Hello Pollen Wise users! You may be wondering why we haven’t published an update to our app in a number of weeks, especially since our normal update schedule has been every week or every other week! Though your app may not have received visible updates recently, our entire team has been hard at work improving your experience, and we want to give you a behind the scenes look at what we’ve been working on.
The lifeblood of the Pollen Wise app is the data collected from our Pollen Sense Sensors. As a quick refresher, our sensors are the first of their kind automated pollen collectors that use machine vision and learning to quickly gather air samples so that you have hourly reports of what’s in the air around you. We have silently deployed better and better data models to our network, and with every update to them they get better at recognizing the very stuff that makes you sneeze!
You may have noticed that the app has a map of forecasted highs for the day. Every weeknight our Chief Aerobiologist Landon Bunderson studies the data coming in from our sensor network and prepares a Pollen Forecast for the next day. You can check it out on The Pollen Channel on YouTube or in the video player in our app! These maps are the first of many alternate visualizations we’re working on to give you as many ways as possible to understand Pollen Conditions around you.
Pollen Wise has been on the Apple App and Google Play Stores for a little over a year now, originally launching in September 2019. Some of our longest users may remember the complete visual overhaul to the app back in February 2020. What you might not know is that our small development team completely re-wrote the app from scratch in less than two weeks! Our old framework and tooling was holding us back from some of the grander visions we had for the app, and the February release was a big step up from our original app which is why it received a 1.0 designation.
We’re now at the point where Pollen Wise 2.0 is launching. On the surface, the 2.0 update is far less noticeable than our previous major upgrades. Much to the delight of our developers (including the author of this blogpost!), this update did not require a complete rewrite of the app. Visually, not much has changed from our 1.0 release, but under the hood a lot of code has been added or updated to make the app easier to maintain and more flexible as we continue our goal to introduce new features at a blazingly fast pace. These updates will open up new possibilities in making our Sensor data interactive and personalized.
We listen to all of the feedback that we receive both from our website and from our app and take your suggestions and complaints seriously. One of the most requested features is an expansion on the data visualizations for our journal feature. With all versions of Pollen Wise before 2.0, all journal entries were tied to your device, meaning upgrading to a new device or using a phone and a tablet meant your entries were tied to your original device. With the phone upgrade season fast approaching, we wanted to make sure your journal entries were safe! The launch of Pollen Wise 2.0 includes the ability to create a pollen wise account using:
All of your existing journal entries can continue to be viewed in read-only mode without an account. Thus, editing entries or adding additional ones will require an account. After an account is created, your journal entries and other future personalized data can follow you to your next phone or to your tablet!
For those that do not want to create an account, Pollen Wise will continue to show you the latest up-to-the-hour data from our sensor network on the home tab and you can continue to read and view all of our carefully crafted solutions on the solutions tab. At this time, we are not planning on making an account a requirement to use the app; however, many of the advanced and personalized features moving forward will require one.
The Pollen Wise team is excited about upcoming features that are both in development and just waiting for our developers to get their hands on. Pollen Wise 2.0 might not be as flashy as our previous major updates, but it really is the foundation for so many exciting features we have in the works!
Our continued hope is that we can continue to find new ways for our team to connect with you, our users, so that we can collectively find a better way to navigate our seasonal allergies.