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v.3.1.x 20210101

Cronosurf Wave

Welcome to the Android version of Cronosurf Wave! This app is based on the original design started 2014 as a web-based technology demonstrator (see cronosurf.com). It offers the same functionality as the web version plus some extra features.

Getting started

The Button Assistant function - already known from the Cronosurf website - that labels each button according to the momentary state of the watch, is now integrated in the app (portrait mode only). Use it for quickly getting familiarized with the basic functionality. To activate it, simply tap on the area above the watch.

Table of contents


Basic features

PRO version features

Parts of the watch

The following figure shows the main parts of the watch and the operation buttons:

Clock parts

Figure 1. Parts of the watch

Press button [A] to change the watch mode clockwise and [B] to change it counter-clockwise. The function of the buttons [C], [D] and [SET] are mode dependent.

Long-pressing of buttons

In some situations, specific buttons have a special function when they are pressed and held down for at least 1 second. This will be referred to in this manual sometimes simply as a long-press.

Situational awareness

When reading the watch, we recommend always taking the first glance at the mode indicator in order to be aware of the current mode (and possibly submode) and therefore of what the main hands are indicating. We also recommend often controlling the alarm ON/OFF state, which is shown by the decimals hand in all modes except SW and CD.


Buttons on smartwatches

On smartwatches, the buttons [A], [B], [C], [SET] and [D] are mapped to invisible on-screen areas as follows:

On-screen buttons

You can display this reference labels anytime via the graphical menu pressing the button touch areas button (or long pressing the button touch areas pro button in the Pro version).


Audible Signals

There are five different audible signals:

* You may cancel the countdown or regular alarm signal by either pressing any button or by tapping on the watch face. When doing so, the original function of the button or touch area will be suppressed.
Alternatively, you may cancel the signal by pressing one of the volume buttons of the device, or by placing the hand near the proximity sensor next to the earpiece (only phones).



By default, the alarm and the countdown timer signals are only audible ("Beep only"). It is now possible to change this setting to "Vibrate only" or "Both". These settings can take into account different situations like loud or silent environments, or devices which have only either sound or vibration.


Settable Modes

The following main modes have time settings that can be changed by the user:

This is accomplished through set submodes which are activated by pressing the [SET] button. A single beep will be heard and the hand to be set will shortly perform a wiggling motion. Now, press buttons [C] or [D] as needed to change the value of the active hand. Holding the button pressed will continuously change the value. Once the desired value has been reached, press button [SET] again to proceed with the next hand. After the last hand is set, pressing button [SET] once more will exit the set submode. This will be confirmed by a high pitched beep.

Depending on the preference setting for the set buttons (advanced preferences), its operation direction may be either logic ( [C] + / [D] - ) or geometric ( [C] CCW / [D] CW ).

Note: Each of the settable modes has a small circle on the mode dial (see Figure 1.). The mode hand will advance to this position to indicate that the set submode is active.

Note: If during the setting procedure one of the buttons [A] or [B] is pressed, the settings up to this point will be accepted, a confirmation high pitched beep will be heard and the mode will change as commanded.

Note: The watch will automatically exit the set-submode after a timeout of 90 seconds of inactivity.

As an alternative, the active hand can also be set by dragging with the finger on the central area of the watch face (see chapter Invisible touch areas). (Not available on Wear OS watches).


The 24-Hour Dial

One distinctive characteristic of Cronosurf Wave is its 24-hour sub-dial which shows the 24-hour position at the bottom, unlike most other chronographs where it appears at the top. We believe that this approach, with noon at the top and midnight at the bottom, is more intuitive and informative, since the hour hand corresponds approximately to the sun position as seen when facing south. For this reason, the 24-hour hand has a small circle on it symbolizing the sun.

This dial shows the World Time when in TME mode. In all other modes however (even in calendar submode), it shows the Local Time. This means that, regardless of the active mode, you will always see the Local Time either on the main dial or on the 24-hour dial.


Button Assistant

The Button Assistant shows the function of each button dynamically, depending on the current state of the watch. This will help you to get familiar with the operation of Cronosurf Wave in a very short time. Tap on the area above the watch to activate it. A second tap shows information fields below the watch, and a third tap deactivates again the assistant.


