08
Apr
unnamed

We've all been there - you walk out of a restaurant or your workplace, only to discover "oh crap, it's raining." Your first thought? "I wish I had known this an hour ago." Checking the weather religiously may be a part of some people's daily routine, but I can say with confidence that I regularly step outside improperly dressed for the [admittedly narrow] range of climate conditions I sometimes encounter. Especially when it rains.

AutomateIt wants to make those surprise showers a thing of the past, though. The app lands somewhere between Tasker and Motorola's Smart Actions (not super technical, but with tons of options and ways to trigger alerts), and has been around on Android for quite some time. The latest update, though, integrates weather-based triggers using Nooly Micro Weather to check conditions every 5 minutes.

Nooly-weather-trigger-screenshot-small

The idea is fairly simple: if it's going to rain (and you can set alerts to various levels of rain intensity) within a given time frame that you can adjust, your phone will let you know. You can set a pre-defined location, or use your current position. So, if you want to know if it's going to rain wherever you are with at least 2 hours of advanced notice, AutomateIt will check in with Nooly every 5 minutes to see if rain is coming.

The idea is indeed a neat one, though I've already become a bit wary of its usefulness vs. annoyance just in writing about it. If the service checks in every 5 minutes (meaning waking up and activating mobile data), how much battery is that using? How high does the chance of rain need to be before I'm notified? 50%? 25%? 10%? And am I going to receive a new alert every time my current location switches to a new weather station? If you're driving, that could get annoying fast.

Really, it'd make a lot more sense just to integrate this kind of functionality into a weather app, or better yet, an intelligent Google Now notification. But, if you use AutomateIt, or are interested in checking it out, here's another reason.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • TheWhiteLotus

    This needs to be part of Google Now. Now.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Right?

    • Jobeth Palacio

      Now, now, there's no need to have this type of update on Google Now, now.

      Maybe tomorrow.

  • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

    If only Zooey Deschanel had an Android, she wouldn't have to ask her phone if it's raining outside!

    http://img0.joyreactor.com/pics/post/funny-pictures-auto-zooey-deschanel-rain-389080.jpeg

  • shiftis

    I use IFTTT + Pushover for weather alerts like this. Since my phone is just getting push notifications and not actively checking every x amount of time, there is virtually zero impact on battery life.

    • makapav

      Does not take into consideration changing locations unfortunately.

    • Dave

      IFTTT is a great app, but their weather data source is not in the same high resolution as the one that is currently offered by AutometeIT

  • ChainsawCharlie

    Neat idea!

  • http://twitter.com/AutomateItApp AutomateIt

    Thanks for this review !

    Let me address some of your concerns in regards to battery life and annoyance of multiple notifications - The weather data from Nooly is provided in 5 minutes intervals for the next hour and the rest of the data is provided in one hour intervals, so AutomateIt does not check every 5 minutes for updates (unless you have defined a forecast time of 5 minutes...).

    AutomateIt checks the weather in varying intervals based on the desired forecast range, so for instance, if you choose a forecast range of 2 hours it will only check the weather once an hour etc.

    As for multiple notifications, if AutomateIt identifies that you were already notified and the next weather check only expands the time frame in which the same weather conditions apply, the trigger will not be triggered again (hence no multiple notifications). Only in case there is a change that ends the weather conditions defined, and then starts again - the trigger will be launched again.

    Thanks again and hope this helps to ease your concerns.

  • James Bowker

    when can we expect coverage for the UK/ROW?

  • brkshr

    This sounds perfect for me because I have the top off my Jeep 8 months out of the year. In fact, I just got rained on yesterday with the top off because I was inside meeting with my accountant. When I checked the weather earlier, it didn't have rain in the forecast.

  • tharealoc

    Rain Alarm has served me well for years now, I just love the little umbrella widget. However, competition is always a good thing and this app should push rain alarm. This app does look nice, I may have to give it a try.

  • Haedocynic

    Buienalarm is a free application that already does this, it can send you notifications 45 minutes before it's going to rain at your exact location (it is far more precise than merely your city: it interpolates between weather stations). It has proven quite reliable over the past year or so.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.yoki.android.buienalarm
    It is in Dutch, but you only really need to look at the raindrop in the notification or the rain graph in the widget.

  • Mike Ellis

    The sky motion app can tell you when rain is expected.... Doesn't send notifications though....

  • Asif

    I am not able to call a number at specific time of day. The specific message I get is, "Saving this rule will create a circular reference or will result in executing a rule more than one time. Change rule or trigger or action."

    I can not change trigger, or rule, I must call that number at specific time. I also tried changed it everyday to 6,5,4,3,2,1 and none day but nothing helps. Please help me.

  • Asif

    I am not able to create a task to call a number at specific time of day.
    The specific message I get is, "Saving this rule will create a circular
    reference or will result in executing a rule more than one time. Change
    rule or trigger or action." Task is: triger>timed; action>call
    specific number I can not change trigger, or rule, I must call that
    number at specific time. I also tried changed it everyday to 6,5,4,3,2,1
    and none day but nothing helps. Please help me. I was previously able
    to create and execute this task before update. Thank you for creating
    this app, it deserves 5 star. Please please please fix this. :(