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WeatherBug furthers Android investment with app update

WeatherBug has updated its Android application with several new features to give consumers a more comprehensive experience with in-depth information.

The weather site is rolling out a suite of new features to its Android app, including a hurricane center and expanded forecasts, as the company increasingly develops richer and more complex mobile apps. In addition, the company has optimized the app for tablets.

?Android tablet penetration is rising exponentially, and given that weather is the number-one accessed content category on mobile devices, keeping WeatherBug as the most innovative and delightful app is our top priority,? said Amena Ali, chief marketing officer at WeatherBug, Germantown, MD.

?We operate the largest weather and climate sensor networks in the world, so we are excited to integrate real-time data from our dense sensor networks into our app,? she said. ?That way, people can get the best data and make the best decisions."

Real-time information
WeatherBug is debuting the Android tablet app after rolling out an Android smartphone app earlier this year.

WeatherBug has expanded its forecasts within the Android app so that consumers can see up to ten days? worth of weather.

WeatherBug claims that its network of local-level sensors update weather conditions every two seconds.

Additionally, a Hurricane Center section has been added as hurricane season approaches. According to the company, there has been a heightened sense about the dangers of the storm since Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast last year, and the new section reflects consumers increasingly wanting more in-depth information delivered via the WeatherBug app.

The app has also been updated to include Spanish language support, and users can pick from a larger variety of background images to customize their app.

The WeatherBug Android app

Deeper mobile experience
Weather remains one of the top activities that consumers access via mobile devices, however there is a bigger opportunity for companies such as WeatherBug to dig deeper than offering basic forecasts.

According to Ms. Ali, WeatherBug is shifting users from a text-based mobile experience to include more visual and rich content.

Two examples of this are live tiles and a feature called Spark that powers real-time lightning alerts to consumers based on how close lightning is to them.

Additionally, all of WeatherBug?s mobile apps have been redesigned this year to focus on a more visual experience.

For example, WeatherBug?s Android revamp in May included in-app alerts, photos and videos (see story).

Earlier in March, the company?s iPhone app was updated to include slide-and-swipe navigation and customizable live tiles (see story).

?Mobile is critical to WeatherBug not only because it's today?s dominant computing paradigm, but because our users check WeatherBug every day, it?s a part of their lives,? Ms. Ali said.

?We want to provide our customers with the best content, real-time, neighborhood-level conditions and forecasts with as much detail as they want to plan their day, stay prepared and make the most out of life,? she said.

?With the exponential growth mobile has experienced in the last five years and continued growth internationally, mobile will remain a key focus for WeatherBug.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York