AccuWeather revamps Android app for consistent smartphone, tablet experience
March 6, 2013
AccuWeather has updated its Android application that supports both smartphones and tablets to create a seamless cross-device experience.
Mobile is increasingly playing a big role for AccuWeather as handsets become the go-to device that consumers use to check the weather. In particular, personalization and customization are crucial to the Android app’s revamp.
“In previous versions of the AccuWeather for Android application, we were maintaining separate applications to support various platforms,” said Pascal Racheneur, vice president of interactive media at AccuWeather, State College, PA.
“We began this product development effort with a goal of building one application that supports both smartphones and tablets,” he said.
“This is very much in line with the Android OS lifecycle, too. With the release of Ice Cream Sandwich, the Android OS supported both tablets and smartphones with a single application build. We followed a similar approach with the design and development of our latest application.”
According to Mr. Racheneur, AccuWeather is seeing a shift with consumers using multiple Android devices in tandem.
Therefore, the app revamp aims to create a similar experience across all Android devices. For example, content can be viewed in either portrait or landscape mode.
AccuWeather forecasts are available for 2.7 million locations and in 27 languages.
Personalization plays a big role in the app revamp as well. The app updates with the current weather conditions every 15 minutes. Information on humidity, precipitation percentages, dew points and wind speeds are all displayed on the app.
The AccuWeather Android app
Additionally, the My AccuWeather feature helps consumers understand how weather conditions affect their lives. Categories such as outdoor fitness, travel and respiratory health let users view the weather’s impact on activities.
Push notifications for locations in the United States are now available for tablets. The U.S. push notifications were previously only available on smartphones. The updates alert consumers about severe local weather.
When AccuWeather forecasts snow, thunderstorms, ice or rain for worldwide areas, an orange exclamation point is displayed for the location in the app.
Radar features for Europe are included in the revamp. Radar maps are also available for U.S. locations.
An ad-supported version of the app is free to download. There is also an ad-free version of the app that is $2.99. To support the revamp, the paid app is available for $0.99 for a limited time.
The next step for the Android app will be to modify content specifically for Google TV, per Mr. Racheneur.
As consumers increasingly rely on their smartphones and tablets to access weather, mobile has been growing in importance for AccuWeather.
Most recently, the company saw a 59 percent increase in mobile ad requests during the height of Superstorm Sandy, pointing to the increased interest from marketers to reach consumers on their handsets (see story).
Additionally, the company rolled out a Windows 8 app towards the end of last year (see story).
“We believe we have a great application that supports and conforms to the platform’s guidelines, and it is very easy to use for the typical Android user and weather consumer,” Mr. Racheneur said.
“With this solid foundation we can easily build and add many features that provide additional value to our users,” he said. “As always, we continue to operate with a clear goal of providing the most accurate weather information and the best weather experience to our on-the-go users.”
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York
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