We have a new version of Doppler that we are looking to roll out to all users. This update is not the big cloud update that we talked about in the previous update, but more of a polish update and preparation for the bigger update coming soon. We also have identified a bug in daylight savings time that we need to let you guys know about.
Daylight savings time
In the United States, the clock will “spring forward” one hour on Sunday, March 14th (Pi day!) as Daylight Saving Time (DST) is turned back on. Because the Doppler is a smart clock, it will automatically adjust itself from 1:59 AM to 2:59 AM, thanks to its wifi connection. But we have identified a bug that could cause the first alarm after the time change to not go off at the correct time. We aren’t sure how many people this bug will affect, and we are confident that will only happen on the first instance of the alarm after a time change. To prevent this from happening, just turn the alarm off and then back on again after the time change (Sunday morning after 2:59 AM). We think we have fixed this bug, but are taking this opportunity to test it before pushing the fix to your Doppler. Countries outside the US that have the Daylight saving time transition on a different day will also have this issue, and you’ll need to cycle your alarm off/on after the transition takes place. Hopefully, we are just being overly cautious and nobody wakes up an hour late on Monday morning! Maybe having a backup alarm is a good idea as well... sorry for the inconvenience!
In this update, we are addressing the following issues that some customers have reported:
-The buttons aren’t dark enough at night
-The clock display is too bright at night
-The Doppler is too loud at its lowest setting
-The Display doesn’t dim properly
-I want different colors for day and night modes
The vast majority of these features should be included in our app, which would allow the Doppler to be much more easily configurable. But the app isn’t developed enough for that yet. More on that later…
Because we aren’t happy with how long the app development is taking, we have implemented all of these features in the buttons of the Doppler so the experience is better and more polished. We hope we made them as easy as possible, but if you have any UI suggestions, let us know! As mentioned, all of these functions will be available in the app once the app is more complete so you’ll be able to control these features using either the app or the buttons.
Changes in the new version are as follows:
Want your Doppler display and buttons to be totally off at night for optimum sleeping? Blackout mode is what you want! If an alarm goes off or a button is pressed, the display and buttons will dim up slowly and then dim back down. To get into Blackout mode you’ll want to go to color setup mode at night (or while the Dopper is in night mode) and press the minus button until the screen goes dark and you see a faint “bl” (that’s a lowercase B and lowercase L) on the mini display (the small display digits on the bottom right-hand corner of the Doppler display). Once you leave color setup mode, the Doppler will dim all the way down. A quick note: Blackout mode is only available in night mode. To check if you’re in night mode, go to color setup mode and make sure the sun icon is off, this says you’re in night mode. Once you leave color setup mode and the display dims down want to see what time it is? Tap any button and the display will brighten momentarily.
Adjustable button brightness
Currently, the Doppler brightness is global and changes the button and display brightness together. Many users have complained that the buttons are too bright at night. In order to fix this, we have removed global brightness and you can now individually control the button and display brightness from the top controls of the Doppler. In order to not confuse things for our users, the button and display brightness will be locked until the button brightness is changed for the first time. To change the button brightness, you’ll want to go into color setup mode and then press the 1 (brightness down) and 2 (brightness up) buttons to adjust brightness. When you’re adjusting the brightness of the buttons, the minus sign appears on the mini display. The brightness of the buttons is configurable for both day and night modes. Hopefully, this should eliminate the issues with the overly bright buttons that some users have reported.
Day and night mode transitioning
The Doppler has a light sensor behind its buttons that will automatically determine if it’s day or night mode. At the moment, this isn’t very customizable and has caused quite a bit of confusion and sometimes improper dimming of the Doppler. Some of the issues occur when a user is in color setup mode and the light sensor detects a “change in brightness” when in reality, it was just the position of the user’s hands while pressing the buttons that blocked some of the light that had previously been entering the light sensor. This can cause a frustrating cycle where you’re trying to change brightness in day mode and you can’t because the Doppler constantly cycles to night mode. So we have decided to prevent the Doppler from switching modes while in color setup mode. If you do want to change both the day and night settings, you can quickly and easily switch between day and night mode by pressing the Bluetooth button. When the Doppler is in day mode, there will be a sun icon on the display. When it’s in night mode, there won’t. The Doppler will remember the settings for both modes and when you leave color setup mode, it will return to the appropriate day/night mode. We are confident that most customers won’t notice this change, but it should fix some edge cases and hopefully help some frustrated customers.
Day and night mode colors
The Doppler will now remember different colors for both day and night modes! While this is just the beginning of what we want to implement for color customization on the Doppler, it’s a good start. To set the color of the Doppler display, go into color setup mode and change the color. While staying in color setup mode, change to the other (day/night) mode by pressing the Bluetooth button and selecting a new color. Finally, leave color setup mode. Now when the Doppler changes modes (between day and night) the color of the display will change as well (if you selected a different color for each mode). If you want the same color for both modes do nothing different and the Doppler will act identically as it does now.
Granular volume controls
Many users have mentioned that the Doppler isn’t quiet enough at night and that we should add more granular volume controls. We are happy to share that the Doppler now has 29 volume steps instead of the 10 it had before. Why 29? Well, that’s the number of dots on the light bar and similar to other products like the Echo that has 30 steps. In order to make sure the volume steps are better than they were before, we tested a bunch of different speakers and the Doppler to determine their minimum and maximum volumes as well as the volume difference between each step along the volume scale.
After some tweaking and tuning, we have something we are happy with on the Doppler. Everyone’s ears are different so we will be continuing to tweak it and listening to customer feedback on this.
This update includes numerous bug fixes as well as other small improvements which should increase the performance of the unit and prevent crashes. Most of these changes are on the back end and aren’t visible to the user. This update also contains our fix to the Daylight savings issue mentioned above.
Want this update?
We are going to roll out this update to some testers before pushing it to all Dopplers. If you’d like to get this update first, please let us know by filling out the form at this link: https://form.typeform.com/to/DJUhobTu
As we mentioned before we are not happy with the current state of the app and things aren’t as polished as we’d like. After many discussions and changes with our app developers, we have come to an agreement and we are moving on to new developers. We are committed to making this app more polished and much more useful and we are confident this is the correct path.
This new app and corresponding Doppler update will be called version 1.0 and it is a huge change and will only require a couple of minutes of your time to get working. We are doing what we can to make the transition as easy as possible, but it’s not going to be the simplest thing in the world to do. There will be more details about this 1.0 update and what is required of you coming soon, but we figured we should let you know it is coming!
Don’t have your Doppler yet?
There are still a couple of backers that haven’t received their Doppler yet. If this is you, please re-confirm your address in backerkit and your Doppler should ship out in a week or so. Here is the link for your Backerkit survey.
Thanks for the feedback!
We wanted to thank all of you again for all of your feedback and know that we are committed to pushing out as many updates, tweaks, and features, as we can, to make your Doppler the best product it can possibly be!
Thanks again for being part of this journey with us. Lots of awesome stuff is coming down the pipeline.
Happy Pi day!
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