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A few iPad apps

I stumble across the occasional app of interest to this site whenever I browse through Apple’s App Store. If you find something, please feel free to post a comment, especially if you frequent the Android store!

Phaeton

Phaeton

The Phaeton brings 18th-century astronomy to the iPad through a modern interpretation of five astronomical instruments of antiquity: the Tellurion, the Grand Orrery, the Astrolabe, the Lunarium and the Jovilabe.

I like the shiny brass effect.

The developers, Tau Ceti Systems, may have moved on from app development, so I’d grab this before it falls into the black hole of discontinued apps…

Orrery

Beautiful in another way is Jan Frischmuth’s Orrery:

Orrery

The 24 hour clock at the bottom goes counterclockwise, which is neat.

You can buy this app for most platforms.

Venice Astronomical Clock of the Piazza San Marco

Masato Mori wrote this simple but appealing simulation of the famous clock in St Mark’s Square, Venice.

VeniceAstronomicalClockPiazzaSanMarco

This is a decorative app based on the clock tower that stands above the Piazza San Marco in Venice. The astronomical clock features the constellations of the twelve signs on a rich blue background, with special attention paid to the detail on the twelve signs. Display it on your iPad or iPhone to add a taste of Venice to your home. The hand on the 24-hour clock moves slowly but surely, allowing you to enjoy the passing of time at a leisurely pace.

The designer sneaked in a 12-hour option, which I’m not sure about!

Market 24h Clock

Yury Barabanov has done quite a good job with his app called Market 24h Clock, although the buttons on some of the other screens are a bit large for my taste. Still, if you want to know when the financial markets round the world are open, this should do the trick:

Market24h

Also available for other platforms.

Observatory

Emerald Sequoia’s Observatory app, a slightly different take on their excellent Chronometer, is slightly compromised (for the purists on this site!) by the 12 hour hands and dial. But the outer 24 hour dial and stunning appearance lets us overlook the omission of 24-hour-only operation. As with Chronometer, it’s an app to take your time and get used to.

ObservatoryAllBig

The Cosmic Watch (app)

From Markus at Celestial Dynamics comes this beautiful iPhone/iPad/Android app, Cosmic Watch:

COSMIC WATCH ipad time machine

The Cosmic Watch is an interactive 3d tool. You can use it as a realtime worldclock, time travel machine, an astrolab, an antikythera mechanism, an orrery, an armillary sphere, or an astral-chart generator.

The unique thing about the clock face is its ecliptic view around the planet. The complex mechanism of telling time is at the touch of your hands with the Cosmic Watch App.

Cosmic Watch iPhone android worldclock and year

24 hours a day

Applications for iPad and iPhone often make use of the 24 hour dial, mainly because it’s a much simpler interface to the daily routine, showing the entire day at a glance, and avoiding the inevitable confusion between AM and PM.

Rove

Rove is a simple iPhone app that tracks your movements unobtrusively, in the background, and records them, together with any notes and photographs that you take as you go. Billed as private journalling or life-logging, Rove shows your current day (only the current day at present) on a 24 hour dial:

Rove

Owaves

Owaves is, according to the developer, “the world’s first wellness planner”:

Owaves makes it easy to plan health and wellness goals into your day. Colorful and vibrant, with a novel 24-hour clock, the planner is fun to use and lets you see your day in a whole new way. Oriented to sunrise and sunset, Owaves guides you to a balanced lifestyle and healthy circadian rhythm.

Eastern and Western health experts agree there are five main ingredients for a long and healthy life:

-Sleep

-Nutrition

-Exercise

-Mindfulness, Meditation, Yoga, Managing Stress

Love and Social

Owaves is the only day planner in the world designed to let you prioritize these activities alongside work, play and miscellaneous errands.

The planner incorporates input from thought leaders in chronobiology, mindfulness, and professional sports.

It’s Visual. It’s Fun. And it’s Easy-to-use.

owaves health clock

The developer explains:

The clock is oriented with sunrise at traditional 12 o’clock position. Sunrise and sunset are prominently featured and localized based on the user’s location. There’s arguably an epidemic of circadian rhythm disorders going on post-rapid spread of artificial light, so this gentle “nudge” is meant to remind the user that sunrise is the beginning of the day.

– menu of activities focuses on 5 key aspects of preventive health as per the American College of Preventive Medicine and American College of Lifestyle Medicine: exercise, sleep, nutrition, stress management, and love/social

The future plan is to integrate wearable device data to create a feedback loop for wellness and health applications.

Through the lens of wellness and health, the 5 main activities featured – Exercise, Sleep, Nutrition, Relax (i.e. managing stress) and Love/Social (i.e. spending time with loved ones) – are THE activities of interest. Considered the new “lifestyle vital signs” by the American College of Preventive Medicine and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, since they are more prognostic of chances for future morbidity and mortality for today’s generation than the vital signs of the past (i.e. HR, BP, RR, etc.). I.e. they are more helpful in assessing one’s chances of obtaining a chronic disease like: diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, metabolic syndrome, depression, anxiety, osteoporosis, …

The next version will include: Weekly and Monthly views, Social Sharing Options, a Brief Tutorial and a bit more… And of course, as mentioned, calendar integration and circadian rhythm intelligence are on the books as well.

