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Why Should You Use an API for Your Weather App?

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In today’s hyper-connected world, consumers expect a seamless experience for applications – and between applications. While the average person doesn’t understand the work that goes into developing an application and ensuring that it is compatible with other programs, they certainly notice when it is slow to update, inaccurate, or laggy. That’s why it’s essential that your business leads with API when developing any application, but especially those that rely upon big data and real time updates.

While APIs are incredibly helpful for nearly every app, from social media to shopping, they are a near-necessity for weather applications, as consumers have come to expect a high level of granularity in their forecasting. It’s no longer enough to give a general daily forecast, though customers do appreciate these: they want to be able to explore meteorological data in detail, from historical records to what the weather might be like several months from now. It is for these reasons, amongst numerous others we’ll explore today, that you should have an API for your weather app if you want to provide the best possible experience for your users.

With an API, you can lean on the expertise of countless other forecasters

Most weather apps rely on federal or international services that collect thousands of data points over time, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. These larger organizations have the resources to continually gather huge amounts of information that would be far out of the scope of the typical app developer – and you can leverage all of this data by utilizing an API that connects you to their resources. A great API will provide you with access to numerous high-quality datasets for both past and present, which you can then present to your customers in an attractive, well-designed application. 

Using an API allows you to focus on your core features rather than data collection and management

Designing any application isn’t easy, and it takes a great deal of skill to create a great product; this is why it’s essential that you pare down the time and energy you spend on anything but fleshing out your functionalities. As mentioned above, data collection and management is an extremely hefty task, one that could eat up a significant percentage of your resources. When the data is already existent and collated, why should you spend time gathering and organizing your own? By hooking your app up to an API, you can spend more time on designing a unique app offering that satisfies your audience. 

APIs are very robust, guaranteeing good scalability

There is nothing that destroys trust in an app quite like constant downtime and laggy data retrieval: it doesn’t matter how beautiful your interface is if users find themselves frustrated by its poor performance. That’s why APIs are incredibly helpful for weather apps, because they are designed to withstand heavy traffic without crashing. They also rely upon trusted weather information providers with quality infrastructure, which means that you can be assured of great performance when retrieving data.

You can provide historical and future forecasts that weather fanatics will love

Lastly, let’s consider how your app can distinguish itself by providing a unique outlook: you may be surprised at just how priceless historical weather data can be to some individuals, and how much they would deeply appreciate an “On This Day” component of your application. For example, a historical fiction writer might want to know what the weather was like on a certain significant day 50 years ago, but will struggle to find that information elsewhere. They would be delighted to realize that the app they rely upon for the daily forecast can give them that specific detail as well.

Many weather APIs include historical datasets that you can integrate into your application, with as much or as little specificity as you require. This could be exact day-and-time information, or simply general trends such as averages and historical highs or lows, depending on the audience for your app. 

On the other end of the spectrum, future forecasting can be incredibly popular for those users who like to plan ahead. By utilizing historical forecasts, you can show your users the probable weather on any day in the future, giving them a clear image of what they should expect. This can be incredibly useful for the right consumer, and it will demonstrate the versatility of your product.

A weather app is only as good as its data

In order to keep consumers using your program, you need to have prompt, accurate, and well-presented forecasting that users can rely upon to keep themselves safe. Given how expensive and time consuming it is to collect this information yourself, utilizing a reputable API will save you money and resources that can instead be spent improving the user experience. APIs are an invaluable ally to apps that rely upon big data, ensuring that you offer world-class service to your user base.