Jump to content


Photo

recommend me some android app's?

  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 camvan

camvan

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2167
  • Joined: 02 May 2005
  • Loc: British Columbia

Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:53 PM

my folks have just upgraded to some Samsung Galaxy Ace android 2.3 phones (from their older-style flips).

dad is going to be using a dob with setting circles, so up to date info as to the placement of objects would be great (friend at the 2012 Merritt Star Quest uses something with his iPhone, but the app name fails me and I'm not even sure it's available for Android).

if there are one's we should avoid, heads up on those would be appreciated a well!

#2 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 44746
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 18 September 2012 - 06:39 AM

my folks have just upgraded to some Samsung Galaxy Ace android 2.3 phones (from their older-style flips).

dad is going to be using a dob with setting circles, so up to date info as to the placement of objects would be great (friend at the 2012 Merritt Star Quest uses something with his iPhone, but the app name fails me and I'm not even sure it's available for Android).

if there are one's we should avoid, heads up on those would be appreciated a well!


Since getting my first Android phone about three years ago, Prior to the Android, I had been using Planetarium for the Palm OS, a very competent program, large databases... Switching to the Android, I looked for something to replace it and I have tried just about every Android astro-app out there. So far, I have only found one that is superior to what Planetarium for the Palm offered. Sky Safari... I first saw it on the iPhone and ended up borrowing an old iPhone just so I could run Sky Safari... I did everything I could to encourage Bill and Tim at Southern Stars to port it to the Android OS and last year it happened... :)

Sky Safari is really only one that is full featured, has large databases and is truly polished. It's fast, surprisingly fast considering the databases. I cannot say enough good about SkySafari, it does everything desktop programs like the Sky, Stellarium and Cdc do and more...

It comes in three versions. Basic, Plus and Pro. The main differences are the databases, the Basic is limited, the Plus has everything one really needs and the Pro has everything one might ever want in their wildest dreams...

Currently Skysafari is on sale, 25% off...

Sky Safari at the Google Playstore

Sky Safari for the Android Home Page

Jon Isaacs

#3 JAT Observatory

JAT Observatory

    NOT a Wimp

  • *****
  • Posts: 9494
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2005
  • Loc: In the Primordial Soup

Posted 18 September 2012 - 06:41 PM

What is the eStars icon on the toolbar for?

#4 btschumy

btschumy

    Vendor - Simulation Curriculum

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 2210
  • Joined: 13 Apr 2004
  • Loc: Longmont, CO, USA

Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:08 PM

That will go away in the next release. Due to a build error it crept into this release. It is for another product.

#5 JAT Observatory

JAT Observatory

    NOT a Wimp

  • *****
  • Posts: 9494
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2005
  • Loc: In the Primordial Soup

Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:54 PM

Thanks

#6 core

core

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1506
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2008
  • Loc: Mostly in Norman, OK

Posted 20 September 2012 - 01:10 AM

Some android apps on my Nexus S when it's in use:

- SkySafari Pro
- SkEye
- Clear Sky Droid (clear sky chart) + widget
- Astro Panel (another clear sky chart)
- S&T Sky Week
- Google Sky
- Where is Io
- PolarFinder
- MoonPhasePro (phase display, widget)
- Moon 3D (phase display)
- GPS Essentials
- FOViewer
- Mobile Observatory - my main go-to astro app (surprise, not SSP!) for quick observation planning now and any date in the future, quick overview of all important rise/transit/set times, twilight, events, etc. I like the sun/moon widget.

#7 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 44746
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:05 AM

- Mobile Observatory - my main go-to astro app (surprise, not SSP!)



I have tried Mobile Observatory several times and each time I was disappointed.

Unless things have changed, it just doesn't have the databases nor the capabilities that make Sky Safari Plus or Pro the Android Apps that I use. Last time I looked MO only had the Messier and Calwell Catalogs, lacked the double star database, could not show shadow transits... Using Sky Safari is easy to find out when the planets rise and set, twilight times, (all six of them), the illumination of the planets...

That there will be a shadow transit tonight.. now that is something worth knowing.

Jon

#8 weezy

weezy

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1976
  • Joined: 13 Feb 2004
  • Loc: East of the sun-west of the moon

Posted 20 September 2012 - 08:59 AM

Some of us aren't into more advanced visual astronomy. It's the fun of the chase and the beauty of the find. Also a lot are backyard observers dealing with light pollution of varied degrees. Or maybe smaller scopes. We really don't need much of anything more in the way of databases. We need one that provides a good telrad/finder chart with zooming in to match what you see.

I find a lot of the menu items in MO easier to find that in SS. I have Plus. I will also use Vector. I've still got the APK for Astrotools. Whatever suits my purpose best at the time works.

The one gripe I have with SS+, my copy seemed to have everything enabled at install. I'd rather start from an almost blank sky and add up to what I'm seeing than the reverse.

BTW - I read that Google sort of abandoned Skymap. I think it went public domain. I never got it to work right.
I can get SkEye and MO to work.

#9 core

core

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1506
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2008
  • Loc: Mostly in Norman, OK

Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:59 AM

I have tried Mobile Observatory several times and each time I was disappointed.

Unless things have changed, it just doesn't have the databases nor the capabilities that make Sky Safari Plus or Pro the Android Apps that I use. Last time I looked MO only had the Messier and Calwell Catalogs, lacked the double star database, could not show shadow transits... Using Sky Safari is easy to find out when the planets rise and set, twilight times, (all six of them), the illumination of the planets...

That there will be a shadow transit tonight.. now that is something worth knowing.