Owaves is promising, and will become much more useful when calendar integration is implemented.

DayTime for iOS

From the makers of DayTime:

Imagine you are facing south, with the position of the sun marking the current time. Day and night are shown by the light and dark regions above and below. (24-hour day or night appear all light or all dark—try it by choosing Vadsø NO, or the US Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station!) Sunrise and sunset positions are marked where night meets day, and the amount of daylight remaining is the arc from the sun’s position to the sunset line (arrow).

daytime

For example, at 2:00PM on January 1st in Copenhagen, there were less than 2 hours left of daylight—but without computation one can intuitively see very quickly that the short winter day is almost over.

You can download DayTime from the App Store.

The Life-Clock Kickstarter Campaign

Chris Wiegman has set up a Kickstarter campaign to build 24 hour clocks. There’s already an iPhone app, with iPad and Android apps to follow if the campaign is successful.



The basic idea seems to be that you can customize the clock with your activity schedule, around the outside, seeing at a glance how the different activities during the day are organized. This is one of the helpful aspects of the 24 hour dial – we’ve heard from Sylvie about her work in Sweden with the Pajala Klockan.  And the clock designed for Saffron allows you to change the length of the night and day sections.

On the app version, you can change the labelling and colours for the various sectors, or switch between various presets.


For more information about the Life-Clocks project, visit http://www.life-clocks.com.

Emerald Chronometer

Emerald Chronometer HD is a watch simulator app for the iPad made by Emerald Sequoia. (There’s an iPhone version too, called Emerald Chronometer.) The app consists of fifteen watches (named after cities) created in software, with each watch offering different features on its front and rear faces.
At first glance, you might imagine that there’s not much point to simulating watches on an iPad. After all, doesn’t the iPad tell the time perfectly well, even if it doesn’t come with a built-in clock app, like its smaller brother?
But you’d be wrong: the developers of Emerald Chronometer have blended the legacy of centuries of fine watch-making craftsmanship with the latest interactive touch-screen technology to build a digital playground that lets you investigate the worlds of time-keeping and astronomy with your fingertips.
all-watches.png
Each ‘watch’ offers a different approach to time. Rather than copy existing models, the designers have created new, imaginary watches that blend features from traditional time-pieces with features that you could expect to find only on an extremely expensive watch, or a powerful computer.
For example, the Vienna offers a traditional 24-hour display (the rear face offers a version with 12 at the top). The app synchronizes with the NTP protocol over the internet, which means that these watches almost certainly keep time more accurately than the iPad itself. I’ve clicked on the Time Synch button which pops up a display showing how far adrift my iPad is. The white, black, and grey bands on this and other watches show the current lengths of day, night, and moonlight periods.
vienna-with-ntp.png
Where the Vienna is simple, the Geneva is complex. The front face shows the time as fully as possible, including years and leap years (recognizing both Julian and Greogrian calendars), sun and moon rising and setting times, and moon phase and age. The rear face shows local apparent sidereal time on a 24-hour dial, the zodiac, equinoxes, and solstices, the positions of the lunar ascending and descending nodes – even whether there’s an eclipse soon.
geneva-rear.png
But the real magic of this app is revealed when you ‘pull out’ (or tap) the crown for the current watch. The watch stops, and you can then pull and push the hands and indicators around the dial to your heart’s content. Watchmakers will find it unbearably painful to look at as you pull the hour and minute hands into different positions, or scroll the indicator dials up and down through the years with the flick of a finger. If, as you’re moving through time, there’s the possibility of an solar or lunar eclipse, the eclipse indicator at the top of the Geneva will let you know.
The Alexandria watch, named for Ptolemy’s home town, displays the time using a geocentric display; the Firenze watch, named for Galileo’s sometime home, is an orrery – a sun-centered display of the solar system. And in each case, you can drag the planets around to see how they move in space as you travel through time.
firenze.png
The Miami watch shows the rise, transit, and set times of all the planets (and the Sun and Moon), with a single hand on a 24-hour dial, and their current azimuth and altitude.
miami.png
The Terra watch specializes in time zones: the front shows your chosen zone at the top, with a 24-hour ring to help you read off the time in other cities. Again, being able to move the rings round makes it easy to explore time zones and time differences. The rear face provides four dials for your favourite cities.
terra-front.png

terra-rear.png
On the Olympia, you’ll find a stopwatch; on the Thebes, a countdown timer; and on the Istanbul, an alarm, which chimes like a traditional watch.
If you have an iPad (or an iPhone), this app is a cool and clever addition to your library, and a pleasant way to spend (and learn about) time.