Invisible touch areas

Apart from the obvious touch areas for the five operation buttons and the three icons below the watch, there are some invisible touch areas that can be used as follows (see Figure 2.):

Invisible touch areas

Figure 2. Invisible touch areas


Graphical Menu

Touch on the center of the watch face to open the graphical menu. It gives quick access to often used functions, like changing the highlight color (PRO version) or toggling the Screen-On timer. It consists of a 3x3 grid with different buttons that depend on the version (free/PRO) and on the type of device.

The graphical menu of Cronosurf was introduced as a user interface on smartwatches, but is now also available on the regular app for a more consistent user experience.


Android specific

Android Lock Screen

If you turn on your device and the (standard) Lock Screen is active, Cronosurf will nevertheless run on top of the Lock Screen, provided it was in the foreground before turning the device off. This is a feature that allows you to quickly access and operate Cronosurf without having to unlock the device. To access the Lock Screen, just press the HOME or BACK button on your device.

Hardware volume buttons

There are two situations in which Cronosurf reacts to the physical volume buttons:

Proximity sensor

Most Android phones are equipped with a proximity sensor next to the earpiece. This sensor will be active during an ongoing countdown or alarm signal and can be used to stop the signal by simply placing the hand a few centimeters over the phone (near the earpiece).

Live Wallpaper

Cronosurf can also run as a Live Wallpaper (LWP) on the homescreen (we preferred the LWP over the Widget, because of the inferior graphical performance of the latter). It offers basic interactivity which includes positioning and resizing of the watch as needed, changing the watch mode and starting the main app. In order to avoid inadvertent operation, the interactivity needs to be activated. To do so, tap on the center of the watch face. The controls will become visible, and after 2 to 3 seconds of inactivity, the interactivity will be disabled again automatically.

The procedure to set Cronosurf as an LWP is the same as for any other LWP. This may vary depending on your Android Device. The standard method is to long-press on an empty area on the homescreen and then select "Live Wallpapers".

Moreover, the standard Android Lock Screen shows the active LWP in the background, which lets you see the Cronosurf LWP without having to unlock the screen. However, some devices may have different implementations of the Lock Screen which require a special procedure or an external app to accomplish this, or do not allow it at all.


The graphical animation works most of the time at 5 frames per second. This is good enough even for the sweep motion of the seconds hand. Only when the hands have to move quickly by a large amount, the frame rate goes temporarily up to 40 frames/s. This is also the case during the smooth animation phases that are used in the SW and CD modes. In sum, Cronosurf is designed to have low graphical performance requirements.

5 Second limit

Starting with Android 5 (Lollipop), the operating system does not allow alarm events less than 5 seconds ahead. Because of this, this is also the minimum countdown time that Cronosurf allows to set on devices running on Lollipop or later.

Automatic restore function

After rebooting the device, Cronosurf will reactivate automatically any pending alarm and/or countdown-timer.

Wear OS specific

Independent use

Cronosurf Wave runs on Wear OS watches as a standalone watch face and is independent from the app on the main Android device. All preferences can be set on the watch directly except for editing the predefined colors (this exception concerns only the PRO version).

Swiping and dragging

Swiping and dragging is reserved for the system and is therefore not available for the operation of the watch face.

Minimalist ambient mode

This option activates a very simple ambient mode in which the graphics are reduced to practically only the hour and minute hands. On some watches, this option can further reduce the battery consumption.

Party mode (only PRO version)

This mode automatically changes the highlight color of the watch face randomly once every 3 minutes. You can enable it through the graphical menu by pressing the upper left button for 1 second. Press it again for 1 second to disable it. Otherwise, it will disable itself automatically after 12 hours.

Button lock (only PRO version)

In order to avoid unintentional operation of the watch (e.g. when crossing the arms), the screen buttons can be locked. On the graphical menu, press the lower left button (with the lock symbol) for 1 second to activate the button lock. A small lock symbol will appear on the watch face. To deactivate the lock, press on the lock symbol and press then on the appearing unlock symbol.

