Today the range of weather apps that span over the various Smartphone platforms are almost innumerable, covering various angles and catering to practically every user imaginable, from weather professionals through to emergency relief workers. Of course the fact that the weather affects each and every person throughout the world on a potentially daily basis doesn’t hurt the demand for weather based apps.
So the question is just how a developer approaches weather application building and, most specifically, what they can learn from the USPs of the most successful of weather applications. So here we take a look at exactly what these are and what, as developers, we may learn from them.
1. The most successful of weather apps hone in on a genuine USP
As the weather app market has reached somewhat of a peak saturation level today it is vital that app developers take stock of the market and adopt a well thought out approach. Developers either go for a standard weather forecasting app that provides for a unique design suited to a specific user, or they build an application that has a functional USP. Examples of these within the market today include:
- MeteoEarth – iOS: This weather app is unequivocally made for pros, including features such as precipitation graphics, radar displays, wind data and 3D, HD maps.
- Dark Sky – iOS – This app provides for seriously detailed local weather reporting and serves up plenty of radar map imagery for highlighting rain storms, tornados and snow predictions. Another unique feature is the customisability of the interface.
- WeatherBug – iOS and Android: This app provides all of the usual features of most weather apps, but has additional ‘Lifestyle forecasts’ which provide solid answers to the users’ most thought about concerns, such as whether they should go running outside or go to the gym, whether this weekend is good for an outdoor get together or what today’s weather is dictating that they should wear.
- Hurricane by the American Red Cross – iOS and Android: This app helps those within tornado danger zones stay safe by continually updating them when and if a danger arises. It also provides practical emergency guidance and tips.
APIXU Team Pro Tip: Honing in and developing around a distinct USP demands extensive research prior to tapping out even one line of code. So be sure to undertake thorough market research when adopting this approach as the room within niche markets are seriously squeezed if you develop something that already exists.
2. A well-defined app begins with a well-defined target user
Whether a weather app is a standard forecasting application or is instead seriously niche, such as an emergency weather app, the most successful will have defined their target market down to a T. This means that even within the most crowded of markets where there are millions of standard weather forecast apps the most downloaded are those that stand out to the user. This is the reason why the simplicity of Go Weather works so well and it is equally why the highly customisable interface of WeatherPro is so popular amongst those who like the more detailed of weather apps.
APIXU Team Pro Tip: Begin with your target market and never lose sight of what they look for in an application. You should also consider target users as to which device they may be using. A perfect example of this is Weather Live which is perfectly designed for the Windows range of Phones.
3. Realise that your app may be awesome, but that you need the right approach to marketing to get the word out there
Even the best and brightest of app ideas need at least a little initial marketing to get the word out there. So don’t neglect to consider the importance of a robust marketing plan.
APIXU Team Pro Tip: Don’t underestimate the movement that is social media and never overlook the value of a freebie. Very often the most successful of apps have invested heavily within social media promotion and have created a well thought out free app version, or free trial of their app for a limited period.
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