Helping share the love of the northern lights!

Tag: Version 7

Version 7 is LIVE!

I am excited to announce that he latest iteration of the Amazing Aurora app is live on both the Google Play and Apple App Stores! This version cleans up the inner workings of the app a bit, adds an alert when updated versions are available, and adds an HPI notification for subscribers. Also, based on feedback, loading screens are utilized to reduce/eliminate white screens while loading and reloading pages.

Give it a shot and provide feedback! It is amazing to see how far this app has grown thanks to user feedback!

Fixing Location Issues with Version 7

While it is not a showstopper, I have noticed a LOT of reports coming in from Minot, North Dakota. The coordinates for Minot are used as a default location in the event the app is unable to lock onto a user’s location when using the app. I suspect that some users are opening the app really quick, going to the report tab, and not giving the app a chance to grab the correct location prior to submitting an aurora activity report. The summer months will allow me more time to investigate and correct this behavior. Other than that, it appears the app is working as expected!

Planning for Version 7

Version 7 of the app is in the beginning development stages. Work will pick up during the off-season and I plan to release it in late July or early August, prior to the beginning of the next aurora season. One big item in the works, for subscribed members, is the ability to receive alerts for the hemispheric power index (HPI).

The HPI is an excellent indicator of aurora potential, in general. It is not specific to a location like the favorable conditions calculation the app uses. Although it is a general index, many “chasers” watch this value to make a decision on whether or not to go out after dark. Once you know the best value for your area, it is an excellent value to follow. For instance, here in the Anchorage area, an HPI value of 20-25 GW is generally good to see some activity. We have even seen them with values as low as 15, but not reliably. The HPI alert will allow you to choose a value between 10-100 for alerting you of when the app sees the value you want in order to alert you.

Another option I am looking to add to version 7 is the ability to choose the distance of aurora sightings a user would like to be alerted for. The current value is 30 miles, meaning that you would be alerted if anyone within 30 miles of your location reports aurora activity. While this is great in areas where a lot of people use the app, it is not conducive to those in regions without many users. Thus, the plan is to open this up to a longer range and, potentially, to be alerted of all aurora sightings. So, stay tuned to that!

Those are the plans for version 7 as of right now! It will be a great off-season of tweaking and updating to keep Amazing Aurora, well, AMAZING!

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