The Met Office have launched their new weather forecast mobile app a couple of days ago (24th May) to little fanfare as far as I could detect. According to them the new app will enable people to stay both safe and one step ahead of the weather, and give confidence to those planning their day wherever they are. They say that they have developed the mobile experience by using real-time consumer feedback (I wonder if they consulted the Weatherlawyer), and apparently the new app delivers faster, more accurate forecast information and warnings to the public, across both iOS and Android devices for up to seven days in advance.
It’s true this app is mobile, in fact it’s so mobile that I can neither download it or install it on my Android Nexus 5 or Nexus 10, aren’t tablets classed as mobile devices? Why can it only be installed on a smartphone, even then that wouldn’t be much good to me because I use a Windows phone. I’m not clear why they’ve restricted the type of devices this app can run on when the old app worked just fine on tablets – perhaps they have something else in the pipeline – maybe a special device for tablets and even the desktop because I’ve heard some unenlightened people are still using them? I seriously doubt this will happen, but I can live in hope.
So instead of an in-depth review here are two screenshots of the app in action, judging by these images it looks like it has been smartened up a bit, but nothing has fundamentally changed.
The Met Office Weather app is the only app on the market to feature pollen alerts and a UK rainfall map video of both forecasts and radar observations, as well as real-time air pollution figures, to help users plan for the expected conditions. In addition to the new updates, the app can provide a weekly snapshot of the weather for multiple locations and also personalises the delivery of information to focus in on the user’s specific requirements. Hourly updates and push notifications are available for those on the go, while the delivery of UK National Severe Weather Warnings are vital to ensure planning and safety in the event of severe snow, strong winds, ice or fog.
What I would personally like to see is 5 minute lightning reports which would push out an alert for any walker or golfer if a storm was within a certain radius. It maybe in there it’s hard to tell on the basis of just four screenshots, I seriously doubt that would happen because of the risk of litigation if some golfer was struck down on the 18th and they hadn’t been alerted. I would like to see extended NWP forecast frames out to at least T+240 and not just MSLP fields either, but again that maybe too close to selling of the family silver for that to happen.