautiful - the interface, the more likely the program will surpass its competitors. Speaking of which… who are they, your competitors?
You should know them to find out how to create a weather app able to exceed users’ expectations in the best sense of the word. Fortunately, we're ready to say who you should fear first.
AccuWeather offers a good weather app with many useful features, among them:
- weekly, daily, and hourly weather reports;
- information about air temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit degrees at the user's choice;
- data on humidity, precipitation, wind speed, as well as the time of sunrise and sunset; In addition, the user learns about the intensity of solar radiation or the impending storm;
- built-in map allowing users to monitor the weather in a particular region or a specific country in real-time. To implement such a feature, you have to know how to make a weather app show the current location.
- Wear OS and watchOS support.
AccuWeather is free, but you have to pay for disabling advertising. And one more important point: besides the application, AccuWeather offers an API so that developers can make a weather app without any trouble. However, it's too early to discuss the issue, let's study it in detail when we deal with weather forecast API providers.
1Weather is a very popular weather checking app, which provides all the necessary data in a convenient and appealing way.
- weekly weather forecast;
- a real-time report on weather conditions;
- animation of sunrises, sunsets, and phases of the moon (you, too, should come up with the equally great idea when designing a weather app of your own);
- the ability to select up to 12 cities to monitor air temperature, speed, and direction of the wind, humidity, and precipitation (travelers appreciate it);
- built-in weather map;
- Wear OS support.
All 1Weather features are available in a free version, and after spending $ 0.99, you can get rid of ads.
The Weather Channel
Now we’re talking about one of the most accurate weather applications. It is incredibly popular in the countries of America and Western Europe.
Its features include:
- meteorological forecasts (hourly, two-week, or for the weekend);
- reports on the real and perceived temperature. Also, users can find out other significant data of the sort, the same wind speed or intensity of ultraviolet radiation;
- compatibility with any type of device.
Weather Radar Forecast
It’s a beautiful weather tracker app able to adjust the background of the lock screen to what's happening outside the window.
Other interesting features of a weather app:
- a variety of widgets with information about the real situation outside the window, images of your city, calendar, and so on;
- the temperature and precipitation data are displayed in the Android status bar, so the user always sees them, even when other applications are open. It's especially interesting if you’d like to create a weather app on Android and looking for great ideas;
- smart notifications on sudden hurricanes, storms, and avalanches.
If you're interested in weather app development, pay attention to ‘Yahoo! Weather’ which is certainly one of the most appealing services of our list.
‘Yahoo! Weather’ downloads great photos from Flickr and automatically chooses backgrounds matching the user's real-time situation (his daytime, location, rain or snow, etc). It looks really impressive.
The application is free, but there is advertising.
RANE ° is an ideal choice if a user prefers minimalistic mobile weather apps for Android and iOS and isn't fond of abstruse information about dew points, absolute humidity, etc.
Functionality includes nothing superfluous:
- forecast for the next five days with data on temperature, pressure, and precipitation. However, this minimum of the information can also be adjusted;
- simple and elegant interface, very user-friendly;
- smooth animations.
CARROT Weather is a professional weather app created with humor. Regardless of the outside conditions, the application will try to inflame the user by making sneering comments. Of course, such an approach isn’t everyone's cup of tea but there are amateurs who don’t mind jokes of the sort, and the service is in demand.
The weather app settings and features are also very interesting. Of course, the service offers the most common of them (like a weather forecast, weather reports, etc.), but there are a couple of surprises, such as:
- the Time Travel feature which lets you know what the weather was like in the past
- special tips following which the user can explore the moon's surface or study the fairy worlds of Mordor or Tatooine on the map to find out what the weather is there.
In short, you won’t be bored with CARROT Weather. Especially since it is free.
The best tools for correct weather forecasting
Okay, you’ve figured out your competitors, but what’s now? What should you do to make a weather app, and make a good one?
Obviously, you need to obtain weather forecast data for your app! We advise that you take advantage of professional sources which allow developers to get the information about the meteorological conditions they’ve gathered.
There are a great many of these sources, but we’ll discuss only the best weather forecast API providers.
Weather Underground API
The Weather Company has its own mobile service focused on users who are interested in knowing meteorological conditions. But the company doesn't disregard third-party developers willing to create weather apps and offers them several API packages. What to choose depends on the specific situation and task.
The Weather Company has a huge number of its own meteorological stations, so the task of obtaining necessary data is being simplified.
Openweathermap API is another good option if you want to know how to make a weather app in a simple way.
The module was created by enthusiasts who believe that meteorological information should be free and accessible. That’s why they provide us with an open-source API to obtain current weather data, such as…
By the way, lately, the module actively supports the export of meteorological data from its own weather stations.
As you might remember, we've already discussed AccuWeather and mentioned that the company also provides developers with an API for building a weather app. We promised more details later, and now we're ready to offer them.
After registering on the AccuWeather resource, developers get such data as…
And that's not all yet! There are many more opportunities that those who are interested in weather app development would find quite exciting.
