The most fundamental conversation topic is the weather. It’s not surprising since the weather guides how we dress, impacts our personal schedules, and touches every one of us. That’s why we continue to see weather apps occasionally shoot up the the app leaderboards. There have been countless approaches to weather apps but now there are four fundamental approaches to weather apps beginning to appear: high-detail weather forecasts, beautifully designed weather forecasts, multi-featured apps, and crowd-sourced weather.
High Detail Forecasts
When it comes to high detail forecasts, it’s pretty fundamental: radar. That’s why a company that took the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) data and turned it into an app has generated a ton of revenue. As of yesterday, “[NOAA Hi-Def Radar” was the 38th most paid application in the U.S. iTunes app store. There are countless other radar apps as well, many of which are the most popular in the weather category.
Beautifully Designed Weather
The next category of weather apps are those that present weather in a beautiful way. That doesn’t always mean the apps need to be feature rich. Weathertron, Dark Sky, Weather Live, and InstaWeather, are just a few that have taken a fairly simple data-source (weather) and turned it into a beautiful interface. Event Apple’s new iOS7 weather app has taken design cues directly from some of the top weather apps in the app store.
Some have taken this beauty to the next level though and have integrated other features alongside the weather. [Morning, an iPad app that saw phenomenal growth over the past day (now ranks around 19 among paid iPad apps), integrates weather, to-do lists, your calendar and more. These types of apps fundamentally demote weather into one of many need-to-know information bites. I won’t dwell on this category since it isn’t exclusively weather.
Earlier this week I pointed out Weendy, which is essentially crowd-sourced weather for surfers and other outdoor enthusiasts. However another app,[Weddar has been gaining much more traction among users. While I’ll probably do a short video review of Weddar in the near future, I wanted to point out this app because I think this vertical presents a huge growth opportunity.
Just like traffic, weather is always a consistent talking point. There’s also a massive community of weather geeks that loves to stay up to date on the latest weather changes. Whether that’s changes in the barometric pressure, wind changes, humidity and dew point levels, or just the temperature, people love to dive into the details of weather. It’s always changing (just like the stock market) and it never goes away.
Weddar just begins to tap the surface of this vertical’s potential though. Ironically, all the crowd-sourced weather apps I’ve seen so far are absolutely horrible at one thing: telling me the current weather! Given that all these apps can’t provide the most fundamental information, I can only assume that this space is wide open for talented product people.