Foreca : Your Friendly Neighbourhood Weatherman

There are many good things about living in India . One of them is the kind of diversity you got to experience here . this diversity is not only in terms of culture ,language and cuisine . its in terms of climate also. Thanks to geographical variation , India is arguably only place in world where you have sand dune ,snow peak mountains, Rivers,plateau,beaches and cold deserts in same political boundary . Flip side of this is that you got to experience a great variation in weather. As a resident of Delhi for past 7 years I have experienced this extreme weather variation first hand .Not all of that was good . Last week was  horrendously harsh. Summer was at its peak and I was anxiously waiting for rain god to smile of my city. I made it a point to glance at weather widget on google daily.Couple of days back I checked ovi to see if there is a weather forecast application available . I was pleasantly surprised to find Foreca . A Free app for Weather forecast from Finland based Foreca Ltd.

Foreca Mobile app can be downloaded from ovi store (Link) or can be side loaded to your phone after downloading it on your PC from their website(link).ForecaWeather is available in two versions, one for S60 3rd and 5th edition devices and one for Java phones. Languages supported are English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Greek and Finnish.I  Downloaded it to my Nokia E63 .Installation was a smooth 3 step process .It asks you to specify your location for showing relevant weather update  to you.You can choose from over 140.000 hand picked locations or you can retrieve forecasts for your current location using your phone's GPS. You can also use the landmarks in your phone or you can enter a new location by coordinates. Weather information is shown at a very fine granular level . you have weather details like 
  • Current conditions 
  • Detailed forecast with 6h time-steps.
  • Long 10 day forecast.
  • Temperature forecast map
  • Precipitation forecast map
  • Symbol map.
  • Wind forecast map.
  • Cloudiness forecast map.
  • Satellite images
I was impressed by the level of detail and data visualization offered by Foreca. All the functionality mentioned above are shown, not as boring numbers and tables but also as graphs , maps and some map based Geo visualization format . That makes it very intuitive and easy to comprehend .some of the screen are shown in the image below. This will give you some idea about the visual aspect of this app.you can configure the app for preferred view .you can also set some calender alert and memo. this functionality is available on selected handsets only. 

Overall I like the foreca weather application. Its reach in functionality and appealing in visual . Its UI takes away all the cognitive stress associated with making sense of weather information presented in Tabular format. only point of slight problem was the fact that it took a lot of time to fetch weather data from server . this process was painfully slow on GSM. On WiFi it happened in a jiffy . I guess it might have something to do with the nature of problem. Meteorological data is heavy and GPRS connection are slow ( specially at peak hours when I downloaded the app) but it will be great if I can see some Improvement in data fetching aspect of app. Talking of Indian context I can foresee that this application will be of great importance to Frequent flayer ,Logistic companies and Farmers. It would be great if going forward they can offer support for Indic languages .for low end phones foreca also provide a mobile site and SMS Channel.Do try this app out and let me know your views .

As fate would have it while I was still waiting for rain in Delhi I got a call from my brother from Bangalore. He has to cancel his weekend trip due to heavy rain . I advised him that Next time onward he should check out weather Forecast on foreca mobile app before making plans :) .

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