Weather Data for Your Exercise App
Posted on 30 Jun 2020
By: Thomas Bush
Adding weather data to your exercise app is a sure-fire way to create a more immersive user experience. Whether your app focuses on running, cycling, or other sports, there's a good chance the weather outside plays a big role in your users' motivation and performance.
It's not always obvious how you can use data to build better products, so this short guide will focus on three of our datasets — short-term forecasts, weather alerts, and historical weather — that you can use to augment your exercise and other outdoors-based mobile apps.
Short-term forecasts, like the minute and hourly forecasts included in our One Call API, add serious practicality — and a dash of realism — to exercise apps. They can help users to make decisions about which route to take, what time to leave, or what to wear based on expected weather conditions. And thanks to the accuracy of our weather APIs, developers can get forecasts not only for the user's current location, but also for various routes and destinations.
Example use case
Consider an app that helps users schedule and track regular cycling sessions. It's 2:45 PM on a Saturday and the user is scheduled to start their cycle in fifteen minutes. By integrating short-term forecasts, the app could notify the user that rain is expected during their cycle, reminding them to bring a waterproof jacket.
Also provided here at OpenWeather, weather alerts can tell users when severe weather conditions are expected in a specific region. Combining data from meteorological centers both region and international, these alerts warn of heavy storms, hail, and other dangerous weather conditions fifteen minutes in advance. Although short- and mid-term forecasts offer some of the same insights, weather alerts are much easier to implement, as the developer needn't decide what constitutes severe or dangerous weather, nor write the code to detect it.
Example use case
This time, consider an app that allows users to record fishing excursions. When the app detects a user jetting out to sea, it can begin monitoring for weather alerts. If any alerts are issued, the app can notify the user, ensuring they make it back to land before the weather hits. Otherwise, the app can notify the user that no warnings have been issued, giving them peace of mind for the day out.
Historical weather data, as in our History API, can add crucial context to past sporting performance. Strong winds can slow a cyclist down, while high temperatures can quickly exhaust runners, so knowing what the weather was when a user exercised can help them to better understand their performance.
Example use case
Consider an app which logs users' running performance. When the user goes to review their average running speeds over recent months, the app can provide basic weather information (such as the temperature on the day of the run) beside each entry. With not much more effort, the app could also identify weather-based patterns in performance, notifying the user what to expect before each run or showing customized captions.
Benefits of Using OpenWeather
There are numerous weather APIs out there, so why should you choose our products for your exercise and outdoor apps? Ultimately, it comes down to just three reasons: accuracy, affordability, and accessibility.
First and foremost, we offer some of the most accurate weather data out there. Providing hyper-local, time-sensitive weather readings and forecasts, you can be sure that API responses match the true conditions your users are or will be experiencing at any given time.
Our generous pricing makes it possible for smaller developers to integrate weather data into their apps without paying a dime. With 1,000 free calls a day to the One Call API, the possibilities are endless. And for larger publishers, the pricing is equally fair, enabling an eye-watering 100,000,000 calls per month for just $180.
Another benefit of using our products is accessibility. It couldn't be easier to sign up for an API key (without providing a payment method) and get started with your weather API of choice.
Adding weather data to your exercise app is an easy way to improve user engagement, stickiness, and retention. While the possibilities are endless, we've looked at three specific ways you can use weather data in various mobile apps, and why you should choose us as the provider of that data.