Monday, September 26, 2011

PH Weather version 1.1 - Public Release

PH Weather features current weather condition and seven-day forecasts in different locations worldwide. This app is currently focused in the Philippine weather conditions, forecasts and news. The satellite images cover mostly the Philippines, Taiwan and other neigboring southeast Asian countries. Images can be animated and supports panning, zooming and pinch-to-zoom! And be notified when it rains based on the forecasts!

Features Summary:

  1. Current Weather
    • Condition
    • Temperature
    • Wind speed and direction
    •  Sunrise and Sunset
    • Humidity and Pressure
  2. Seven Day Forecasts
    •  3-hourly interval
    • Minimum/maximum temperatures
    • Precipitation 
    • Humidity
    • Wind speed and direction
  3. Weather Locations
    • Supports different locations worldwide
  4. Weather Satellite
    • DOST-PAGASA animated satellite
    • Kochi University, Japan animated radar
    • Auto/manual animation controls
    • Supports panning, zooming and pinch-to-zoom
  5. Weather News
    • DOST-PAGASA 24-hour public weather forecast
    • DOST-PAGASA official twitter posts 
    •  Weather News Stories from different media sources

PLUS:
  • Rain Alert Notifications
  • Very customizable and flexible settings

Follow on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ph_weather

Bugs/Issues/Suggestions/Support: Email to android@phweather.com

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.