Long pressing

A long press (1 second or more) on the central circular area (a circle with approximately half the screen radius) is reserved on some Wear OS versions for calling the list of available watch faces. This can sometimes interfere when you try to long-press one of the buttons on the graphical menu. To avoid this, simply press closer to the screen border.


Using Cronosurf

Watch Modes

Time Mode (TME)

This is the basic watch mode for Local Time keeping with conventional hands for hours, minutes and seconds on the main dial (12 hour dial). When in this mode, the 24-hour dial indicates the World Time, whereas the second-decimals hand shows the state of the alarm (ON or OFF).

With the help of the date indicator, you can easily determine whether the indicated time corresponds to AM or PM. (See below Date and Day.)


To return to the time mode from any other mode, press button [A] for 1 second.


Stopwatch Mode (SW)

The stopwatch or chronometer mode offers a time measuring function from 0 to 12 hours. While the hours, minutes and seconds are shown by the big hands on the main dial, the small dial on the bottom shows the decimals of a second. On this dial, half decimals can be indicated which leads to a resolution of 1/20 of a second (0.05 seconds).

Press button [C] to start and stop the stopwatch. While stopped, press button [D] in order to reset the hands to the zero position. The operation START is confirmed by a normal pitched beep, while the the operations STOP and RESET are confirmed by a high pitched beep.

During the first five minutes, the seconds hand will be driven smoothly (high frame rate) and the second-decimals hand will run continuously. After this period of time, the stopwatch will change into the power saving mode. In this mode, the seconds hand will move in the regular sweep mode or one-second-step fashion (depending on the setting under advanced preferences), and the second-decimals hand will be parked at the zero position. Once the stopwatch is stopped, the second-decimals hand will move to the value that corresponds to the time measurement.

If you change to another mode while the stopwatch is running, the time measurement will continue to work internally. Since it is based on timestamps, even rebooting the device will not affect the accuracy of the time measurement.

QuickStopwatch function (only PRO version)

When the "QuickStopwatch" function is enabled (advanced preferences), pressing button [C] while in time mode (TME) will immediately change the mode to SW, reset the stopwatch if needed and start it. In case the stopwatch was already running, only the mode will change to SW and the current measurement will continue.

Flyback function (only PRO version)

Press button [D] in SW mode when the stopwatch is running to stop, reset and restart the stopwatch at once. This function is often used by pilots. It is useful to perform repeated time measurements or to immediately correct the start of a time measurement in case of error - with one push of the button, instead of three.

The flyback function is also known by these names:

Split function (only PRO version)

While the stopwatch is running, you may measure a split time by pressing [SET]. This will be confirmed by two beeps in rapid succession at normal pitch and by the mode hand pointing at the 'S' of SW (stands for Split). The stopwatch hands pause to show the split time, but the stopwatch continues to run in the background.

Press [SET] again to release the split time. This is confirmed by a high pitched beep.

To measure cumulative split times:

  [C] [SET] [SET] * [C] [D]

  * Repeat SPLIT ➔ SPLIT RELEASE as needed

To measure two times, like the finishes of two runners:

  [C] [SET] [C] [SET] [D]
1st runner finishes
Display 1st time
2nd runner finishes
Display 2nd time


Countdown Timer Mode (CD)

The countdown timer gives an audible signal after a predefined time that can be set between 1 second (or 5 seconds if on Android 5 or later - see 5 Second limit) and 12 hours.

Press button [C] to start and stop the timer. While stopped, press button [D] to reset the hands to the preset countdown time. The operation START is confirmed by a normal pitched beep, while the the operations STOP and RESET are confirmed by a high pitched beep.

To set the countdown timer, press button [SET] while the timer is stopped. The hour hand will shortly wiggle. Change its value with buttons [C] and [D] as needed. Repeat the procedure for the minutes and seconds hand. Pressing [SET] once again finishes the setting procedure which is confirmed by a high pitched beep.

The countdown timer has two different modes, "1x" and "":

The current mode is indicated by the second-decimals hand (only when in CD mode). To change between 1x and modes, press button [D] while the timer is running.

