Application Name: Living in the sun – Sundial Moondial
Description: Compass with indicators that show direction/altitude of sun/moon; moon phase calendar; twilight time tables.
Publisher’s website: AppZeroPoint
Cost: Free version (ad-supported); $3 Pro version removes ads, adds additional features
Version/date reviewed: v.1.5.4 / 10-31-10
Phone/OS: Droid X / Android 2.2
The Living in the sun app offers a standard compass with direction, but also additional astronomical information for your current location.
Figure 1: Probably the most interesting view in Living in the sun is the actual compass view. The number at top shows your current bearing direction (which way your phone is pointed). The red arrow always points in the direction of north. The gold arrow shows you the direction of the sun, with the sun’s image showing approximately the altitude; you also have numerical direction/altitude data for the sun at the bottom. The gray arrow shows the moon’s direction; the missing moon image indicates that it’s below the horizon at this time. The numerical moon data at the bottom reflects this with the negative value for altitude. You can turn any of these indicators on/off in the Settings section; in this image, I have the magnetic north arrow turned off.
Figure 2: A calendrical display shows the phases of the moon. Tapping on any of the dates, or selecting the “Twilight” display option …
Figure 3: … brings up a table with times for sunrise/sunset, moonrise/moonset, and various kinds of twilight times (usually defined by a certain distance of the sun below the horizon).
In addition to removing the adds, the paid version offers a few extra features:
- A map of twilight area
- A map of the sun and moon across the sky at various times during the day
Issues: Program worked fine – no crashes. I do wish it gave you the option of selecting any location; it only gives data for your current location. The GPS is on continuously in compass mode, which can drain your battery if you forget to turn it off.
Final thoughts: There are better compass apps around, but if you need the astronomical data (sun/moon/twilight), this free app offers a nice combination of features.