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Current Status of the VelaClock widget

by veladg on August 18th, 2012

VelaClock 1.0 was first introduced on April 29, 2005. On May 1, 2007, we introduced VelaClock Deluxe, an optional upgrade. The full history is below. VelaClock Deluxe has been updated 25 times and VelaClock standard has been updated 35 times. We have always striven to ensure that VelaClock is compatible with the current Mac OS as well as that it has accurate time zone information. The current version of VelaClock is compatible with Mac OS X 10.8 “Mountain Lion.” It is also still fully compatible all the way back to Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger” (PowerPC or Intel).

When Mac OS X 10.8 “Mountain Lion” was introduced, two things happened:

  1. We received a surge of emails that VelaClock Deluxe couldn’t be used on Mountain Lion. People wanted  an update.
  2. We discovered the Apple had removed the Apple Staff Favorites section for widgets as well as Apple’s “Top 50” widgets page. This caused VelaClock sales to drop dramatically.

We immediately proceeded to fix VelaClock to make it compatible with Mac OS X 10.8. The update was much more involved and time-consuming than expected. In addition to investigating and fixing a crash for VelaClock Deluxe on Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), we made two more fixes: fixed ability to click checkboxes on back of widget (Mountain Lion only) and corrected size of daylight bar and moon on new retina display. The changes for the version 2.2.9 update are listed on the VelaClock widget page. I also personally responded to scores of emails and sent out several emails to a large group of users. Finally, we wrote and later revised for simplicity a Mountain Lion compatibility blog post to instruct users how to download and run VelaClock on Mountain Lion. The whole update process has taken about two weeks.

The past several years,VelaClock Deluxe was regularly an Apple Staff Favorite and was nearly always on Apple’s “Top 50″ widgets list (out of 4000 widgets). This exposure helped us maintain steady sales. Recently, Apple removed both the Apple Staff Favorites section for widgets and the “Top 50″ widgets list page. This has caused our sales to absolutely plummet. We don’t mean to criticize Apple. Our only option is to adapt to the current environment, and we’re working towards that goal.

After we released VelaClock 2.2.9 (Deluxe and standard) for Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion compatibility, we received many, many emails from VelaClock users expressing their appreciation. If you’re a long time VelaClock user and appreciate being able to continue to use VelaClock, please add a comment to this blog post or send us an email. We will do our best to keep VelaClock up to date with the latest Mac OS. In the future, it may be difficult to offer products that need frequent updates and have a one time purchase price.

Thanks,

Chuck, Klaus and Jennifer
Team bios.

History of VelaClock

VelaClock 1.0 was introduced on April 29, 2005. This was the same day that Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger” was launched with its new Dashboard feature. We were excited about the possibilities. The VelaClock 1.0 press release had the following quote from Ron Okamoto, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations: “VelaClock is a great example of an elegant and helpful widget which we’re pleased to see added to the collection.”

On May 1, 2007, two years after the initial release, we released VelaClock Deluxe with two significant and highly requested features: user defined locations and the ability to change the current date. Over the years, users sent us many notes of praise including “Flawless operation, and a lot of information in a very compact, but readable form.” and “I wish all software developers were as passionate about their product as you are.”

Numerous updates over the years.

On August 3, 2012, we released VelaClock 2.2.9 (Deluxe and standard) for compatibility with Mac OS X 10.8 “Mountain Lion” and included a fix for retina displays.

References to past staff favorites and “top 50” widgets

– Previous location for Apple staff favorites for widgets.
– Previous location for Apple’s “Top 50” widgets (page is gone).

Snapshots of these pages from June, 2011, using the Internet Archive:
– Archived snapshot of Apple staff favorites for widgets with VelaClock Deluxe.
– Archived snapshot of Apple’s “Top 50” widgets with VelaClock Deluxe at #24.

VelaClock for iPhone

VelaClock app: http://veladg.com/velaclockapp.html
VelaClock Classic app: http://veladg.com/velaclock1app.html

From → News

38 Comments
  1. Marc permalink

    I’ll be willing to pay for updates, great program!

  2. Todd permalink

    Me too! I deal with people all around the world for business and VelaClock makes it a whole lot easier. Thanks, Chuck, Klaus, and Jennifer!

  3. Great tool for Night Sky Observers as me.

  4. Harry Korshak permalink

    I’ve used VelaClock since you brought it out. Excellent widget and really indispensable for me. I will happily pay to support upgrades.

    Thank you again for your very fast response and update for Mountain Lion.

