SWIFT Mobile Documentation

Version 1.1 -- August 21, 2007 updated
The latest version of this documentation can be found at www.swiftmobile.net

For SWIFT Today Documentation, click here

For Troubleshooting Tips (or FAQs), click here

Contents


Overview
SWIFT Mobile is an advanced weather-tracking system designed for mobile devices. The Premium version includes SWIFT Today, a home-screen plugin that provides at-a-glance weather summaries and automatic weather alerts based on the user's location.

Getting Started
After installing, navigate the Start menu to find and open SWIFT Mobile. After entering your username and password, you will be presented with a map of the U.S. and, if an Internet connection is available, the latest Radar update will download and display on-screen.

Controls
To navigate the map, use the stylus to tap-and-drag the screen to a different position. Alternately, you may use the phone's control pad to navigate up, down, left, or right.

Press the left softkey, labeled Zoom to display the Zoom menu. Alternately, you can double-tap the screen with your stylus or press the center button on the control pad to display a context menu with Zoom In / Zoom Out.

As you zoom or pan to different parts of the map, SWIFT Mobile will automatically download Weather imagery for that region.

When a download is in progress, you will see a rotating icon in the upper-right corner of the screen, as well as a progress bar in the upper-left.

  Download in progress
  Download complete
  Internet connection unavailable (will re-try in a few minutes)

Download speeds vary greatly depending on

1) cellular service provider,
2) signal strength, and
3) amount of weather imagery being downloaded

Downloads can be as fast as a few seconds or as slow as a few minutes. Be patient, and experiment with different settings to find the most optimal download speeds for you.

Animation new!
Tap the green Play button at the top of the screen to begin animating the Weather imagery. If the screen has been in the same position for a few minutes, the animation may begin immediately. Otherwise, you may have to wait for all the frames to finish downloading. Each animation frame represents roughly 15 minutes, so a full loop represents about 75 to 90 minutes.

To stop animation and return to the most recent frame, tap the red Stop button .

Animation performance will vary depending on device hardware and the number of Geography layers turned on. To adjust performance, see the Animation tab of the Options menu.

Menu
The main menu can be activated by pressing the right softkey, labeled Menu. The main menu contains the following items:

Weather: Weather layers that can be displayed (see below)
Geography:
Geographic layers that can be displayed, such as cities and state borders (see below)
My Locations:
Custom points of interest that can be added to the map (see below), plus GPS options
Options:
Application options and settings (see below)
Help:
This help file
Quit:
Shutdown the application

Weather Menu
You may display any combination of Weather layers by selecting the item under this menu. These layers include:

Radar: displays color coded echo based on presence and type of precipitation: green/yellow/red = rain, blue = snow, pink = rain & snow mixed
Satellite: displays cloud cover
Conditions: displays current weather conditions (e.g., sunny, partly cloudy, etc)
Watch/Warnings: displays active storm watches and warnings, if present. Dashed boxes indicate Watches (where severe weather is expected) and solid boxes indicate Warnings (where severe weather is occurring). Red = tornadic storms, yellow = severe storms, blue = flooding.
Animate: start animation (same as tapping the green Play button), or stop animation if already running

SWIFT Mobile Premium version includes all of the above plus the following:

Surface Fronts: displays location of cold and warm fronts.
        - Blue lines: cold fronts
        - Red lines: warm fronts
        - Blue and Red lines: stationary
           fronts
        - Brown dashed lines: Dry lines
           (boundary between dry and
            humid air)

Wind Vectors: displays the direction and intensity of winds
        - Blue arrows: 1-7 mph
        - Green arrows: 8-14 mph
        - Yellow arrows: 15-20 mph
        - Orange arrows: 21-29 mph
        - Red arrows: 30+ mph

Storm Reports: displays severe weather reports from local law enforcement and trained weather spotters
        - Green dots: Hail reports
        - Blue wavy lines: Extreme wind
           reports
        - Red inverted triangles:
           Tornado reports
 

Geography Menu
Use this menu to turn on or off various geographic layers, such as cities or county outlines. You may also download and install new layers and backgrounds to further customize your experience.

Visit www.swiftmobile.net or click here to view and download additional Geography expansion packs.

My Locations Menu
This menu serves a few purposes:

Show (or Hide): Show or hide custom locations you have added to the map. Same as checking/un-checking the Locations option in the Geography menu.
Add Location: Creates a new location at the center of the screen. See Adding Custom Locations below for more details.
Home: Show or hide your Home location, if set (see Setting Your Home Location below)
GPS: Activate or deactivate your GPS position (see GPS Positioning below)
Go to: Provides a list of custom locations where you can quickly navigate to on the map
Remove: Allows you to remove custom locations you have added

Setting Your Home Location
Setting your Home location allows you to easily keep track of your stationary position while tracking the weather (it is also necessary if using SWIFT Today home-screen plug-in). To set your Home location, follow these steps:

Using the stylus
Tap-and-hold for 2 seconds on the screen where you want to set your Home location. You must hold the stylus very still, it may take some practice. On the pop-up menu, select Set as Home.

