Astro Day Countdown is an app for tablets and computers running Windows 8.1, which allows you to create live tiles on your Windows Start screen that countdown to upcoming dates and events.
The app is available from the Windows Store, and can be tried in a free trial mode for 7 days before a user decides to upgrade to the full paid-for version for a small fee. Upgrades can be done simply from the Windows Store.
If you are already using the app, and especially if you have paid for the full version, please let us say a huge "thank you" for your support. If you haven't already, please consider writing a review.
When you first launch the app after downloading, you will be presented with the start screen that shows you have no items to which you are counting down.
To get started, click the "Add new" button on the top left to create a new item.
Clicking the "Add new" button creates a new event in the list and displays the empty event on the right hand side ready for editing.
By default, new events have empty titles, are due today and have white text on a plain black background. The "Tile Preview" section shows how your event will look in a live tile.
To make things more interesting, set the event title and due date to something exciting (e.g. your birthday) and select a more interesting foreground and background colour scheme.
A plain coloured tile might look nice and clean and simple, but sometimes you want something a little more interesting. To do so, you can choose a background image for the tile. Simply click or tap the "Select..." button to open an image browser. Pick a suitable image and your tile preview will update automatically.
To change the image, simply tap "Select..." again and choose a different one. To remove the image and return to a plain coloured tile, tap "Remove".
The brightness of the image can be adjusted by sliding the "Opacity" slider left or right. If your image is too bright for the text, simply reduce the opacity to dim it a little.
Once you have configured your event as you like, tap the "Save" button to store it. You'll notice the list on the left update to show your title, date, colours and days to go.
Tapping the "Cancel" button instead will undo any changes you have made.
What's the point of having a countdown if you can't see it every day on your Start screen? To make this happen, simply tap the "Pin" button. There will be a slight wait while the app generates all the required images for the live tile (a progress bar will show you how it is getting on). Note that the further in advance your event is, the longer this will take (i.e. an event next week will be much quicker than one in 6 months' time).
Once the tiles are ready, you'll be prompted to pin it to the Start screen. There are 4 different sizes of tiles you can choose from, ranging from a small square that does not update (not recommended) to a large square. Use the left and right arrow icons to choose the appropriate size and click "Pin to Start" to create your tile. You can always resize it later, so don't worry if you can't decide which size you'd like best.
To see your new tile, press the Windows key to return to the Windows Start screen. New tiles are added on the far right hand side by default, but you can easily move them by clicking and dragging them to wherever you like.
The countdown on each tile updates at midnight each night to show the correct number of days. If your computer is powered off at midnight, Windows will apply the change when you next power it on.
Once a tile is created, you can resize it or remove it from the Start screen by either tapping and holding or right-clicking it, then using the menu at the bottom of the screen.
To update the title, date, colours, image, etc of an existing event, launch the app and click on the event in the list on the left. Make whatever changes you want, and then tap "Save". If the event has been pinned to the Start screen, the tile images will be regenerated, so please be patient.
To remove an event from the list, select it and tap the "Delete" button. If the event is pinned as a tile, you will be prompted to unpin it first, then prompted to confirm its deletion.
Unfortunately, all software has bugs and problems, despite our best efforts to find and remove them, so it is possible you may experience a "crash" or issue. In most cases, the app will attempt to fix the problem and continue, but it may not always be possible. In this case, an error reporting page will be shown that will ask you to submit an error report. This is done by creating an email for you to send (you will be able to review the contents of the email in advance, and it is not sent until you click the normal "send" button in the email app). The email will contain some simple information on your app (such as the version number, etc) and some diagnostic information to try and help us work out what went wrong and fix it in a future version. No personal information is included in the email and there is no way for us to identify your computer, etc from it (other than we will obviously see your email address when you send it).
These crash reports will really help with identifying and fixing problems, to make the app better in future for everyone. It would be really appreciated if you could take the time to send them whenever possible.
If you have any other questions or issues, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure you mention that you are using Astro Day Countdown on Windows 8 so we can help as quickly as possible
If you like the app, we would appreciate you buying the full version rather than the trial, and leaving a review in the Windows Store (please think about contacting us first if you have a problem rather than leaving a negative review - there are bound to be some initial problems with the first version of the app, and we would appreciate the chance to put them right).
In-app icons are taken from the "Icon8" set provided courtesy of Icons8 - http://icons8.com
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