    Harry

  5. Tomm Matthis permalink

    Great app/widget. Thanks for quickly updating it! Keep it coming!

  6. David Wood permalink

    Another satisfied customer here, and if it’s time to make VelaClock Deluxe 3 to bridge the gap, then so be it, I’ll very likely pay for that update too.

    As a developer, it’d probably be wise to either push back on Apple here, or get clarification. Widgets are just one class of software that have gotten short shrift in the “post-PC age”. Full-blown computers also typically use screen-savers, but try finding them in the App Store these days too. It may be Apple’s intention to move away from widgets and screen savers, further streamlining/iThingifying the Mac, which would be a good thing to know before investing more time in supporting that whole line of technology.

    • Good thoughts. It’s hard to push back on Apple or even get clarification on widgets. I agree that it would be good to know before investing more time in supporting that whole line of technology (widgets). It’s possible that the only strategy may be to develop something more suitable for the Mac App Store. In the meantime, we’ve made VelaClock is compatible with Mountain Lion.

  7. LJ BLAKE permalink

    Thanks, Chuck, Klaus, and Jennifer! I’ve been using vela Clock deluxe since it came out. Appreciate the quick update to OS 10.8.

    I’d like to see Apple Staff Favorites section for widgets and the “Top 50″ widgets list page come back to the widgets page with Vela figuring prominently. You guys have a good, dependable widget.

    • Thanks for your appreciation! I’d love it too, to see VelaClock Deluxe back in the Apple Staff Favorites section and back in the “Top 50” widgets list. Realistically, that’s not going to happen. Apple has removed these areas of their web site.

  8. Thanks Chuck for your advice and your availability.

    Thank you again for this excellent application that is is essential to all, regardless of our activity.

    Good continuation.

  9. Tom Smith permalink

    I have contacts all over the globe and I use VelaClock everyday. When you need to talk to someone 10,000 miles away, it helps to know what time it is. Moreover, with the sun and moon phases available it helps one stay oriented in time and great space. Thanks for a great tool.

  10. Andrew Jung permalink

    I think the whole idea of lifetime upgrades is tempting at first, but in the end it is not really a great thing because the policy itself, though an attraction, usually ends up killing the product. There is probably a threshold of users that will purchase the product and having the policy instills the attitude that the developer ‘owes’ it to the purchaser to keep the product up-to-date, but without an income, there is little or no initiative on the developer’s part to keep up development with chance of little monetary reward; let alone add new features.

    So I for one would be okay with a paid upgrade or a side-grade to a replacement product.

    Sincerely, Andrew.

    • I completely agree (and know firsthand). Thanks for taking the time to explain this.

  11. I think it’s time for a paid update 🙂

    I will happily pay for a new version, as I have found VelaClock very useful for many years.

    Although that doesn’t solve the problem of the loss of new customers coming from Apple’s website. Not a good situation.

  12. Vaughn permalink

    C, K and J,

    I am about to purchase VelaClock Deluxe and VelaTera because they will fill a niche requirement in my business operation (global communications provider) – I would have preferred a lower entry price with paid upgrades as we needed it, but the price is reasonable for software of this quality and support (as evidenced by the blogs and other positive comments regarding the product). I could not arrange for as polished a product to be provided in house at that price.

    Please don’t go offline if I am the last person to buy! Tell us how we can agitate Apple on your behalf – facebook likes? tweets? google+? how do you want to get the message to them?

    • We certainly won’t go offline after you make your purchase. In fact, we just made VelaClock compatible with Mountain Lion. This was a significant effort. I can’t think of any way agitate Apple. Thanks for the thought.

  13. John G. permalink

    I am a happy user of VCD who would be glad to buy a paid update.

  14. Tim Bradshaw permalink

    I find VelaClock very useful and I would pay for updates. (Also for an iPad variant of the app).

  15. Sam Falkner permalink

    VelaClock and VelaClock Deluxe are the only dashboard widgets that I have ever paid for. No regrets — it’s a really great program! I also have VelaClock and VelaClock Classic on iPhone.

    Thank you for making them! If you need to charge for any updates, I will gladly pay.

    • Thanks. I appreciate hearing that. And thanks for everyone else’s comments as well.

  16. very handy for me. I take a course in Israel, and frequently check the time zones. I love the moon tracker, and the times for sunrise and esp. sunset.

  17. your widget is very handy for me, as I check it frequently. I am taking a language course from Israel, and knowing the time difference is great. I love the moon tracker, and am glad to know the time of sunset. Right now, all my sons live in the same time zone, but if this changes, I’ll be even more dependent on Velaclock. I’m willing to pay for upgrades.

