Weather Provider service app for other apps to use

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By khaytsus, Senior Member on 4th August 2014, 06:56 PM
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I'm a bit of a weather geek, but I'm sure many people use random apps which have their own built-in weather providers, such as ROMs, cLock, Dashclock, Chronus, etc. These are the ones that come to mind, but I'm sure there are other categories of apps that have or could use a weather provider, even things like Tasker, UCCW, etc.

Specifically what I'm talking about here is a service which pulls weather from a provider and then caches that information for other apps to use. I'm not talking about replacing weather apps, like Accuweather etc, although if there were some sort of Weather API standard perhaps they might be on board for letting other apps use their data (probably not, but anyway).

I see a number of benefits to users, mainly centralized weather data which means only one app is polling for weather updates, most likely better weather provider support because the service is dedicated to doing just that, perhaps it could be made extensible (plugins) so that other people could write providers for the service to use, etc.

Battery life and data usage would be improved because one app is querying data from the internet at a set rate; other apps can query the cached data but they get just that (cached data) until the service refreshes.

A developer who wrote such an app could potentially offer specific things in a paid package, such as refresh rates, ability to control what queries the data and how often, etc. Otherwise, offer the basics as a free app to allow the ecosystem to grow.

It would require the service app being written and apps supporting it, but I'm sure many developers who write weather providers into their apps would much rather concentrate on other areas in their code rather than keeping up with the latest changes from multiple weather providers.

I've seen ROMs which have built-in weather provider stuff in them, something I'm sure they'd rather not have built into the rom; if an external app is available they could query it for the data rather than bake all of that into the ROM itself.

I can see the app itself having a selection of providers, refresh time, probably not a lot else.. Pretty simple app itself, it's just caching the data. It would provide some sort of API to other apps to allow them to query the current data. Providing data for multiple locations is probably a good thing to have, but not critical IMO.

Apps would query the service for the latest weather data. They would not know/care what provider the data came from, only asking for the latest data. The only exception I can see here is that you might want weather information from multiple locations, so a way to specify a profile or something of that nature might be good.

Anyone else think this would be a good idea? If the service was available and had enough providers I imagine that other apps could get on board with it so they could rip out all of the weather code out of their own apps and work on stuff they care about more.
10th August 2014, 11:44 PM |#2  
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