Anemometers have been around for hundreds of years. They’re extremely useful devices that measure wind speed and sometimes other climate or weather information. Today a new class of wind meters is gaining popularity: smartphone anemometers. Anemometers for smartphones (and anemometer attachments/accessories for smartphones) are useful for both professionals and hobbyist anemometer users. In this article we’re going to run down some of the best wind meters for smartphones.
Our picks for the best wind meter for smartphones
WeatherFlow Wind Meter for Smart Phone
This Android/iPhone anemometer attachment comes in two versions. The first plugs into your headphone port (or Lightning to Headphone adapter in the case of newer iPhones) and the newer version connects via Bluetooth. Both provide you with wind data in an app on your phone. It measures both the current wind speed and also keeps track of gusts, plus the direction and GPS location. Using the free app you can even share the wind data on social media. Also works on iPads and iPod Touches.
Platforms: iPhone, Android
Battery required: Powered by your smartphone’s battery
Max wind speed: 125mph / 200kmph / 108 knots
Measures: Wind speed, wind direction
Holdpeak Digital Anemometer with App Connect
Holdpeak is one of the top manufacturers of handheld wind speed meters, and this model features App Connect. In addition to seeding all your real time data on the built in LED screen with backlight, you can use Bluetooth to connect with your smartphone and view the info in the “Intelligent Anemometer App.”
The wind speed meter itself is an excellent tool. It uses a magnetic induction type wind speed sensor which can provide readings with an accuracy of +/-5% of rdg. For temperature, it has a NTC negative temperature coefficient sensor and provides a range of -10C to 45C (14F to 113F).
A versatile anemometer, Holdpeak is perfect for teachers, fishers, hunters, outdoorsman, and weather hobbyists.
Included in the box is the anemometer, instruction booklet, storage pouch, strap, AAA batteries, and screw driver. Comes with a 1 year warranty and lifetime technical support.
Platforms: iPhone, Android
Battery required: 2 AAA (included)
Max wind speed: 30 m/s, 69 mph
Measures: Wind speed (m/s, ft/m, knots, km/hr, mph), temperature (C/F), wind chill,
Netatmo Wireless Weather Station for iPhone & Android
If you’re considering a weather station for your home or classroom, Netatmo has one with a dedicated anemometer to provide you all the real time wind data you need. This iPhone/Android anemometer does not plug into your smartphone but instead can be mounted outdoors as a stationary weather station. It connects to your smartphone or tablet using its special app and gives you information on weather conditions wirelessly from up to about 100 feet away. (It even can connect to Alexa on Amazon Echo devices or Siri on Apple devices for voice readouts of weather conditions, if you have one.) The app has robust features. In addition to real time readings, you can access past weather data and graphs to track weather trends.
In addition to the anemometer, the weather station features indoor and outdoor sensors which can provide measurements on temperature, humidity, air quality, and more. You can also use the app to receive real time notifications about these conditions.
The Netatmo is the perfect device if you want a home weather station or are using in a classroom setting.
Platforms: iPhone, Android, PC and Mac Computer web app
Battery required: 4 AA batteries (included)
Max wind speed: 100mph / 160kmph
Measures: Wind speed (m/s, km/h, mph, knots, Beaufort), wind direction, temperature, humidity, air quality, barometric pressure
BTMETER Anemometer with Wireless Bluetooth
Another handheld wind speed meter with Bluetooth capability, BTMETER it a great option for weather readings on the go. With a built in LED screen with backlight, you can instantly get readings on wind and temperature. Take it to the next level by connecting with your smartphone via Bluetooth to the app. With the app you can remotely control the anemometer or review data logs for wind and temperature trends.
With two temperature sensors and an 8 leaf window wheel with low friction bearing technology, this meter can measure wind speeds from 0.67~67.1 mph and temperatures from -10C tp 45C (1F to 113F).
Included in the box is the anemometer, instruction booklet, storage pouch, strap, AA batteries, and screw driver.
Platforms: iPhone, Android
Battery required: 2 AA battery (included)
Max wind speed: 67.1 mph
Measures: Wind speed (m/s, km/h, ft/min, knots, mph), wind chill, temperature (C/F)
Kestrel 3550FW Fire Weather Meter
If you’re looking for a professional-grade anemometer that works with a smartphone, this might be a good unit to consider. It’s made by Kestrel, the high-end anemometer manufacturer and it syncs data with an app on your smartphone or computer. Like other Kestrel wind meters, this one is quite rugged, drop tested, IP67 waterproof and it even floats if dropped in water. Made with firefighters tracking wildfires in mind, this is an excellent option if you’re frequently taking wind speed readings in extreme conditions.
The Kestrel Fire Weather Meter Pro is more than just an anemometer accessory for smartphones, it also measures heat stress index, wet bulb temperature, humidity, altitude, temperature, and other weather-related measurements. Its backlit screen makes it easy to view both in the dark and outside on sunny days. Comes with a lanyard. Note: if you’re looking for a Bluetooth anemometer for shooting, there is another version of this product with ballistics capabilities. See our companion article: The best wind meters for long-range shooting.
Made in the USA. 5 year warranty.
Platforms: iPhone, Android
Battery required: 1 Lithium metal battery (included, replaceable)
Max wind speed: 134mph / 216kmph / 116 knots
Measures: wind speed, wind direction, wind chill, barometric pressure, altitude, dew point, heat stress index, relative humidity, temperature, GPS location
Frequently asked questions about smartphone wind meters
What are anemometers for Android phone/iPhones used for?
People use smartphone anemometers for a variety of purposes. A person might use an anemometer for sailing, RC flying, windsurfing, kite flying, and any manner of other things. Wind speed meters are also used in various professional applications from HVAC testing (air conditioning/heating) to checking locations for wind farm appropriateness.
How do anemometers for smartphones work?
The phone + app anemometers on this list measure wind speed by calculating the rate that rotating elements spin in the wind. The faster the wind is blowing, the faster the cups or blades will spin. The rotations are counted and the wind speed is calculated as a result.
What’s better: an anemometer that connects to your smartphone physically or a Bluetooth anemometer?
This list includes both types of smartphone wind meters: those that are plugged into headphone jacks and those that connect wirelessly. There are two main differences: first, the Bluetooth models require their own internal battery. Second, the Bluetooth units tend to be more expensive.
There are reasons why a Bluetooth model may be more desirable in some cases, however, such as when you want to be separate from the wind metering instrument itself (if you have it mounted on something), or if you have a new smartphone without a headphone jack it can be easier to just get a Bluetooth model than using a Lightning to headphone (or USB-C to headphone) adapter.
What is the absolute best iPhone anemometer attachment?
Naturally, as with anything, people’s preferences vary tremendously. But if you have an iPhone or Android phone with a headphone jack you might want to strongly consider the Vaavud models. If your smartphone doesn’t have a headphone jack, then the WeatherFlow Wind Meter (Bluetooth model) may be the best wind meter for smartphones.
I use a protective case on my smartphone, what do I do if these smartphone anemometer accessories don’t quite plug into it as a result?
This is a common problem among people who have Otterboxes or other chunky smartphone cases with thick protective plastic housings. Luckily you can get both flexible and firm headphone jack extenders which helps you plug in these anemometer smartphone dongles.