During the first 60 seconds after start and the last 5 minutes of a countdown period, the seconds hand will be driven smoothly. Outside of these periods of time, the countdown timer will change into the power saving mode. In this mode, the seconds hand will be moved in a one-second-step fashion (or sweep depending on the setting under advanced preferences).

If you change to another mode while the countdown timer is running, it will continue to run internally and the audible signal will be heard after the countdown has been completed. Even if the device is rebooted, a pending countdown will be resumed accordingly.

Shortcut to 5 or 10 minutes

To quickly set the CD time to 5 or 10 minutes, long-press button [SET] in CD mode whenever the timer is not running or while in set submode. The setting will alternate between 5 and 10 minutes at each long-press.


Alarm Mode (AL)

The alarm mode offers a 24-hour alarm. The alarm time is indicated on the main dial. As in the normal keeping mode, refer to the date indicator to differentiate between AM and PM.

A unique feature of Cronosurf is the indication of the remaining time till the next alarm, which naturally can be in the range from 0 to 24 hours. This is indicated by the seconds hand by pointing anywhere between the 0 and 24 position on the second scale. As a graphical reminder, the latter position is labeled with '24H'.

Example: alarm mode

The alarm status ON/OFF is indicated by the second-decimals hand at any time except when in SW and CD modes. When in alarm mode, but outside of the set submode, press button [C] to switch the alarm ON or OFF.

To set the alarm time, press button [SET]. The hour hand will shortly wiggle. Adjust as needed with buttons [C] and [D] and press [SET] again. Now adjust the minute hand. Pressing [SET] once again finishes the setting procedure which is confirmed by a high pitched beep. Note that as soon as any hand is adjusted, the alarm will be automatically switched on.


Press button [SET] for 1 second while in alarm set submode to quickly set the alarm time to the current Local Time plus 2 minutes. The seconds hand will reflect this by pointing at the 12 o'clock position, meaning that the alarm will sound shortly (less than 2 minutes). This comes in handy if the alarm time that you want to set is close to the current Local Time or you simply want to test the alarm. (Adjust further as needed.)

Press [SET] again for 1 second to quickly set the alarm time to the current Local Time plus 8 hours. This is helpful for quickly setting an alarm before going to sleep. (Adjust further as needed.)

Depending on the preference setting "Repeat alarm daily", the alarm will repeat daily or sound only once, after which it will change to the status OFF automatically.


World Time Mode (WT)

When in World Time mode, the main dial will show the user defined World Time. By default, it will be the UTC time (Universal Time Coordinated), but it can be set to show any desired fixed offset between -26 and +26 hours in 15-minute steps relative to the Local Time (now indicated by the 24-hour dial). The 15-minute steps are needed for some countries that have an extra 15 or 45 minutes offset to UTC.

Refer to the date indicator to differentiate between AM and PM and to monitor the date of the World Time, which can deviate by up to +/-2 days from the Local Time date.

To set a fixed offset for the World Time, press the [SET] button. The hour hand will shortly wiggle. Adjust it as needed with buttons [C] and [D] and press [SET] again. Now adjust the minute hand as needed in 15-minute steps. Pressing [SET] once again finishes the setting procedure which is confirmed by a high pitched beep.

UTC Time

Press button [SET] for 1 second while in World Time set submode to reset the World Time to UTC. Note that the UTC time is a special setting and its offset to the Local Time can be variable. The correct indication of UTC and Local Time relies on the proper time and timezone settings of the device at system level.

Shortcut for zero offset (World Time = Local Time)

While setting the hour hand, you may quickly set the World Time to the Local Time by a tap on the zeroize area (see chapter Invisible touch areas).


Date and Day

The two outer rings on the main dial show the date (1-31) and the day of the week (first letter). Both are indicated at the 12 o'clock position by the date pointer (the triangular shape at the 12 o'clock position). Since the date rings turn steplessly, the date pointer gives a hint of the time of the day. Around midday, the date pointer will be centered on the day.

Furthermore, the rings show a practical overview of all days of the current month, which can be used as a one-month calendar.