Jon


That's why I still pull up SSPro later on ;)

Unless I'm doing something different, to get rise/set/etc data on a planet (or twilight), on SSP, I click on Search, Planet, and then on each body individually (rinse and repeat for each object). In Mobile Observatory, when app is started in Menu mode, just click on Solar System - and on ONE screen it shows me rise/transit/set for all objects (and you can filter for only visible now, and toggle RA/Dec/Const., Elong/illum/phase, visual graph, etc display) - want to update to a week or a month later? The time control skip bar is at the bottom - just one click. The main plus for me is that it displays ALL objects on one screen - very convenient when planning an outreach/scout/etc event in a month and half's time. From this screen , you can click on an individual planet for more details, and the best feature here imo is the visibility chart which shows visually (not just a set of numbers) both 24hrs and 365days visibility. Click on an individual month to jump to that month. It also plots apparent size and magnitude overlay on the 365days bar. This visual chart is also present for all other listed objects (albeit the limited M and C catalog).

On SSP to get twilight, it's Search->Planets->Sun, then it shows the current date's twilight info. In MO, click on Twilight tab, and it shows >9 info on one screen - Astro(2), Nautical(2), Civil(2), Actual(2), Transit, Day Length, Night Length - and again, the very useful part for me is that you can customize it to display Today/+1/+2, Today/+1/+7, Today/+7/+14, Today/+30/+60 - along with the above info, all on one screen.

The downside to MO is not just the limited database, but also the charting aspects - panning around is slower than SSP on older phones. As I mentioned, I really like MO for the 'planning' aspect on the fly (eg, I'm in discussion about the next cub scout camp, HighSchool observing session, or "hey, I've got some observing time planned next week!"), and for the missing NGC/IC/etc catalogs, I use the M/C catalogs as guidepost, since there's almost always one close enough to something I'm looking for.

In the end though, I use both SSP and MO in tandem (along with the other programs I've listed).

#10 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 44746
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 21 September 2012 - 04:53 AM

That's why I still pull up SSPro later on



Well... Sky Safari is a reasonable program for planning, not as competent as CdC in terms of the Calender or SkyTools but certainly once you know you way around it, it does the job.

In terms of speed and overall capability, large databases, apps capable enough that they make a desktop computer unnecessary, Sky Safari Plus and Pro are the only ones I have seen for the Android. When I head out to dark skies, I take my phone and tablet with Sky Safari Pro and my laptop with Sky Tools, the Sky 6 and Cartes du Ciel... I never use my laptop...

Jon

#11 skysurfer

skysurfer

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 298
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2009
  • Loc: NL, N 52 E 6

Posted 21 September 2012 - 01:03 PM

Skysafari is by far the best I have the Pro version.
I had Mobile Observatory, it is a really nice and affordable almanac app ($3), but it has a major flaw: it uses the wrong timezone. I live in Holland (UTC+1 or +2 in summer) but every time I select UTC+1 and restart the app it reverts to UTC+0. I wrote three emails to the developer but get no response.
Stars are only displayed to +7.0 while the app contains a H U G E database of cities and towns even more cities than stars ......

The downside to MO is not just the limited database, but also the charting aspects - panning around is slower than SSP on older phones.

The reason is that SSP is written in C++ (or Objective C?) which runs a lot faster than Java code.

@btschumy: Well done !

#12 btschumy

btschumy

    Vendor - Simulation Curriculum

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 2210
  • Joined: 13 Apr 2004
  • Loc: Longmont, CO, USA

Posted 21 September 2012 - 05:09 PM

You also have Tim Debenedictis to thank. He is responsible for the C++ library that makes it run fast. Yes, it would be quite a bit slower in Java.

#13 Sean Wood

Sean Wood

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 163
  • Joined: 19 Apr 2011
  • Loc: North Carolina

Posted 23 November 2012 - 11:04 PM

Check out StarLog.... it's just been released in the last couple weeks. From the same Dev as FOViewer.... EXCELLENT logging app... you can import your equipment list directly form FOViewer or a few other apps. You can make observatin lists on device with the paid version which has a full Messier, NGC and solar system data base to choose from. Or you can just import the list from your fav astronomy software on your pc. There's 3 diff versions,, free to full each tier adds functionality. I have the full paid version ($1.99) it has a miriad of fields to cover about every aspet of viewing and even has a voice recorder for audio notes, The best feature I like is, in the last release the Dev added functionality to pull up your observation list item in Skeye so you can use it to help find the object then hit the back button and log your observation.

#14 Bas van Krieken

Bas van Krieken

    Vendor - FOViewer

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 77
  • Joined: 14 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Amersfoort, the Netherlands

Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:30 AM

Some android apps on my Nexus S when it's in use:

- SkySafari Pro
- SkEye
- Clear Sky Droid (clear sky chart) + widget
- Astro Panel (another clear sky chart)
- S&T Sky Week
- Google Sky
- Where is Io
- PolarFinder
- MoonPhasePro (phase display, widget)
- Moon 3D (phase display)
- GPS Essentials
- FOViewer
- Mobile Observatory - my main go-to astro app (surprise, not SSP!) for quick observation planning now and any date in the future, quick overview of all important rise/transit/set times, twilight, events, etc. I like the sun/moon widget.


Thanks for that! :)

#15 Bas van Krieken

Bas van Krieken

    Vendor - FOViewer

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 77
  • Joined: 14 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Amersfoort, the Netherlands

Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:33 AM

We really don't need much of anything more in the way of databases. We need one that provides a good telrad/finder chart with zooming in to match what you see.


You might want to try FOViewer for that. It won't give you a finder chart, but it will accuratly show you what an object will look like through your scope.

#16 REC

REC

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5480
  • Joined: 20 Oct 2010
  • Loc: NC

Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:18 PM

I just bought Stellarium from the Google Play store for $1.99.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics