OpenSignal, the London startup that uses crowdsourced data picked up from sensors on its users’ devices, to power apps, such apps to suss out the best mobile networks or the real weather, is today rolling WeatherSignal, the latter of these two apps, for the iPhone — specifically the new iPhone 6 models.
WeatherSignal has already seen a fair degree of popularity on Android, with 270,000 downloads since launching in May last year. It’s only coming to the iPhone now because the iPhone 6 models are the first to contain sensors for barometric readings, making it the first time that iPhone handsets can be used for crowdsourced meteorology.
This doesn’t mean that you cannot download it to older models of the iPhone. The live barometric feature will not work, CEO Brendan Gill tells me, but you can still see the crowdsourced map.
The app comes in the wake of OpenSignal getting a lot of interest from iPhone users. “We got a lot of e-mails asking us for an iOS version,” OpenSignal’s Samuel Johnston adds.
The company had also provided the software for a keyring-based device called the StormTag, designed by Jon Atherton, that contains an air pressure sensor that uses bluetooth to interact with the WeatherSignal iPhone and Android apps. As a measure of demand, a Kickstarter campaign they ran to raise $17,500 to develop the StormTag ended up raising $112,000.
One benefit of using something like a StormTag over the app, for those who have the option, would be less drain on your phone battery from accessing the sensors. Mostly, though, like WeatherSignal, StormTag demonstrates the potential of how OpenSignal can creatively combine crowdsourcing models; data from phone sensors; and analytics to unearth new insights and information — laying the groundwork for how the startup generates revenue. (It already has 20 paying customers that include Telefonica, China Mobile and Deloitte.)
OpenSignal announced a $4 million round in August led by Qualcomm Ventures.