Weather Apps, Widgets, and A Sense of Missed Contexts

One of the things we all do with our mobiles is to look for information that makes a lot of sense. There are times when we ask one another things like “what’s the weather,” and it ends up being either a run to a widget or some kind of app – that is, if we even remember our mobile has that and we don’t run to a TV or a website. It should be easier… at least, that’s what I was thinking around this context when my lady asked me this question and I wondered why here Android device didn’t have something more dynamic happening.

I can remember some years back a concept mobile device that was pretty slick. Depending on the weather, the entire theme of the device changed. It was a transparent device (totally futuristic), and so when there was a change in weather, it merely told you the temp, but then the entire device would mimic that temperature. If it were snowy, there would be frost and snow on the screen; if it were rain, there would be a differing level of water drops on the screen; if it were clear the device would be totally transparent. I remember thinking when I saw that concept just how much sense that made. I’ve expected just as much from mobiles since then (of course).

The Android platform is one of those where I could see something like that concept pulled off. And it would be something that would be quite the default layer in most operating systems. Yes, I know that there’s HTC Sense that has that big widget and all, but I think that it would transmit more information contextually if there were a series of weather-themed backgrounds that would cycle as the day went on which corresponded to the temperature displayed on that weather widget.

Now, the cool thing was that while I was looking for a weather widget for my lady’s mobile, I did find that there is a series of application, theme, and wallpapers which can do this. And I think that’s pretty cool. It just looks like something that would take too long to setup to use properly. This should be something that’s similar to the default live wallpaper offerings. Except in this case, the wallpaper would need to have a weather widget (to grab the weather data from) and then morph as the day and weather (and even location of the device/user) changes.

When I mentioned something like this to my lady, she smiled. It was something about a mobile device that made a lot of sense and added relevant value to how she uses her mobile device. I don’t see these kinds of solutions often, and its a shame. To those whom are not sure as to why they need or should use a smartphone, contextual applications such as this weather app/widget/wallpaper would make a lot of sense and easily convey value. Shame that we aren’t seeing it, but have to deal with kludgy solutions which don’t usually equal the effort that some developers have put towards them.

I’ve got a Symbian device; this is the kind of feature I’ve wanted for a long time. Shame that in all of the years of this platform that it never came forward. Really misses on a key piece of usage if you ask me.

4 thoughts on “Weather Apps, Widgets, and A Sense of Missed Contexts

  1. Appreciate the comment; however, you missed in this post where I said I use a Symbian device. For Android, the solutions to do weather-contextual wallpapers are closer than on Symbian.

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