Using the control pad
Use the control pad to center the screen on your Home location. You may need to zoom in a few times. Press the center button to display the pop-up menu, and select Set as Home.

Adding Custom Locations
Add as many custom locations to the map as you want using this feature. Here's how:

Using the stylus
Tap-and-hold for 2 seconds on the screen where you want to add a new location. You must hold the stylus very still, it may take some practice. On the pop-up menu, select Add Location. Enter a label for the new location and click OK.

Using the control pad
Use the control pad to center the screen on where you want to add a new location. You may need to zoom in a few times. Press the center button to display the pop-up menu, and select Add Location. Enter a label for the new location and click OK.

Using your GPS position
If using your GPS, you may get an exact fix on your location by selecting Menu > My Locations > Go To > GPS. This will center the screen on your exact position. Press the center button to display the pop-up menu, and select Add Location. Enter a label for the new location and click OK.
 

Saving an Image new!
To save a screenshot of the current map, press the control pad's center button to display the pop-up menu, and then select Save Image. On the screen that follows, you may select a name and folder for the image (default name and folder provided), and select the image file format: PNG, JPG, GIF, or BMP.

Example usage: Use the Save Image feature to send a screenshot from SWIFT Mobile to a friend or family member's cell phone (if multimedia messaging is supported) or e-mail address.


GPS Positioning
Displaying your GPS position in SWIFT Mobile is relatively simple. If your GPS device is already connected to your phone (via bluetooth, serial port, or compact flash) then all you need to do is select GPS from the My Locations menu. All available ports will be scanned, and if a GPS device is found it will connect automatically.

You are most likely to encounter difficulty in connecting your GPS device with your phone. So be sure to consult your GPS or phone's manual for instructions.


Reporting a Storm
If you are personally experiencing severe weather, SWIFT Mobile provides an interface for you to report that weather to the authorities.

NOTE: The National Weather Service recommends that all weather spotters undergo basic training before submitting storm reports. Training classes are held every year and are coordinated by your local NWS office. Visit www.weather.gov to locate the NWS office nearest you.

Reportable conditions include:
- Hail larger than 3/4-inch
- Flooding
- Significant wind damage
- Rotating cloud features (funnels or wall clouds)
- Tornadoes

Reportable conditions do NOT include:
- Heavy rain
- Lightning
- Strong winds

If you encounter severe weather and decide to report it, follow these steps:

1. (optional) If possible, take a picture or video of the event using your phone. Save the picture to memory, and remember the filename.

2. Select the location of the event:

Using the stylus
Tap-and-hold for 2 seconds on the screen where the event has occurred. You must hold the stylus very still, it may take some practice. On the pop-up menu, select Report Storm.

Using the control pad
Use the control pad to center the screen on where the event has occurred. You may need to zoom in a few times. Press the center button to display the pop-up menu, and select Report Storm.

Using your GPS position
If using your GPS, you may get an exact fix on your location by selecting Menu > My Locations > Go To > GPS. This will center the screen on your exact position. Press the center button to display the pop-up menu, and select Report Storm.

3. Select Report Type and enter a brief description of the event. If Hail or Winds are being reported, enter a measurement only if known. If necessary, change the Report Time to reflect the time the event occurred.

4. (optional) If a picture or video was captured, click the Browse button to search for the saved file.

5. (optional) If you want to forward the report to the nearest National Weather Service office, check the box "Send Report to Nat'l Weather Svc". You will be required to leave a name and phone or email for contact reference. Reports not submitted to the NWS will still be shared among SWIFT Mobile and SWIFT WX Professional users.

6. Finally, click "Submit" and wait for your report to be submitted.


Options
The options screen provides access to all the programs settings. It is divided up into the following sections:

Main: Account settings, refresh interval, and screen preferences
Connection: Proxy server and authentication settings, if needed
GPS: GPS COM port and baud rate settings
          Auto Discovery: new! Select this option to automatically scan for GPS devices every 30 seconds. If found, GPS positioning will be enabled automatically.
          Set Home Position: new! Select this option to automatically change your home position to the last GPS position after the GPS is disconnected
Animation: new! Modify animation Speed (speed between frames) and Pause (delay at end of loop)
Layers: Change the Z-Order of geography and weather layers (i.e., setting which layer is displayed above or below other layers)
Log: Application logging for diagnostic purposes.

 

Troubleshooting

Login issues
Make sure you have created a user account on www.swiftmobile.net. Your username and password are case sensitive, so make sure you use the same uppercase/lowercase letters.

