Tuesday, September 20, 2011

PHWeather app for Android - Initial Private Release (alpha1)

ABOUT THE APP:
  • Name: PH Weather
  • Category: Weather and News
  • Summary: A comprehensive app for weather condition, forecasts and news focused in the Philippines
  • Requirements: Android 2.1 (Eclair) or later. (UI is not yet tablet optimized)
  • Future versions: may include app for iPhone/iPad and Windows Phone7
FEATURES:
  1. WEATHER Tab
    • Current Weather Condition (today)
    • Weather Forecast for 7 days (1 week)
    • Hourly Forecast for the selected day
  2. LOCATIONS Tab
    • Multiple locations (but only one location shall be featured/active in the Weather tab)
    • Last weather conditions are also shown (icon and temperature)
    • Auto-detect current location
  3. SATELLITE Tab
    • PAGASA satellite radar
    • Kochi University satellite image
    • Supports panning, zooming, auto-animation, manual-animation, and pinch-to-zoom
  4. NEWS Tab
    • PAGASA Weather Forecast (updated at least twice daily 5:00 am and 5:00 pm). This is dependent to PAGASA's website
    • PAGASA official twitter posts (the 20 latest tweets)
    • News Stories (various weather news and articles from news sites )
  5. SETTINGS Tab
    • Refresh Interval: define auto-refresh interval
    • Notifications: Enable/disable notifications
    • Rain Alert: Define rain precipitation levels alert
    • Vibrate: Vibrate your phone when there will be notifications
    • Ringtone: Choose ringtone for incoming notifications
    • Temperature: Choose Celsius or Fahrenheit
    • Wind: Choose Kilometer per hour or Miles per hour
    • Precipitation: Choose Millimeters or Inches
    • Source: Choose satellite images source between PAGASA or Kochi University, JAPAN
    • Number of images: Total of images to load
    • Interval in hours: The interval of time (hours) between the satellite images
    • Reset to defaults: Reset/Revert to default settings defined by the app

Among the features above, I temporarily disabled notifications in the source code. The notification functionality is not yet completed.

User interface and graphical elements/icons will be improved over time. However, I need your feedback also about your UI experience.

HOW TO TEST:
  1. Use it as is, where is, as you like.
  2. Determine or report if you find issue/s
    • Trivial: spelling/grammar issues; alignment issues
    • Minor: UI/graphical related issues
    • Major: Functional/Logical issues/bugs
    • Critical: Application crashes/hangs; 
  3. Suggest/Recommend/Feedback
    • UI/graphical
    • Features
    • Nice to have
    • Others
  4. What do you think? 
NOTES:
  1. The main goal of making this app is I want to learn mobile application development, starting with Android then the rests (iOS and WP7).
  2. My other goals are.:
    • Weather is crucial. In fact, I always check weather everyday. And my father is a fisherman, weather condition is the most crucial part of fishing in the deep blue sea.
    • There are lots (thousands I think) of weather apps in the Android Market/Apple Store, but I have not seen yet a weather app, complete/comprehensive enough to the Philippine weather. So, I created this app to help/provide weather infos to the Filipino people. 
    • This is just the start. More mobile apps will follow later.
  3. I'm hesitant to put advertisements there, as we all know, ads are annoying. However, the reason I include ads is to support future versions and maintenance. For your information, the app involves web-service using Google Appengine. The appengine is free for limited quotas, once the quotas (monthly/daily) have been reached, I need to pay for it. And I don't want to use my own pocket for the server expenses in the future.
  4. The app will be released as free (ads supported) in the Android Market
  5. I have still features in mind and in notes that I planned to implement in the future versions of this app. But I need also your feedback. Your idea counts.
  6. This app is based from the top-rated Weather App and combined with the features I wanted to have.
DISCLAIMER:
  • Do not use this app between life or death decision/situation. For informational purposes only. Please refer to the official authorities.
  • The current weather data is provided by Yahoo Weather (I'll find more sources in the future versions)
  • The weather forecasts data is provided by Norwegian Meteorological Institute
  • Satellite/Radar images are from PAGASA and Kochi University, JAPAN
  • News are from PAGASA. Twitter and Google News
  • I'm neither a meteorologist nor a weather forecaster. I'm just a software developer/engineer interested in weather.

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