Sol: Sun Clock 3.0.2 is now available.

Version 3.0.2 of Sol: Sun Clock is now available in the App Store. (iOS 7 required.) This fixes some more bugs introduced in version 3.0, which was an iOS 7 tailored update to version 2.

What’s New in Version 3.0.2 of Sol: Sun Clock:

Bug fixes:
* Fixed crash that could occur when closing the main Date Picker just as the spinning dial was about to stop.
* Fixed DST issue with solar azimuth display.
* Tutorial dialog should no longer come up twice.

New Features:
* [iPhone] Now remembers which of the swipable infobars (below date) you were looking at when you re-open the app.
* [iPhone] Double tapping the swipable infobars now toggles auto-scrolling. (Note: Off by default. Manually swiping also turns this behavior off. Area flashes red or green on double-tap to show new state.)

Minor Tweaks:
* Shows abbreviated city names where necessary.
* Map Picker shows smoother updating of location pin annotation.
* Tutorial delay time changed from 5 minutes to 15 minutes.
* Limited date entry from 1950 to 2050 so that it’s compliant with library that gets solar elevation.
* “Rate this app” dialog appears later the first time, and much later if you press “later.”
* No longer resets user-has-seen-tutorial state on new version update.

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Solstice Promo! Get Sol: Sun Clock for free. 24 hours only.

Our 4.5 star rated app Sol: Sun Clock regularly sells for $3.99 on the App Store, but for 24 hours (starting now) you can get it for free! It’s our way of celebrating the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, often observed as the beginning of a new year, and thus the basis for many seasonal holidays (including Christmas, which was established on the date of the pagan solstice holiday Sol Invictus).

 Note: Yes, we do realize the Solstice isn’t until December 21—at precisely 4:12 PM Greenwich Mean Time, in fact—but the App Store is undergoing maintenance between Dec. 21 and 28, so we’re doing this a couple days early. Also, for all of you penguins in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s actually the summer solstice—the longest day of the year.

IMG_2543 IMG_2544

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Faster Than Light

One of my favorite games this year has been Faster Than Light. Or was it last year? I’ve been trying to beat it so long I can’t remember. Its medium-res 8-bit graphics are reminiscent of maybe Nintendo 64 (or some other console that came out during my Luddite poet phase), but I still dig the retro look nonetheless.

FTL: Faster Than Light

I’ve always thought it could make a great iPad game, so I was psyched to hear from this PC Gamer article they were porting it, and at the same time, bringing a whole bunch of new content to the desktop (Mac/PC) versions.


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A perspective on App Store Reviews

Like almost all indie app developers, I sometimes find it hard not to take personally a vindictive 1-star review that a thoughtless customer left in the App Store.

This excellent piece by Matt Gemmell provides some excellent perspective to the frustrated developer. And says a lot about internet trolls and entitled consumers, and what can make some members of the human race so terrible in public when they behave quite civilly in person.

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Sol 3.0.1 update

Sol: Sun Clock has been updated to version 3.0.1 to address an issue with some of the alarms not sounding properly. It’s currently on sale for half price as well.

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Sol:Sun Clock 3.0 Version Update Sale

To celebrate Sol: Sun Clock’s 3.0 release, our daylight visualizer and solar alarm clock is now on sale for 50% off for the weekend!

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Sol: Sun Clock v3 updated for iOS 7

Juggleware’s 4.5-star rated daylight utility Sol:Sun Clock has been updated on the App Store. Version 3 of Sol now has native iOS 7 UI controls and takes advantage of some of the other features that Apple’s new OS for the iPhone and iPad delivers.

Sol: Sun Clock v3.0 on the iPhone 5

Sol: Sun Clock v3.0 on the iPhone 5

Thanks largely to the vision of graphic designer Josh Warren, Sol: Sun Clock has always sported a “flat, clean look” since its first release. So really, it was a matter of Apple catching up with us (insert wry emoticon here)!

We were also able to take advantage of the Motion Effects in iOS 7: the layered graphics respond with movement of the device to make it appear that the stars are behind the earth, and the clouds are in front of it.

Other features in Version 3:

  • Alarms now have 30-second versions when you set them to “persistent” mode. We added a new alarm sound as well called “Wake Up Gently” especially designed to rouse you at sunrise.
  • The chart now shows info for Sunset, Sunrise, Solar Noon, and Solar Midnight.
  • Many updates to help and glossary, reorganized menus, a new FAQ section, all with larger type than before.
  • We fixed a crash that occurred (only on the previous version in iOS 7) by tapping on the date, and corrected some contrast display issues in the Summary screen.
  • We improved the app with many other minor aesthetic details and performance enhancements that will make the app run more smoothly and with fewer visual glitches.

Version 3 of Sol:Sun Clock requires at least an iPad 2 or an iPhone 4 running iOS 7. (The previous version of the app can be downloaded from the App Store for those still running iOS 6.)

Sol: Sun Clock has proven to be popular among photographers searching for the golden hour, to wedding planners looking to plan future dates, to outdoor enthusiasts looking to maximize their daylight time. It’s even been endorsed by David Marsh, Director of Photography for the popular British series Downton Abbey, who said “I love it and use it every day in my work.”

Read more about Sol: Sun Clock on this site; or go directly to the App Store and grab it.

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Retro arcade fun…

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Happy Equinox Promotion: Sol is free for 24 hours.

EquinoxPlusOneThe minute I hit post on this — it’s the Autumn Equinox*. That’s when the days become shorter than the nights and officially marks the beginning of fall. They’ll keep on getting shorter until the Winter Solstice at the end of December, when winter begins and the days start getting longer again.

And, perhaps for the last time ever, our 4.5-star rated iOS app Sol: Sun Clock is free in the App Store for 24 hours!

*  (or Spring Equinox for those of you below the Equator when the days become longer than the nights.)

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First Peek: “Squadron Leader” for iOS7

Now that iOS7 has been released, I can show you what I’ve been up to the last couple of weeks.

It’s a space shooter I first started working on last year after releasing version 1.2 of Sol: Sun Clock. I basically wrote it the hard way, not using any of the 2-D platforms like Cocos2D, thinking that my code would suit my needs better without the bulk. Plus, I wanted to simulate the glow of old vector arcade games, like Tempest, Asteroids, or Star Wars.

I was pretty proud of the code, which for the technically-inclined used Quartz 2D drawing in Objective C, with lots of transforms, way easier than straight up OpenGL, but as it turns out, way too slow. I was getting 15FPS until planets started moving onscreen, and it plummeted to a measly 7FPS. I set the project aside and went to work on Sol: Sun Clock 2.0, while researching other 2D engines for this and Conqueror.

This past June Apple announced Sprite Kit for iOS7, and I knew this was the natural fit for this game. I rewrote the code from scratch (well actually, using Apple sample code as a template), and am getting 30-60FPS easily, even with each star being its own sprite, which is something I’d normally never do, but hey, I’ve got the overhead so why not?

Some of the crappiness of this video is my attempt at vector hardware emulation, but most of it is the YouTube encoding, so lower your expectations.

Disclaimer: programmer graphics! Trekkies relax: I doubt that NCC-1701 will be your ship in the final game.

I have a title screen, basic flight paths and missiles (not shown). Amusingly, you can see the aliens leech onto the player like parasites… this is the result of them trying to execute their flight paths, but getting stuck on SpriteKit’s physics collision engine. Of course in the real game, you will die… unless I make Space Leeches!

Hmm, maybe that will be the game’s title….



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