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Observer Pro is now available on the App Store!

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#1 jbury

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 09:30 PM

I'm happy to say that Observer Pro is finally available to download from the App Store! Check it out at observerpro.com or on the App Store. Here's a general description of the features in the first release:

Observer Pro is a groundbreaking app for advanced astronomy planning. No more guessing when that galaxy emerges from behind that pesky tree. No more estimating how many hours you'll be able to image an object. Observer Pro gives every astronomer the info they need right at their fingertips!

Exclusive features:

Over 14,000 deep sky objects included, all with closeup reference photos. No need to download anything after install! Advanced sorting and search make it easy to sift through all of them to find which objects belong on your observing list.

Measure your local horizon in minutes with your iPhone 4*!

Unique charts completely take the guesswork out of predicting object visibility. Your house, trees, mountains, or any other obstructions are completely factored in to all visibility charts.

New to astronomy? The Popular List shows trending objects based on observations logged by Observer Pro users. Now you can view a list of the best objects to observe based on actual observations!

Keep a list of your favorite observing sites, each with their own local horizon. Compare object visibility between sites to find the best spot to setup your scope.

There's a lot to observe! Observer Pro gives you a place to maintain a list of your favorite objects as well as an observing list that you can take with you to the eyepiece (red-screen night mode is included). Observer Pro displays easy to see badges next to objects that are favorites or that have been observed.

7Timer! astronomical weather forecasts for your observing sites are viewable without leaving Observer Pro. They give you the outlook on cloud cover, seeing, transparency, and more!

Simple and intuitive interface makes all these powerful features readily accessible. You don't need to be a Certified Astro Geek to use it!


Clear skies!
Josh

#2 Denimsky

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 01:00 PM

Josh.

I bought one for my iPhone.
I played around with it during the day and it looks very good. I'm looking forward to using the local horizon defining feature on my observing sites. That seems to be a killer feature for this app.

Thank you for the good app.

#3 jbury

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 03:34 PM

Josh.

I bought one for my iPhone.
I played around with it during the day and it looks very good. I'm looking forward to using the local horizon defining feature on my observing sites. That seems to be a killer feature for this app.

Thank you for the good app.


You're welcome. Thank you for the download!

The local horizon feature is really what motivated me to create the app. There's a lot of obstructions in my yard. I have a spot that I always setup at because it seems to have the most sky. After I created and started using Observer Pro I now have three different spots I regularly setup at. I love being able to see definitively which spot will give me the most hours to image a given object and when I'll first be able to see it.

Have a great weekend!
Josh

#4 dkb

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 08:15 PM

Any plans for an iPad version? :)

#5 Astrosetz

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 08:32 AM

I'm running it on my iPad now and it works fine, although a version that took advantage of the ipad's larger screen would be most welcome :)

#6 dkb

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 10:16 AM

I'm running it on my iPad now and it works fine, although a version that took advantage of the ipad's larger screen would be most welcome :)

I would like to make sure there won't be a separate "HD" version of the app separate from the current version so I wouldn't have to pay another $10 to get the iPad version if I buy the iPhone version now.

#7 jbury

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 12:30 PM

I'm running it on my iPad now and it works fine, although a version that took advantage of the ipad's larger screen would be most welcome :)

I would like to make sure there won't be a separate "HD" version of the app separate from the current version so I wouldn't have to pay another $10 to get the iPad version if I buy the iPhone version now.


An iPad optimized UI is high on the list. Observer Pro will be a universal application, no separate version for the iPad.

Josh

#8 dkb

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 04:18 PM

Thanks for the response Josh! Another purchase..

#9 Trombone

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 05:33 PM

Purchased! The horizon definition is the killer aspect of this ap. I look forward to utilizing it.

#10 jbury

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 04:40 PM

Just sent an update to Apple (1.0.1). Fairly minor but important improvements:
  • Added ability to remove entries from your observing history.
  • Added Satellite and Hybrid options to map view.
  • Fixed bug that caused crash when viewing Open Clusters catalog with sort by name.
  • Disabled editing of 'Device Location' observing site name and location. Wasn't really editable before but the distinction wasn't very clear.
Thanks for the great feedback!
Josh

#11 Thomas Karpf

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 01:53 PM

Observer Pro looks useful.

It also looks an awful lot like AstroPlanner for the PC.

#12 Sirius76

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 10:27 AM

Any plans for an Android version?

