Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Sol: Sun Clock

Below is a list of questions we’ve been asked about Sol: Sun Clock and their answers.


1. I’m not hearing the alarms. What gives?

Make sure you’re running the latest version of the app, then check the following:

  1. the mute switch is not on.
  2. your device’s volume is turned up loud enough to hear.
  3. you have allowed the app to send you notifications (Settings> Notification Center> Include > SOL — make sure it’s set to receive Sounds and Alerts).
  4. your phone is not set to “Do Not Disturb” mode during the hour of the scheduled notification. (I have a sunrise alarm that never goes off in the summer because I have my Do Not Disturb hours set from 11pm to 8am.)

2. If I have the mute switch set on my iDevice, I can’t hear the alarms. Why is this? Other alarm apps sound no matter what setting I have.

Technically, those other “alarm” apps are using the media playback protocol which Apple has defined as inappropriate for alarms. These apps could get pulled from the App Store for violating Apple’s own policies. Those apps are constantly eating up your battery life to work. It’s a hack to do that, and we chose to preserve your battery life and respect Apple’s guidelines in this case.

Sol: Sun Clock uses Apple’s Notifications system, which has to respect the volume of the device and the mute switch. Apple does not give developers a way to make alarms that work the way their own built-in alarms work. Hopefully they will at some point, and when they do, we’ll put that in the app as an option.

I’m fairly certain that the majority of our users like the fact that SOL respects the mute switch and volume switch. I have daily reminders set for my general usage, but don’t want them going off if I have my mute switch on at a meeting or a movie.


3. Does using the location-based alarm drain the battery?

You can set an alarm to a static location without fear of extra battery drain. Only if you select “Travel Mode” for an alarm will the app need to poll your location behind the scenes in order to properly reschedule the alarm.

We’ve gone to extra lengths to make SOL battery-efficient. Even before polling, the app takes care to set a minimum distance it’s concerned about—a change in longitude or latitude that would result in the alarm needing to be rescheduled by more than one minute or more. Moving about your own city is generally not going to cause this to be retriggered, and thus Sol: Sun Clock would not be launched in the background to reschedule.

It’s also useful to note that having more than one alarm with travel mode set will not increase the battery use over just having one alarm with travel mode set.

In iOS7, Apple introduced a feature called “Favorite Locations” that you may wish to turn off for privacy reasons, and to preserve battery life.


4. SOL’s display refers to a “GPS mode.” Does the app use cell tower triangulation as well as GPS (Global Positioning Service)? 

“GPS Mode” is actually our shorthand for Apple’s built-in Location Services, which includes WiFi router positioning, cell tower triangulation, and satellite-based GPS. More information about the technology is available on Apple’s site.

Note: In version 3.1.0, this is now called “automatic location” mode to avoid confusion.


5. Do you have plans to make this app for Android?

Not at the present moment, but anything can happen. We wrote this app specifically for the iPhone (and later adapted to the iPad), because we are Apple users and developers. The app has had some success in the App Store where users are generally happy to pay for quality apps, but our concern is that there might not be enough paying users in the Android world out there to justify the cost of development for a “niche” app like this. Stay tuned, however — this might change as the iOS version of the app continues to gain popularity and users!


6. I have a feature request. Will you make it?

We love to hear from our users, and the best way to contact us is through the “contact us” link inside the app on the Extras page (tap the “gears” icon in corner of main screen). If your request is for us to add the moon, we’re already working on it as a one-time in-app purchase.

32 Responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Sol: Sun Clock

  1. Steiner says:

    Is it possible to change language

  2. alec says:

    Sol hasn’t yet been localized into other languages. However, the controls/displays for date and time should display in your local time format with your language setting for month names. Which language are you looking for?

  3. Fonda says:

    How do I find the optimal fishing hours for my location?

  4. Stacy Foushee says:

    Trying to find solar times for hunting n fishing

  5. alec says:

    Daily fishing times are best twice a day — before sunrise and after sunset. These periods are called “Civil Twilight” in the app.

  6. Tim says:

    In the Glossary of the App, it states:

    “During midnight sun, solar midnight, sunrise and sunset are all at the same moment.” How can sunrise and sunset be at the same moment … or for that matter, how can any of these be at the “same moment?”

    Thanks in advance!

  7. wammaii says:

    It would be good to be able to load in your own alarm sounds, something more gentle.

