One of the apps that Filipinos use on their smartphones is the weather app. They rely on them so they can be prepared for the scorching heat of `summer or if they need to bring their umbrellas during the rainy season.
Those apps are fine and all, but for us Filipinos what matters to us especially during the rainy season is the answer to this question – will it rain today or not?
I’m glad there’s an app for that now, and it’s called RaincheckPH. The app was developed by our good friends over at Voyager Innovations, Inc., a subsidiary of Smart Communications which I mentioned before in my “Smart-Sun-Waze” post. The RaincheckPH app can predict with 95% accuracy of the probability of rain in a specific city or town. It also quickly alerts users through a pop-up notification whenever the probability of rain in their current location reaches 50% within the next four hours.
How is this app able to predict rainfall? Voyager partnered with the DOST (Department of Science and Technology) and Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) to give us a heads-up if we should bring our rain gear before going out. We know there is already a Project NOAH app existing since last year, but the RaincheckPH app does not compete with it. Instead, the latter is making the information a lot easier and simpler for Filipinos to understand. The app’s simple, color-coded design also means mobile users wouldn’t have a hard time understanding the rain alerts for their specific locations.
“With the RaincheckPH app, Filipinos can receive timely and accurate information about rain and other hazards within their vicinity so they can always be prepared,” explained Dr. Mahar Lagmay, Executive Director of Project NOAH. “Equipping Filipinos with the proper tools and mindset to prepare for these natural disasters has always been the main goal of Project NOAH from the start—and this new and innovative mobile app helps in achieving that.”
Prior to the launch, I tested the app on the Cloudfone Thrill 400qx and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 during my recent trip to Visayas. True enough, I found the app easier to use and understand compared to the Project NOAH app (no offense Project NOAH team). I was able to know right away which areas would have more rainfall as well as its timetable. The app accurately predicted that it would rain upon my arrival in Tacloban from Samar. Too bad Samar isn’t part of the the RaincheckPH app that covers 70 cities as of the moment. I hope this number will continue to increase for other areas that are not yet covered.
Back in Makati, the app did not fail in giving me warnings thanks to its pop-up notification as seen above. I almost got drenched though because I left my umbrella somewhere, but that’s a different story.
Sharing the RaincheckPH app status on Facebook and Twitter is a nice touch. You can share the status of a location before meeting up with friends.
The app is definitely for free and is currently available at the Google Play Store. According to Jett Angeles, Senior Manager of Voyager, it should be compatible with older versions of Android Operating System. Those on iOS will have to wait for a little while but good news is they’re also making this as a priority.