Google and Forecast
Forecast.io is a brilliant weather service and the brains behind the awesome Dark Sky app - sadly iPhone only. One of their key innovations is the introduction of radar data to effectively predict rain near to your location. It works incredibly well. For instance I was planning to go a for run last weekend so decided to check Dark Sky. It told me that Hackney would see rain within the hour so I threw on my stuff and headed out. I got back just as it started.
Google has bought core apps in the past - recently it bought Timely a really good Android alarm clock. Google also likes buying companies with an engineering or problem solving focus. Well Forecast.io is definitely an engineers approach to weather - they’re building a weather platform rather than just an app, they have a solid API and an ecosystem of third part devs. Finally, and probably most importantly, the product fits perfectly into Google Now. I’ve written about Google optimising grids previously - Forecast.io adds another layer to this. “Don’t walk it’s going to rain, take an umbrella, allow more time for driving, cycling might not be fun today.” There are thousands of decisions that are made everyday with the weather in mind and currently we require multiple apps to get the ideal view. If Google really is trying to be a personal assistant then Forecast.io sits perfectly into that mix.