The first thing a lot of us instinctually do when we crack open that bleary eye in the ungodly hour of [insert time to get up for work here] is check our smartphones. And not just for Facebook, Viber and unread late night text message reasons—what kind of weather we’ll be having that day is probably the most crucial bit of info we need at that very moment of jumpstarting our brains. You might be relying on the nice and accurate prophecies of the Weather Channel, WeatherBug, AccuWeather or any of the other billion weather forecast apps out there in the world. Most of which are pretty solid, too. But what the recent trend’s all about is making our phones more active in the process of gathering weather data and the vastly popular iOS-only weather app Dark Sky has now joined the trend of adding a feature to harvest data directly from your smartphones. Say what?
Your Time to Shine as a Weatherperson
Weather apps mostly rely on the stats coming from government-run weather stations. But, as Adam Grossman, the developer of Dark Sky, states: “There are relatively few stations worldwide, and they don’t always provide timely updates when we need them. By recruiting our wonderful users to help us, we can greatly increase the on-the-ground data that we need most.”
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: The Mini Weather Stations
This is not really new news—WeatherSignal, a crowdsourced map of live weather conditions, has been doing it for years—but with the mighty iPhone 6 and 6 Plus coming with built-in barometers, users don’t even have to manually submit reports on the local weather; all they need to do is turn on automatic data gathering and help Dark Sky crowdsource weather data easily and accurately.
The Dark Sky makers are looking to “revolutionize weather forecasting” and, while it’s still not clear when this type of crowdsourced data will be available via the app, they promise tons of new info on the update in the upcoming months. For now, we’ll just resort to the good ol’ ‘lemme check if I’ll be snowed on and/or blown away by a tornado on my way to the cafe‘ method. Weather apps can tell you that, you know.