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.


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.