Review: PinPoint Lightning App Aims to Enhance Safety

Lightning poses a significant risk for those who frequently engage in outdoor activities. In the United States, lightning is responsible for an average of 58 fatalities annually. To combat this, MyWeather, LLC has developed PinPoint Lightning, an app priced at US$5.99, which notifies users of lightning strikes occurring within a 30-mile radius of their location almost instantly.

The app, which covers both the USA and Canada, sources its data from the National Lightning Detection Network across all 50 states and from Environment Canada. Due to the high cost of accessing this data, the app’s price reflects the value of the timely lightning strike information it provides.

Outdoor enthusiasts such as hikers, cyclists, and golfers might find the cost justifiable for the safety it offers against sudden weather changes.

TUAW has tested the app and reports that PinPoint Lightning is both effective and user-friendly, fulfilling its promise with precision. Here’s a detailed review of what the app offers.

Initial impressions of the app might be underwhelming if the weather is clear, as it remains inactive until a lightning strike occurs nearby. I had installed it on my iPhone 4 and nearly forgot about it during a spell of sunny days. However, I was quickly reminded of its presence when my phone vibrated and emitted a loud “thunder” sound, signaling a nearby lightning strike.

The alert displayed was clear and direct, reading “Lightning – Alert for your location”.

Upon opening the app, I was greeted by an alert screen that impressively detailed the time and distance of the lightning strike from my location. For those who prefer less frequent notifications during a storm, the app allows users to silence alerts for specific durations—30 minutes, 8 hours, or 24 hours.

The “View Map” feature is particularly useful. A simple tap reveals the exact location of the lightning strike, the time it occurred, and its distance from you. The map, powered by Bing, not only shows the strike location but also allows users to zoom in for a detailed street view or zoom out to a regional perspective.

Cory

Thomas is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing insightful news and updates about Apple products to readers. With a deep understanding of the Apple ecosystem, Thomas covers everything from the latest iPhone and iPad releases to MacBook innovations and Apple Watch features. His clear and engaging writing style helps readers stay informed about the tech world. Thomas’s expertise and enthusiasm for Apple products make him a valuable contributor to the TUAW team.