If you own an HTC Android-powered smartphone, then you know how much you love the weather. It’s one of Britain’s favourite pastimes and one of the phone's defining elements, but expect the weather feature on your phone to get a lot better thanks to a new tools offering by Google, in its latest Android 2.3 update.
Although no phone on the market, including the yet to be released Samsung Nexus S, features a barometer, Google has added support for such a sensor if manufacturers want to add it to the spec list.
For those of you who fell asleep in physics at school, a barometer is a scientific instrument used to measure atmospheric pressure.
That means it can forecast short-term changes in the weather, like when it is about to rain, or if a dry spell is coming; barometers have been used in weather forecasting since the late 19th century.
Put that into practice on your phone and combined with a weather application, it could let you know whether you should be packing an umbrella when you leave the house, or perhaps just a jumper.
Other uses include reading atmospheric changes in altitude, making sports-related smartphones also a reality.
Now adventure racers could, if an application was developed, take their phone rather than their expensive watch up the mountain to check their altitude, amongst other measurements.
No manufacturer has come forward as yet to say that they will be supporting the new sensor capabilities of Android, however with devices like the Motorola Defy playing the “tough” card, and HTC’s love affair with the weather, we don’t expect it to be long before your phone is predicting the weather.