1.5 is live, a huge warehouse sale, and looking forward to 1.6

February 06, 2023

Doppler Owners,

We hope you’re all doing well and enjoying your Dopplers! We have some news we wanted to share, including a new software release, a warehouse sale, and a look into the future features of the Doppler.

The 1.5 Balancespring update is live!

As we discussed in the past, we have been beta testing software version 1.5 which provides a bunch of awesome features we are super excited about. Well, we are happy to announce that this update is live for everyone!

As a refresher, here are the new features in the 1.5 update:

Local control - The ability for the Doppler and your phone to work together without going over the cloud. This connection will automatically switch between cloud (which it currently uses) and local control. When on local control the connection between your phone and your Doppler will be much faster while still retaining all functionality and security! We also released the first revision of the Doppler API if you’re interested in that.

iOS Shortcuts - Allows you to create automations from the iOS shortcuts app to change/control almost all aspects on the Doppler (screen, sounds, alarms) from your phone allowing for super powerful automations.

Home Assistant support - Allows the Doppler to connect to Home Assistant, the home automation powerhouse.

Clock customization - Rainbow mode, fade time mode, display seconds, customizable 24 hour time mode, oh my!

Remaining snooze time - Shows how much longer the alarm is snoozing for

Improved weather for US customers - We have integrated with the NWS (National Weather Service) for more accurate weather for our American customers.

Bug fixes and other improvements - Need we say more?

So how do you get this update?

It’s a simple three step process:

  1. Go to the App store or Google Play and update your app to the latest version (1.5).
  2. Once you have the new app you’ll want to go to the Doppler information screen in the right settings menu and press the download update button.
  3. The update will take around 20-30 minutes (depending on your connection), after waiting at least that long go back to your Doppler information screen of your Doppler app. On that screen you’ll want to press install update and your Doppler will restart and install the new update. Once it’s finished, you’ll be all updated and you can enjoy the new features!

If you have any questions or issues, please email us at support@sandmanclocks.com or via our discord.

Spotify Connect certified!

We have some more awesome news to share! We are incredibly excited to say that we are officially Spotify Connect certified and you can try it yourself on your Doppler today! Spotify Connect is the feature that allows you to remotely control listening on another device, and now that list of devices includes the Doppler. Now that we are Connect certified, we can continue the certification process for getting Alexa and Spotify to work together and the Doppler will finally be able to use Spotify playlists as alarms. This process was started a long time ago (well over 2 years) and we wish it could have gone so much faster, but what matters is it’s done now. We will enable Spotify support by default in our next update (more on this later), but if you want to use it now, please follow these instructions:

  1. Hold down the + and - buttons at the same time until you see 00:00, then release the + and - buttons. (The same as the first step in a factory reset)
  2. Hold down the play/pause button for 5 seconds and Spotify Connect will be enabled. (NOTE: The forward (green) and back (red) lights will light up when you do this. DO NOT PRESS THE GREEN FORWARD BUTTON AS THIS WILL FACTORY RESET YOUR DOPPLER) There will be no visual indication on the screen, but you should see the Doppler’s name appear on your Spotify Connect picker on your other device.
  3. Press the red back button to return to normal Doppler operation.

Group up!

Another feature that we have been working for a LONG TIME, Alexa smart home group support got implemented recently as well! Among other things, this means that you can add the Doppler to a smart home group in your Alexa app and instead of saying, Alexa, turn off the bedroom lights, you can just say Alexa, lights. This might not sound like a big difference, but for some folks, it’s a pretty huge change. The change is live on all Dopplers now, so get out there and add those Dopplers to some smart Alexa groups in the Alexa app now!

Announcing a warehouse sale! Huge Savings on the Doppler and accessories!

In order to make way for new inventory we are holding a huge warehouse sale on the Doppler and all Doppler accessories. How much of a discount are we talking about? Easily our biggest discounts, ever.

We are dropping the price of the Doppler from $199 to $149, a 25% discount.

We are also going to be selling refurbished Dopplers for $99, a 50% discount! These Dopplers are mostly factory seconds, and could have minor cosmetic issues with them. It’s an AWESOME way to get a Doppler (or second, or third) for a super reduced amount.

Along with the Dopplers, we are selling cables and wireless chargers for as low as $1.99!

Please head over to the warehouse sales page and grab your goods. This is a super limited time thing and we hope you can tell your friends and family who might be interested. We need to clear up this warehouse!

Balancespring to Chronometer

Ok, so now we have talked about the most recent Doppler update and the massive warehouse sale, what’s next for the Doppler? Let’s talk about our current plans for the next update, 1.6 codenamed Chronometer.

The first major feature is one we have already mentioned: Spotify support is coming to the Doppler. Along with the Spotify connect feature we already have discussed we are hoping to include Spotify with Alexa support, allowing you to play Spotify from your Doppler using Alexa. Along with this, we are hoping to include the ability to play Spotify playlists as alarm sounds! A lot of this has to do with Spotify and Amazon certifications and approvals, which can take some time, but it’s in progress and we are hoping to add all of this in the Chronometer update!

Along with Spotify, we are working on implementing a new adjustable wake word engine into the Doppler. This means a new way that the Doppler processes its wake word “Alexa” locally, without going over the internet. In our testing, we have found a moderate improvement in Alexa wake word performance and it will be adjustable now via our app, so if you want to increase or decrease the sensitivity of the wake word you can do that quickly and easily! If the Doppler has ever been hard of hearing, we hope this will help.

Button gestures are coming to the Doppler. We currently have 2 smart buttons which can be programmed via Alexa routines or Home Assistant via a single press. With the Chronometer update we are working on specific gestures like double press, triple press, and long press. This will be configurable via the app but it will give those two physical buttons the ability to trigger up to 8 different actions!

We are also adding the ability to lock the buttons on your Doppler via a button command or the app. While this mode is enabled, button presses won’t do anything (unless you hold down a specific set of buttons or unlock it in the app). This is good for people with cats (lovable little furballs, but always stepping on the Doppler’s buttons) or for making it that much harder to turn off your alarm in the morning for those that have trouble getting up.

From user feedback, one of the confusing things about the Doppler’s functionality is recurring alarms. In light of this fact, we are overhauling them with the 1.6 update. We are cleaning up the way these are displayed to make it easier to tell what is going on. There will also be a new animation on the Doppler’s alarm bell and the app will be very clear what is happening with your recurring alarms.

Want a specific sound to wake you up in the morning? We are working on a custom alarm sounds feature that allows you to play a specific file or URL as an alarm sound. We hope this lets people customize their wake up or wind down experience further.

Piggybacking on the idea of further customizing and improving your wake up or wind down experience, we want to have the ability to have Alexa routines, or webhooks when your alarm is snoozed or stopped. This will allow you to do things like turn on lights or open blinds when you snooze or stop your alarm in the morning.

On top of all of these changes we are improving the software upgrade experience (it’s a little clunky now) and Bug fixes too!

We can’t wait to see what you guys do with these new features when we release them in the near future. The release date and feature set are not set in stone, but we wanted to keep y'all in the loop to make sure you can give any and all early feedback on the direction of the next update. Please sound off in the comments on your thoughts!

We hope you enjoyed the update (or at least found it informative!)

Go check out the warehouse sale and the new update and we will…

-PAI Team

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