  18. Steve S permalink

    I agree with Mr. Jung. An unfortunate side effect of free updates is some people expect the developer to support the product for free forever, which is not a viable business model. I’ve always found VelaClock to be both fun and useful. I would have no objection to paying for updates to the current widget or purchasing a replacement app. I hope Apple reconsiders their removal of the deleted widget pages.

  19. SaJe Goodson permalink

    Vela Clock is too useful to abandon and I appreciate Vela’s efforts to keep it going. Like so many others, I would be willing to pay for future updates to keep this tool working on my dashboard.

  20. Richard Dechance permalink

    As many others have already said, VelaClock is a very useful item on my Mac, and I will gladly pay an upgrade fee for future updates to keep this tool working.

  21. Gary permalink

    Great program, beyond useful for those that travel. Keep up the good work and thanks for all of your hard work to keep it current. I, as others, would be happy to pay for upgrades.

  22. Shooshie permalink

    Thank you for keeping up VelaClock all these years. I would be very sad to see it go, but I’ve lost a lot of great software over the years to “progress.” It’s a difficult trade off, but sooner or later we have to upgrade or lose access to everything. It’s a forced upgrade cycle. Anyone who stops upgrading eventually computes in total isolation.

    But that’s beside the point. VelaClock has helped me as my son and daughter scattered to points all over the globe, above and below the equator. My daughter has lived all over Europe and the eastern US, and in Rio de Janeiro. VelaClock kept me assured that I knew the time and conditions (sun, moon) where she is. Internet friends all over the world have made my list of cities quite long! And it’s fascinating to see how the moon is positioned at various times from points all over the globe.

    I would not want to live without VelaClock, and I’m always willing to pay for updates. Please charge for updates for great software. It’s the only way we can know it will be around for a while.

    Thanks again for the great little “widget” for so many years.

  23. I absolutely love it! Really useful and well made.

  24. Gerry Scott-Moore permalink

    I have used this program for years. It is unique, so there are no “second choices”. I have many interactions with people in many parts of the globe and it is indispensable. It is also nice to know exactly when the sun is going down for beach-side entertainment.

    Keep up the good work!

  25. Thanks so much for the update on the widget. I love it, and I feel bad how Apple is trying to push widgets to the side. For what it’s worth, I just bought the iPhone app as well. Thanks for all you do.

  26. Bill Quinlan permalink

    really like this app and appreciate the work you had to do to make it compatible with Mountain Lion. Have the iPhone app as well.
    Don’t understand Apples decisions with respect to its widgets…
    hope you keep the widget alive…
    am willing to pay for necessary updates…
    thanks

  27. I have had vela clock since its first release and I absolutely LOVE it!
    Especially since I am a world traveler and have clients all over the globe, where I need to be aware of several time zones on any given day.
    And I love the moon phases with it! Also something that keeps me in harmony with natural rhytyms. 🙂
    Please continue to offer and maintain it!
    Keep up the good work!

    Bhavya * Jessica

  28. I’m a longtime owner of VelaClock Deluxe. I love it.
    Thank you for explaining all that has been going on — with Apple’s changes (no longer featuring Top 50 Widgets, and no longer having Apple Staff Picks) and the resultant decline in VelaClock sales. Also, thanks for explaining about the unexpected huge amount of time it has taken you to fix VelaClock’s interface with Mountain Lion.

    I understand what you’ve written: “We will do our best to keep VelaClock up to date with the latest Mac OS. In the future, it may be difficult to offer products that need frequent updates and have a one time purchase price.”

    Appreciatively, and with continued best wishes,
    David R. Purnell

  29. Bob Nelson permalink

    Apple needs to recognize what the good apps are, like VelaClock.
    I like Apple, but Apple needs to stop acting like a dictator.

  30. Harpagornis Rex permalink

    I absolutely love this App and hope that it will continue to be supported, many years into the future.

  31. Nigel Wallis permalink

    This is an excellent program, not just in its execution but the fact that it helps me to be aware of the world about me. It makes me pay attention to what the moon is doing, what is happening to the sun, are the days getting longer or shorter and a host of other things that would pass me by otherwise.

    Don’t loose heart because Apple have become a soulless corporation.

    Good luck and best wishes,

    Nigel Wallis

  32. Angelo Varlotta permalink

    I really love VelaClock Deluxe, and I use it every day. I would gladly pay for an update.

    Angelo

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