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:
- the mute switch is not on.
- your device’s volume is turned up loud enough to hear.
- you have allowed the app to send you notifications (Settings> Notification Center> Include > SOL — make sure it’s set to receive Sounds and Alerts).
- 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 “automatic location” and “travel mode”. What do these mean? Do I need to have them on to use the app?
These terms mean that the app is optionally set to use 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.
Location Services is optional, but highly recommended: otherwise you will have to set your location on a map every time you change location to get the correct data. If you never travel anywhere within about 30 miles, though, this might make sense for you.
If you want the alarms to continue to work as you travel (“travel mode”), you will need to have Location Services on in the background so that the app can reschedule alarms based on your latitude and longitude. But you can always set each alarm to a specific location on the map as well—just remember to edit them when you change your location!
5. Does Sol support “dark mode”?
Yes, but you probably will only see differences in the menus on the Settings and Alarm screens. The main screen is pretty dark already.
6. 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!
7. 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.