If the above options don't suit you, build a weather application with Foreca API, which grants quality forecasts in different areas around the world.
- Current conditions, namely, the newest measurements from official meteorological stations in all parts of the world.
- Artificial forecasts. Foreca Nowcasting technology solves the problem of the lack of stations (this sometimes occurs, alas). Its essence is the ability to artificially predict (using the available data) the possibility of rain, heat, snowfall, and other things of the sort.
- Forecasts for different time intervals, starting from 15 minutes and ending with longer periods.
DarkSky is one more good option to create a weather app on Android or iOS.
DarkSky API ensures:
- access to forecasts of different time periods;
- government warnings about the dangerous meteorological situation;
- observations over decades;
- dozens of languages and numerous units of measurement.
DarkSky also provides access to Skycons - a cool set of animated forecast icons.
How to create an outstanding mobile weather application
It's not enough just to build a weather application. You should make it as effective and helpful to the user as possible. So, it's time to discuss the optimal functionality of your service.
Features of a weather app:
- accurate detailed forecasts which ideally should contain not only data on air temperature, but also reports on different meteorological conditions (don’t forget about precipitation, wind speed, and ultraviolet radiation intensity). The following formats would be a great choice:
- hourly forecast;
- 2-weeks forecasts;
- weekend forecasts (so that users’d be able to think over their weekend with the weather conditions in mind).
- interactive maps. Travelers will be happy to use the map to find out the conditions in the country they’re going to visit.
- smart notifications: rapid alerts of meteorological weather changes, hurricanes, earthquakes storms, etc.
- hyper-local forecasts. Of course, you cannot ignore such a significant feature either. Take care of it when designing a weather app.
- visualizations and animations. Obviously, we are talking about the visualization of our forecasts. An animated weather app is perceived by the audience in a much better way. But to create weather visualizations, you should hire expert designers who know all about efficient UI/UX.
- integration with social networks. The feature is obvious, but beneficial to both parties: users would be happy to share their impressions of experiencing a good weather app with friends, and you'll get free promotion.
Best weather app design examples
An extended feature set is important but you still have to manage to beautifully present it. In other words, take care of the weather app design. It should be something enchanting and memorable… something unique!
We’ve picked up a couple of excellent concepts and invite you to take a look at them.
A UI/UX designer from China created a very cool app concept.
This one, created by Sergey Gurov, is quite good too, isn't it?
The magic weather concept by Dimest really looks magical!
And this is the piece of work of our talented UI/UX designer. We hope you like it!
We’re sure you’re inspired by these examples and ready to make a weather app with an equally appealing design.
Is it a worthy idea to build a weather app?
The answer is obvious and it’s “Yes, of course!”. Why are we so sure about it? Because we've earlier listed several of your bright and very successful competitors - their example proves the profitability of the idea. But their achievements are due to the right approach to the issue. How to take up their lead? How to create a weather app and make good money on it?
We offer to take into account a few significant points:
- Idea. That is, the idea is clear - you’re striving to build a weather application. We have in mind something more specific. Say, RANE ° is, if you remember, a weather tracker app with a minimum of data, and CARROT Weather offers a humorous approach to weather forecasting. Try to find your special way to achieve the desired goal.
- Your target audience. To avoid being out-of-pocket, you must understand who he is, your potential consumer. What does he want? Based on these data, you should compile a list of features of a weather app.
- Weather app design. Have you seen those cool examples of weather-checking apps created by talented designers? You need to offer something no less outstanding and vivid!
- Unique Selling Proposition. It’s difficult to show uniqueness by building a weather app, but you still need to try. USP is either a special feature or an unusual app design... or just a marketing trick! Anything would do - anything able to help you stand out.
- Monetization. To make the idea to create weather apps worthwhile, you should think carefully about monetizing your service. Most of your competitors earn with advertising - on the one hand, they get money from advertisers, and on the other - from users who’re ready to pay to disable annoying ads. Besides, you can provide users with paid exclusive features.
- Weather app development cost. Before weather app development starts, it's significant that you have your budget analyzed. Determine how much money you’re willing (and able to) allocate for the project.
- Project implementation. This is the key point of the whole process! You can come up with a brilliant idea for the animated weather application but inept developers are still ruining it. Essentials of weather app development:
- support for the maximum number of devices. You need to make a weather app work with both iOS and Android platforms.
- qualified experts. Exert every effort to find professionals who know how to make a weather app for iOS and Android and who have relevant hands-on experience.
- UI/UX. Make sure the team you’ve found has good designers - a lot depends on the app interface, as you probably already understood.
So, we summarize: in order to create a weather app and succeed, it's important to think through the logic of the program and develop a strategy of distinguishing it from competitors. After all, such meteorological services are basic Android & iPhone weather apps, and you should do your best to attract the user.
if you want to build your own weather app from scratch, we’re more than happy to help you. Our team employs only experienced and skilled specialists who'll implement your idea with pleasure and inspiration.