January 2021 | Aurora App Update

Update

2020 is now behind us, and we just said hello to 2021. What about beginning this new year with a new update of our Northern Lights application. We've been working, behind the scene, for the last months on some exciting new features, that you will hopefully like. Are you ready, let's check this out together 👇🤩

Moment

One of the missions besides seeing the Northern Lights is to take pictures of the Northern Lights, right? Let us introduce you to moment, a way to share your aurora "moment" you just spotted with other people on our Northern Lights app

This feature is created to make the experience more fun and to share with other aurora enthusiasts a common passion. With "moment" you can easily see how intense is the Northern Lights at the shared locations from the picture. Let us show you how to use this feature! 

How to use moment:

  • Download hello aurora if you didn't do it yet 😉
  • Create an account if it's not done yet, otherwise, just log in
  • When you spot an aurora, press "I see aurora"
  • Choose the intensity of the Northern Lights you are seeing
  • Click “select photo”
  • Choose your moment you want to share with other people
  • Click Submit

Voilà! Now you have shared your aurora moment with other aurora enthusiasts 💪

To see others’ people Moments 

  1. On the Map screen, you will see a green circle around the locations shared
  2. Press the circle and see the aurora moment shared by other enthusiasts

See other aurora hunter's moment with hello aurora

Notes 📝

  • The Moment you shared will disappear the next morning.
  • For iOS, you can only share a moment with a photo that is taken less than 15 minutes ago.
  • For android users, you can one of the latest 10 photos on your album.

You are now ready to share photos of the aurora from your phone with aurora enthusiasts around the world! 🙆‍♀️

Make sure to check How to Take Picture of the Northern Lights Using Smartphone if you want to be a pro taking aurora photos with your phone.

New cloud coverage

In the last few weeks, we had some issues regarding the cloud coverage provided by Veðurstofa Íslands. We had to delay our synchronization with their servers but it results in not showing the cloud coverage most of the time. Moreover, the cloud coverage was only available for Iceland users.

We decided to stop using the data and move to a more global forecast model. We are now using the ICON-EU model, provided by DWD (German Meteorological Service). It has a more reliable synchronization time and also supports Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland.

So we now finally have a 24 hours cloud coverage forecast for Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and Finland. We also added more layers to the application. You can now see the total cloud coverage, or choose to show only one or more layers (low, middle, or high clouds).

While the ICON-EU forecast model has very little resolution, allowing to have very precise data for a small squared kilometer area, it has one downside of being cut off at the edges of the North-West of Iceland and on the Northeast part of Norway. We are looking into either using another forecast model to fill in these areas, or other alternatives.

See cloud coverage in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland

Small design changes

The application's design hasn't changed in a while. We only added new features but using the same design system. We are now releasing a slightly change design update.

The profile modal

You can change/edit your account information within the app. You are free to change your name, write a small introduction of yourself, and insert a website or your social media account 🔗

There will be a lot of improvement for this modal in the upcoming versions. 

About screen

You can now find information about hello aurora, our website, what sources we are using along with giving us a donation through our Patreon page within the About screen. You can also find the Terms of use, privacy policy, and open sources when you are interested to know 🤓

Change log overlay

Finally, we added a new overlay when you open the app after a new release. It will show you the new features and changes included in the new version. Very handy for the curious aurora enthusiasts that want to know what's new in the app. It also have a link redirecting to the website with the long blog post regarding the release.

Others

And last but not least to improve your experience we are always improving the loading screens and update core packages of the app.

On the list of the small changes we've done:

  • Fix aurora oval position
  • Fix active item on the timeline of hours sometimes not getting active
  • Hide the alert button if the settings is not enabled for the country of your choice
  • Fix display of 25:00 time in some cases
  • Hide timeline when clouds/alerts map layers are disabled
  • Fix some blocks alignments
  • Update internal libraries used

Northern Lights over Tromso. Picture by @dancromb, www.dancromb.co.uk

This is what we have for you in this update. We hope you like the new feature and if you do, introduce us to your aurora enthusiasts' friends. The more people using the app the more interactive it will be. 

Thank you and happy hunting 💚

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If you like our content and/or our app please do support us. Your donation will help us with the infrastructions cost that we need to keep the app running for your best experience 💚

Get started

Don't wait any longer, download hello aurora and start exploring!