#13 jbury

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 03:41 PM

It also looks an awful lot like AstroPlanner for the PC.


It is definitely in the same category. Although not as fully featured as desktop observing planning software, I tried to create a mobile-friendly planning tool that still contains the most important information. Observer Pro is heavily focused on object visibility right now because that was what I wanted most when I started creating it. As I continue to work, Observer Pro will get more capable and extend into other realms of observing (not just DSOs).

Clear skies!
Josh

#14 jbury

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 03:43 PM

Any plans for an Android version?

Yes, I would like to port Observer Pro over to Android but it probably won't be for a while.

Clear skies!
Josh

#15 Thomas Karpf

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 04:14 PM

ITunes is installing Observer Pro as I type...

#16 jbury

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 04:57 PM

Thanks all for the downloads! I really appreciate your business. Please don't hesitate to leave feedback/suggestions here or direct to me. If you really like the app, feel free to leave feedback on the App Store too :)

Clear skies!
Josh

#17 Astrosetz

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 06:50 AM

Two suggestions:

1. Ability to sort the observing list like you can with catalogs. If I put a list together I would like to quickly sort in order imshould observe them on a given night.

2. Solar system objects (at least the planets)

#18 Astrosetz

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 06:53 AM

Oh, by the way, I've been showing it to every amateur astronomer I meet. Next week I'm doing the program at our astronomy club and I'm going to show it to about fifty more people then as well!

#19 Traveler

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:47 AM

I'm curious what your club members think about this app, Astrosetz. Please let us know.

#20 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 07:41 PM

I have beta tested and even consulted on the design of a number of astronomy apps for iPhone, and have been frustrated that not one programmer jumped at the suggestion to write an app with Observer Pro's capabilities. "Too hard," they all said; "no good way to design such an interface." I am not a programmer, and so was unable to code it myself. I just stumbled across Observer Pro, and am glad to hear Josh has written my dream program. Thanks, Josh! I'll download it and follow this page. Bet it is great, and will only get better!

#21 Trombone

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 09:02 PM

Just know that to input the local horizon feature easily you need an iPhone, not just the latest iPod touch.

#22 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 09:15 PM

Yes thanks, Trombone; perhaps you read in my signature that I have only an iPod, not an iPhone. According the the blurb on the App Store, there is a way to enter the horizon using a protractor and a compass. Presumably with an iPhone, there is some kind of augmented reality function allowing the horizon to be traced with the camera while the compass and GPS render the horizon effortlessly. Can anyone comment on the difficulty of roughing out a horizon manually? I figure it will be worth the effort.

#23 jbury

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 10:04 PM

Two suggestions:

1. Ability to sort the observing list like you can with catalogs. If I put a list together I would like to quickly sort in order imshould observe them on a given night.

2. Solar system objects (at least the planets)


I had a hard time deciding whether to use the same sorting modes with the Observing List or allowing the user to sort manually. Right now you can drag-and-drop to sort manually. What would you think if I supported the other sort modes in the Observing List through the action menu? This would lose any custom sorting you may have set but allows both paradigms to be supported.

Solar System support... I have some great ideas for how I'm going to integrate solar system planning in Observer Pro. Unfortunately they will take a bit of time to implement properly. For the time being I may just add support for the planets with the same visibility charts as the DSOs (I've had lots of requests for this and I'd like to have it too).

I really appreciate you sharing Observer Pro with your club! I have a very limited marketing budget :p

Clear skies!
Josh

#24 jbury

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 10:08 PM

I have beta tested and even consulted on the design of a number of astronomy apps for iPhone, and have been frustrated that not one programmer jumped at the suggestion to write an app with Observer Pro's capabilities. "Too hard," they all said; "no good way to design such an interface." I am not a programmer, and so was unable to code it myself. I just stumbled across Observer Pro, and am glad to hear Josh has written my dream program. Thanks, Josh! I'll download it and follow this page. Bet it is great, and will only get better!


Wow! Thank you so much for the encouraging words! I have to say, it wasn't exactly easy but I REALLY wanted this type of app for my iPhone.

Clear skies!
Josh

#25 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 10:16 PM

What would you think if I supported the other sort modes in the Observing List through the action menu? This would lose any custom sorting you may have set but allows both paradigms to be supported.


Could the first task of any built-in sorting script always be to save the custom sort order for later restoration?






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