Week number

Press and hold [SET] when in TME mode to consult the current week number based on Local Time. The minute hand will point to the corresponding number on the minute scale for as long as the button is pressed. The shown number can be in the range 1 through 53.

There are different week numbering standards worldwide. By default, Cronosurf uses the numbering that corresponds to the language/country that is set in the system settings. Under advanced preferences, you may change this setting (Auto) to ISO-8601 standard (most countries) or to US standard.



The Calendar is a submode of the time mode (TME) and offers a complete 100-year-Calendar for the years 1950 to 2049.

Calendar for the current month

Pressing button [SET] while in TME mode will enter the Calendar submode. The mode hand will point to the small 'C' which stands for calendar. Upon entering this submode, the calender will start always at the current date. The date and day of the week are still indicated at the 12 o'clock position as in TME mode. But now, the year, month and last day of the month are additionally shown.

The current year is indicated by its two last digits. The possible range of 100 years begins at 1950. Therefore, 50 stands for 1950, 00 for 2000 and 49 for 2049.

The second-decimals hand (lower sub-dial) indicates the tens digit of the year, whereas the hour hand on the main dial indicates the ones digit. Both can point to a number between 0 and 9 (the 12 position on the hour scale corresponds to 0). Example: For the year 2014, the second-decimals hand points to 1 and the hour hand to 4 (see Figure 3.).

The current month is indicated by the minute hand on the main dial. The positions 1 to 12 correspond to the months January to December.

The seconds hand points toward the last day of the month on the date rings. This can be any day from 28 to 31.

The 24-hour dial shows the Local Time.

So in summary, you have the complete date and time at one glance as follows:

Example: calendar submode

Figure 3. Calendar example: Friday the 5th of September, 2014

In order to remember the hand sequence for the year and month easily, the same principle of conventional hour and minute hands can be used: small hands represent big values. Therefore, the smallest hand, i.e. the decimals hand, represents the biggest value: the tens digit of the year. You can also make this mental note: Minute = Month.


Calendar for any month from 1950 to 2049

From here, pressing buttons [C] or [D] will increase or decrease the date by one month respectively. Holding the button pressed will change the year instead. This will take you to any desired month between January 1950 and December 2049. Note that this does not change the watch date, it merely lets you browse the calendar.

For any month other than the current month, the Date and Day Rings will turn such that the 1st of the month is always at the 12 o'clock position.

To exit the Calendar, press button [SET] once again or change the watch mode by pressing [A] or [B].

Note: The watch will automatically exit the calendar submode after a timeout of 90 seconds of inactivity.

Digital year indication

In case that the digital battery indicator is active (under preferences), this indicator will show the year of the calendar digitally when the calendar submode is active.


Moon phases

Both full moon and new moon days are indicated on the date ring. A filled circle and an outlined circle will be shown respectively. The date at which each event occurs depends on the current time zone of the device. Therefore, changing the timezone can sometimes lead to a change of a given moon event by up to two days.

The indication of the moon phases will persist in the calendar month. This enables you to see all past and future moon phases within the full 100 year range of the calendar.

By default, this function is enabled, but you may disable it through the preferences.


Weather information (only PRO version)

Cronosurf can retrieve and show the following weather information from the Internet for a city of your choice:

By default, the weather information function is disabled. Enable it in the preferences by going to WEATHER INFO and setting the Data option to either "Temperature + sunrise/sunset" or "Only sunrise/sunset". Then, enter the place of your choice under "Location". The app can also store a standby location for quick access. Tap on the standby location entry in order to swap the locations.

Once the function is enabled and a location is set, Cronosurf will show the temperature on the right digital indicator (unless you chose "Only sunrise/sunset").

While in TME mode and when the temperature is visible, pressing and holding button [D] will temporarily switch the indication to the relative humidity. Release the button to switch back to the temperature indication.

To consult the sunrise and sunset times, press [SET] twice while in TME mode to enter the Sun submode. The mode hand will point to the small 'S' which stands for Sun. Upon activating this submode, the sunrise time will be shown by the hour and minute hands. Refer to the date indicator to distinguish between morning and afternoon, and also look at the decimals hand, which points upwards to indicate a sunrise, and downwards to indicate a sunset.

