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Adding weather to Android Calendars

Background, and the options that should work but dont

Anyone moving from a Windows phone to an Android phone will find that the various Android calendars do not have the weather forcast built in by default, something that they will have got used to. It turns out to be a lot more tricky to add this than would have been expected.

The Android Google Calendars app may have a setting labelled "7 day weather forcast" but this just suggests that you add the Weather widget to the home screen. There are plenty of weather widget (such as the BBC weather app) for doing this and none of them add entries into the calendar.

If you have a linked Outlook calendar, you will find that there is an option on the outlook web portal (https://outlook.office.com/owa/?path=/options/weather) for putting the weather forecast onto the web calendar, but this is neither visible on the desktop outlook app or any connected android calendars.

A Google search will find sites such as this https://mashtips.com/weather-forecast-ical-mac-ios/ which show that the answer is to add a weather calendar to your outlook or gmail calendar, which then will become visible on your Android phone. It used to be possible to do this from the Weather Underground iCal Forecast service website, but the iCal option for doing this seems to have disappeared in 2015, although it does appear to still be possible to do it for locations in the US.

And then there is metacheck.com, which should provide a suitable calendar. However the most obvious option is to go for a daily summary, but the option that claims to do this provides three forecasts for the first five days, and then daily forcasts from then on.

WebCal.fi: the option that does work

WebCal.fi provides lots of calendars that can be added to your calendar, including weather. There claims to be an automatic way of adding the calendar to your Google account, but this did not work for me and I had to go to the manual update page, where you select the weather options, click 'Get URL' and copy and paste the URL that appears at the top of the screen. In principal it should be possible to add this to an outlook.com calendar, a Google calendar, or a suitable Android App and it should then be visible on the phone. However each of the options has its advantages and disadvantages (see below).

On balance my current preferred option is to use the 'Subscribed Calendars' Android app. Its disadvantage/feature is that it loses the location information.

Other calendar synchronisation things

  • A calendar added to the desktop Outlook app is not reflected back to the cloud outlook account so is not a way of adding a calendar to your Android calendars. It is possible to control the update frequency, the default being that it will update at the same rate as your Email send/receive frequency for POP accounts, which is possibly too frequently.
  • A calendar added to an outlook.com web calendar is then visible on the Outlook desktop App and Android calendars. However there is no way of controlling the update period and it possibly updates unnecessarily frequently. Also, on Android it is not possible to distinguish on Android between added ics calendars such as for weather and ordinary calendar events, which means they cannot be highlighted in different colours and the weather cannot be hidden, e.g. in agenda widgets.
  • A calendar added to a Google calendar is visible as a separately manageable calendar on Android calendars but there is no control over the update frequency, which was as slow as once every 2 days on tests. To add the calendar click 'Add a friends calendar'/'From a URL', paste in the link. Note that when you click add calender in the dialog box the web page may appear to freeze. When this happens it nevertheless appears to add the calendar as you will find when you return to the main calendar page
  • A calendar added using the 'Subscribed Calendars' app on Android can be set to appear on Android calendars as required, allows for the update frequency to be controlled (Once every 6 hours is about right for weather information) but does not pass on the location information.
  • A calendar added using the 'WebCal sync' app on Android passes on the location, but does not allow the update frequency to be set.
  • A calendar added using the 'iCalSync' app puts the data one day early (?). It does allow refresh time setting and passes on the location