Drops – The Rain Alarm is an iOS app to do with one of the United Kingdom’s favourite talking points. the weather. More particularly the rain. Its sole task is to let you know when the rain is about to start, albeit with a bit of warning, in your area. Or anywhere else you’d like to know about. The premise is basic but Drops has a clever trick up it’s sleeve.
Configuration wise there really isn’t much you can do other than setup your location and any alternative locations you might wish to receive alerts for. You can be alerted for either light, medium or heavy rain and on a per location basis. So you can set it to know if there is heavy rain where you might go out walking and light rain at home if you just put the laundry out.
When the rain hits the alert threshold you get the standard notification on your device and on your Apple watch. This alone has proved handy on more than one occasion saving myself and my 2 labradors from getting a soaking mid walk. Alerts come in around 15 – 20 minutes before it is predicted to start raining. This has given us time to change our walk mid route and get home before the skies have opened.
British weather is wholly unpredictable; yet despite this Drops predictions aren’t too bad at all. Whatever voodoo is powering their prediction model or the data source being used, alerts have been reassuringly accurate enough and whilst I wouldn’t become completely reliant on any app for the weather, I’m starting to depend / trust the alerts.
Drops has a standout feature that should be brought more to the forefront with a bit of designers’ polish, the radar view.
You can see radar imagery of cloud movement in five minute increments. This provides a handy way to take an educated guess if rain will be coming or if it’s going to be sunny enough to hang out your washing. It isn’t abundantly clear what part of the clouds are rain laden but I’d guess that if it’s red in the clouds that’s not a good thing!
Drops – The Rain Alarm may not be the most feature heavy weather application out there but it doesn’t claim to be, nor is it overly good looking, but functionality, accuracy and the great price of free makes Drops a worthwhile addition to your device.