SWIFT Today opens and then immediately closes
If you are using certain devices, like the T-Mobile Wing, your operating system has been modified to shut down applications instead of minimizing them when the 'X' button is tapped. SWIFT Today is meant to run minimized, but is never able to reach that state on these devices. To work around this issue, open the Task Manager utility and uncheck the box labeled "End programs by tapping X".

Download never finishes
If a download persists for more than a few minutes with no progress, Quit the application and restart to reset the connection. Also make sure you have a valid Internet connection.

Slow Application Performance
Poor application performance -- not to be confused with slow download speeds (below) -- can be experienced on older hardware or when system memory is low. We recommend devices 200 MHz CPU or faster, and at least 10 MB free Storage Memory and 10 MB free Program Memory.

To check available Memory, tap Start > Settings > "System" tab > Memory

Tips for improving performance:
1) Minimize the number of Geography layers that are displayed
2) Enable "Optimize for Speed" on the Animation tab of Options
3) Disable "Always connect to GPS if available" on the GPS tab of Options
4) Turn off GPS tracking when not necessary
5) Stop all programs which do not need to be running (using the Memory application)
6) Free up storage space by deleting old text and e-mail messages, and deleting Internet Explorer history and cache
 

Slow Downloads
Download speeds vary greatly depending on cellular service provider, signal strength, and amount of weather imagery being downloaded.


Weather imagery is displayed in the wrong position
If you notice weather imagery being displayed from a different region (which can be observed by sharp edges in radar or satellite tiles), this means a connection error has interrupted the download and caused a problem with the display. If the problem does not go away on its own, just restart the application.

Frequent Application Crashes
If you notice the application crashing frequently, make sure that you have the .NET Compact Framework installed to Main Memory and not an expansion/SD card. Whenever the phone's screen is turned off the SD Card is also powered down. Anything applications running on the SD Card will also be terminated.


Support Contacts
For additional support visit www.swiftmobile.net/support.aspx or e-mail rory@swiftweather.com.


Revision History (SWIFT Mobile)

1.1 -- July 13, 2007:

1.0 -- April 7, 2007:

 


SWIFT Today Documentation

Contents

Overview
SWIFT Today (Premium version only) is a unique Today Screen plug-in that provides at-a-glance weather summaries and automatic weather alerts based on your location.

Screenshot

Getting Started
To start the Today Screen Plug-in (SWIFT Today) tap on one of the gray icons. If you do not see the plug-in on your Today Screen, try restarting your phone.

If you haven't already entered your username and password in SWIFT Mobile, you will be required to do that before the plug-in can download updates. Additionally, you should set a Home Location so it knows for which area to request the data.

Icons

Conditions: Graphical display of forecasted conditions over the next 12 hours.
 

Temps: Forecasted High and Low temperatures for the next 12 hours and current temperature.
 

Winds: Current wind speed and direction. Wind is blowing from the direction the red arrow is pointing (out of the northeast in this example).
 

Radar: Loop of the last hour of Radar. Center point is determined by Home Position as set in SWIFT Today Settings or in SWIFT Mobile, or GPS position if active.
 

Weather Alerts
SWIFT Today will automatically alert you of weather-related information throughout the day. Tap on any of the icons (except Radar, which launches SWIFT Mobile) or highlight the plug-in and press the center/enter button to display Weather Alert screen.

SWIFT Today will warn on the following threats:

Tornado Warning
Severe Thunderstorm Warning
Flash Flood Warning
Hurricane Force Wind Warning
Blizzard Warning
Heavy Snow Warning
Winter Storm Warning

Storm Warning

Flood Warning
High Wind Warning

Freeze Warning
Tornado Watch
Severe Thunderstorm Watch
Flash Flood Watch
Flash Flood Statement
Severe Weather Statement
Gale Warning
Snow/Blowing Snow Advisory
Snow Advisory
Winter Weather Advisory
High Surf Advisory
Heavy Freezing Spray Warning
Brisk Wind Advisory
Small Craft Advisory
Marine Weather Statement
Wind Advisory
Flood Watch
High Wind Watch
Fire Weather Watch
Flood Statement
Special Weather Statement

* Color coding based on NWS WWA standards

In addition to threatening weather, 7-day forecasts are updated twice daily (morning and evening) and include weather conditions, chance of precipitation, and high and low temps for each day.

If more than one message is available, press the right / left buttons on your direction pad to move to the next / previous message.

If you change your Home or GPS location, the Weather Alerts will be reloaded on the next update for the new location.
 

Settings
The SWIFT Today Settings (separate from SWIFT Mobile Options) screen provides access to the plug-in settings. To access Settings, press the left softkey when viewing the Weather Alert screen.  Settings are divided up into the following sections:

Main: Account settings, refresh interval, startup preferences, and shutdown button
Location: Current latitude and longitude, and options to modify Home location.
Icons: Display options for Today Screen Icons

Revision History (SWIFT Today Plug-in)

1.1 -- July 13, 2007:

1.0 -- April 7, 2007: