The Weather Channel has joined Samsung's Made for Samsung program with an expanded weather app for Galaxy smartphone users that offers several added features over the standard Weather Channel mobile app.
The new Weather Channel App for Samsung, which is available for free through the Samsung Galaxy Apps store, includes a customizable alarm clock feature, distinctive floating screen shortcuts, special Samsung-only app backgrounds and special Edge-compatible alerts for Galaxy Edge smartphone users.
The new Weather Channel App for Samsung will work with the latest Samsung Galaxy smartphones, including the Galaxy S7, the S7 Edge, the S6, the S6 Edge+ and the Note 5.
The Smart Weather Wakeup alarm clock feature (pictured) in the new app lets users set an alarm like usual, but then directs the alarm to be triggered ahead of time if inclement weather is detected by the app in the upcoming weather forecast. The feature presently will move the alarm ahead for rain or snow storms, but other weather condition triggers are expected in the future, including fog and more.
"It takes into consideration your commute and the weather conditions" and will trigger user-set parameters that will set off earlier alarms if certain weather events are forecast near the time of the scheduled alarm, Chantal Botana, product leader for emerging platforms and partnerships at The Weather Channel, told eWEEK.
Users can designate settings in the alarm app to, for instance, set off the alarm 10 minutes early if rain is forecast or 20 minutes early if snow is forecast, she said. While rain and snow are the only events in the app's menu so far, others including tides, could come in the future, said Botana. Other triggers could later be built in that might be related to a user's outdoor passions, such as running, cycling or other activities, which could give them earlier alarms if weather conditions are optimal according to their preferences.
"The app will look at the immediate conditions and weather data an hour out as it affects the user's wake-up time," said Botana. "We're starting with inclement weather, but this could go in other directions."
The floating shortcuts feature provides users with home screen shortcuts that offer customizable, direct on-screen access to weather information that is most important to them, including current conditions, hourly or daily forecasts, radar, local video and more, said Botana. The floating shortcuts let users get in and out of the app as quickly as possible to find the weather information that they want, she said. The shortcuts can be found by tapping the raindrop icon on the screen, which delivers a drop-down menu of weather details.
The added display backgrounds in the special edition app include weather images that have been taken with Samsung Galaxy smartphones and are delivered to coincide with weather events in a user's location, said Botana.
And the Edge-compatible alerts for Galaxy Edge device users allow instant alerts to be displayed on the edges of the display screens, warning users of upcoming real-time rain, severe alerts or breaking weather news, according to The Weather Channel. Additional edge alerts will also arrive in the future, including forecast alerts, pollen alerts and more.
Some of the new features that will be incorporated into the app will be unveiled next week at the Samsung Developers Conference in San Francisco, with release to follow later, said Botana.
The Weather Channel App for Samsung had a soft launch on Jan. 6 and has since received user feedback and some changes to prepare it for its April 21 release.
The Made for Samsung program, which brings added services and features to Samsung device customers, was unveiled by Samsung in January at CES 2016 in partnership with other companies. Included so far are extra features from Expedia, CNN.com, Photobucket, News Republic, Pear Sports and Skimble.
The co-developed app will be expanded to other Samsung products in the future, including the Gear S2 smartwatch, tablets, SmartTVs and more. Samsung's latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge, went on sale in March.