Press button [C] to toggle between sunrise and sunset.

The seconds hand indicates the remaining time to the shown sunrise/sunset event. The remaining time can be up to 24 hours and is shown by pointing anywhere between the 0 and 24 position on the second scale. As a graphical reminder, the latter position is labeled with '24H'.

During the Sun submode, the right digital indicator will indicate the day length (period of time between sunrise and sunset) with four digits. For example, an indication of "1052" stands for a day length of 10 hours and 52 minutes.

In case that the weather data is invalid or the device cannot establish an Internet connection, the temperature indication will change to two dashes. When in the Sun submode and if the data is invalid or older than 30 hours, both the hour and minute hands will point at the 9 o'clock position. The valid range of 30 hours allows for using the sunrise/sunset times of the previous day as an approximate value in the event that there is no Internet connection for longer periods of time. The seconds hand will point to the 9 o'clock position if the remaining time to the shown event is outside the range from 0 to 24 hours. This helps to assess the validity of the shown sunrise/sunset times.

The weather data is automatically updated every 30 minutes. If needed, you can force a data refresh manually. While in TME mode, press and hold button [D] for 5 seconds until you hear a beep. A message appears indicating either that the refresh was successful or that the data could not be loaded. (This only works if the weather information function is enabled and a location has been entered.)

Note that the Screen-On timer has a higher display priority and, when active, it will overwrite the temperature or day length reading. In this case, press button [D] while in TME mode (or Sun submode) to get the reading back for a few seconds.

Shortcut for swapping the locations

Long-press button [SET] while in Sun submode.



If supported by the hardware, Cronosurf offers a compass function that runs as a submode of the World Time mode. The availability of the compass is recognizable on the mode indicator by a gray dot at the left of the World Time mode mark. If the compass sensor is available, the gray dot will be visible and the compass function can be started. Once started, the mode hand will point to this dot. (Otherwise, the gray dot will not be visible and the compass function cannot be started.)

Compass dot on mode indicator

Starting the compass

To start the compass, change to the World Time mode and press button [D]. Both the minute and the seconds hands align together to form the north pointer of the compass needle, whereas the hour hand aligns to the opposite direction, hence pointing south.

Note that most Android devices need a compass calibration before the readings are reliable. This consists generally of spinning the device in a figure 8 pattern. Please make sure that you employ the proper method for your device.

Exiting the compass

To exit the compass, either press [D] again or change the watch mode. Otherwise, the compass will stop automatically after 5 minutes of inactivity (1 minute on Wear devices). (You may press button [SET] to restart this 5 minute counter without changing anything.)

Reference pointer (only PRO version)

While in compass submode, press button [C] to freeze the seconds hand on its actual position. This will help you to comfortably monitor the deviation from a previously established direction.

The app will save the reference value and retain it even after a restart of the device.

Press [C] again to release the hold.


Presets for alarm and countdown

This function gives you a quick access to your favorite alarm and countdown times - two each (four in the PRO version). To access the presets, press on the "P" symbol below the watch. This will open a window showing all the presets together with the current alarm and countdown settings at the top. You may now activate/start any desired preset by touching it.

If you want to change a preset, first set the alarm or countdown time as needed. Then, open again the presets window and overwrite the desired preset through long pressing on it. The next long press will restore the default value.


Battery level indicators

There are three different battery level indicators:


Screen-On timer

In order to keep the screen for a longer time than the device screen timeout time, you can use the inbuilt Screen-On timer. To activate it, open the graphical menu and press the button that shows a bulb and a timer symbol: Screen-On timer button . The starting value is 5 minutes. Once activated, it can be further adjusted through same button or by swiping* left or right on the watch face. At each swipe, the timer will toggle through these possible settings:

OFF ↔ 5 minutes ↔ 15 minutes ↔ 30 minutes ↔ OFF

If the timer is active, its status will be indicated below the 24-hour dial by a sun symbol and the remaining minutes.

* On Wear smartwatches, swiping is reserved for the system. Use the graphical menu instead.





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