  8. While I appreciate the GUI (Graphical User Interface), my use of this app on my 64GB iPhone 5s is almost entirely related to my Biblical faith in God, and my related desires to know the times of sunrise, sunset & lunar activity for various global positions.

    That being said, a simple list option, that details the precise solar & lunar times for any geographic location, would be an invaluable improvement.

  9. alec says:

    Tim: During midnight sun (above the Arctic Circle near the summer solstice in the Northern hemisphere), the sun never actually goes below the horizon. If you are there, you would see the sun dip slightly, then come back up. Solar midnight is the point when the sun is at its lowest, and at any time of year is the same time that the previous solar day ends and the new one begins; however in this case there is neither night nor twilight between the solar midnight and the day; technically there is neither sunrise nor sunset but for the purposes of calculating the day length they are the same as solar midnight.

  10. alec says:

    wammaii: We plan to offer more sound packs in future updates as an in-app purchase.

  11. alec says:

    Rodney Musselman: have you checked out the Chart and Summary pages? I think they might have the information you are looking for. Chart

  12. Anthony says:

    I know this is ‘sol’ … but I’d dearly love to have the 3 basic bits of lunar information presented in the same interface. Moon Rise, Moon Set and Moon Phase. Perhaps enabled via an option for those that only want to know about the sun.

  13. Dale says:

    I understand that this app uses the equation of time to do its prediction calc. It would be nice if it would show when the latest sunset, earliest sunrise, etc. would occur.

    Thanks for the app.
    Dale

  14. Jesse says:

    Can you please add a toggle setting to make the alarms perform like the builtin Apple alarms. I always have my mute switch on and then I don’t wake up to the alarms.

  15. alec says:

    Jesse, we’d love to do this and it is something several people have asked for in the past. Unfortunately, it’s not something that Apple allows developers to do. Please see question #2, above for more info.

  16. Eli says:

    Do you provide solstice and equinox times, or just the dates?

  17. alec says:

    Yes, Solstice and Equinox times are accessible in several places in the app.

  18. Mike bell says:

    Is there a way to make the click the main iPhone clock (ie, when you unlock the phone, Sol clock shows as the background)?

  19. Mike bell says:

    Should have said “make the clock the main iPhone clock”, not click. I’m sorry for my lazy typing skills.

  20. alec says:

    Mike, not that I am aware of, but I’m looking into making a widget for Sol for the Notifications screen, and the Apple Watch.

  21. Helmer says:

    When I first started to use this app, in iOS 5.1.1, the alarm would sound, once. Then, if set on “continuous”, they would sound again, each minute, until you actually acknowledged them.
    Since upgrading to iOS 7.1.2, and now, 8.3, the alarm still goes off, just once. However, if set on continuous, it repeats, immediately, over and over, until cancelled. In no case, does the alarm repeat, after a minute, or more. Is there any way to restore the earlier behavior?
    I’m not sure, if any app updates have occurred, along the way. I’m currently running the latest version, as far as I can tell. I think the app said it was v3.1.2?

  22. Emily says:

    Do you have any plans to make an Android version of Sol? (Sorry if this is already addressed elsewhere, I couldn’t find anything!)

    Thanks!

  23. Mark says:

    Absolutely love this app and use it literally every day. Would you please consider making a version for Apple Watch?

  24. admin says:

    Yes, absolutely! I just need an Apple Watch to test on…. you got a spare one I can use?

  25. Fernando Villarreal says:

    I love this app. I use it to watch sunsets, twilight periods, and star gazing to name a few. It would be nice if you include a solar mean time clock, and solar apparent time clock. Lunar phases and elevation and azimuth would also be very useful

  26. Ulysses says:

    Love your app and happily paid the full $3.99 for it. Any plans to update for the iPhone 6s screen size?

  27. Mike Homner says:

    Are every going port this app over to android? I would gladly pay for it

  28. Mike Homner says:

    Are you ever going port this app over to android? I would gladly pay for it.

    Sorry for the repeat, auto correct and typing my phone I hate…

  29. Ronald Swager says:

    Sign me up for the Android Version

  30. Pingback: Sol: Sun Clock update in the works | Juggleware Dev Blog

  31. Kathy Henderson says:

    Really love your app. I do know that this is primarily related to the sun and I greatly appreciate the information that you are providing for the moon. Could there be an option to show the phase of the moon? Thank you

  32. Andrew says:

    Android user that pays for quality apps here…

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