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Which tablet for Sky Safari?

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#1 jimsmith

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 08:48 AM

I currently use Sky Safari on my iPhone 5 (No fancy telescope control, I just use it as an atlas) but I think I could do with a bigger screen.

 

I tried it on a Samsung Galaxy Note phone (earliest version) but, although that was a better size, the screen was always too bright even if I chose the phone's dimmest setting.

 

So, I think I need something with a 6-7" screen that can be held in one hand.

 

Is anyone successfully using a small tablet with Sky Safari?



#2 RodgerHouTex

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 09:03 AM

I have it on an iPad 2 and it works great.  I'm sure the iPad mini would run it fine.



#3 rmollise

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 09:27 AM

I think you'll find performance better on an iPad than on an Android tablet. It is also much easier to control a scope with the iPad if'n you want to do that. ;)



#4 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 03:48 PM

I'm using SkySafari on an iPad Mini to control my ServoCAT dob. I love it! The Mini is small enough to fit in the pocket of a Dark Sky Apparel observing vest, or a winter parka. But mostly, it sits on a CatStalk next to the ArgoNavis computer. No issues, it just works all the time.

 

As far as screen darkness - I'm using a red cling film (Sirius Astro Products "Red Eyes") When I put the Mini down to it's lowest setting it is too dim, so I bump it up a little bit from there.



#5 demiles

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 04:42 PM

I use a iPad Mini as well for all the same reasons as Jeff has posted. A single piece of Red Eyes cling though is simply not enough to reduce the light blue glow of the LCD backlight, so I added another layer of cling which makes a big difference.



#6 jimsmith

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 05:18 PM

 

Does the touch sensitive screen work through the film?



#7 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 07:52 PM

 

 

Does the touch sensitive screen work through the film?

 

 

No problem, even if you double up the layers.



#8 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 08:29 PM

I am using Sky Safari 4 Pro on a couple of tablets, primarily the Nexus 7 (2013)...  It does everything I want to do with ease..  I am not quite sure what Rod is thinking.. 

 

Jon



#9 beatlejuice

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 09:00 PM

I am using Sky Safari 4 Pro on a couple of tablets, primarily the Nexus 7 (2013)...  It does everything I want to do with ease..  I am not quite sure what Rod is thinking.. 

 

Jon

Me neither

 

Eric



#10 Sorny

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 09:32 PM



I am using Sky Safari 4 Pro on a couple of tablets, primarily the Nexus 7 (2013)...  It does everything I want to do with ease..  I am not quite sure what Rod is thinking.. 

 

Jon

 

Right from the creators themselves

 

Pay attention to #15, 16, and 17 in the FAQ.



#11 mountain monk

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 09:42 PM

An iPad 2 for me, and I love it. I use one or two layers of rubylith, depending on my mood. Blue tape them to the screen. The touch function works fine. I prefer the larger screen of the regular iPad.

 

Dark skies.

 

Jack



#12 jimsmith

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 02:56 AM

Thanks for this info. Nexus 7 would save me a few quid over the iPad mini. Does the Nexus 7 need the use of red film?

And...can Sky Safari be set so that the Nexus 7 does not turn off after a few minutes? (This works on my iPhone.)


Edited by jimsmith, 15 August 2014 - 03:00 AM.


#13 jimsmith

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 11:23 AM

Worryingly, I just read this in a review of Sky Safari 4 Plus on the Google Play site..."Needs to have the option of keeping the device from sleeping. The unlock screen kills night vision".

My IOS version for my iPhone has this option. It sounds like the Android version does not.



#14 btschumy

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 11:33 AM

Yes, the Android version does have a "Prevent Sleep" option in the Appearance settings.  That reviewer just didn't find it.


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#15 jimsmith

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 11:37 AM

Thanks Bill. That's a relief.



#16 tjay

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 12:23 PM

I am using Sky Safari 4 Pro on a couple of tablets, primarily the Nexus 7 (2013)...  It does everything I want to do with ease..  I am not quite sure what Rod is thinking.. 

 

Jon

 

Me either.  Works great on Nexus 7, especially with my Starry Night Bluestar Bluetooth adapter.



#17 tjay

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 12:25 PM

Thanks for this info. Nexus 7 would save me a few quid over the iPad mini. Does the Nexus 7 need the use of red film?

And...can Sky Safari be set so that the Nexus 7 does not turn off after a few minutes? (This works on my iPhone.)

 

I haven't put any red film on mine.  I use an screen dimming app called "Screen Filter" that reduces the brightest to an acceptable level.



#18 demiles

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 12:44 PM

You can use a smart cover on a iPad, the tablet turns on automaticlly when you open the cover and turns off when you close it. No lock screen. Certain screen types (AMOLED?) dont really need a red film since that type doesnt use a backlight.



#19 David Knisely

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 01:08 PM

 

Thanks for this info. Nexus 7 would save me a few quid over the iPad mini. Does the Nexus 7 need the use of red film?

And...can Sky Safari be set so that the Nexus 7 does not turn off after a few minutes? (This works on my iPhone.)

 

I haven't put any red film on mine.  I use an screen dimming app called "Screen Filter" that reduces the brightest to an acceptable level.

 

 

Even with the Nexus 7 set to minimum brightness, the tablet's screen still puts out a faint glow that hurts night vision.  I have to use a thin layer of red cellophane (used to wrap flowers in from Walmart) and a couple of rubber bands to dim things down to the proper level (even with Sky Safari Pro set to night mode).   The touch screen still works just fine with the film in-place.  Clear skies to you.



#20 Sean Wood

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 04:34 PM

I'm sure that sky safari actually runs equally well on either iOS or the android platform. Personally I'm an Android fanboy. I just like the much higher customizability and multitasking functionality of android over apple. I know on most any android device you can simply set the lock screen to "none" in the settings before observing so the screen can be turned off to conserve battery. With this it isn't an issue of disrupting night vision during observations. When the screen times out or you turn it off then turn it back on it opens right to the app you had open, which would be SS in night mode in this specific case.

 

If you're already invested the Apple ecosystem then I'd suggest staying with apple devices other wise you'll have to purchase apps at a double rate.. one for your apple device and then one for the android device. Plus you'd have to consider the learning curve between the 2 operating systems. there isn't as much difference between the 2 OS's as there used to be but still enough that it can be frustrating when you're trying to do something on each to make each other match or do something similarly. I know i've had rounds trying to do something on daughters Iphone that only takes a few clicks in android that you have to dig through the iOS settings menu to get to. Or switch your phone to an android as well if you go with the android tablet. The way these ecosystem driven devices are designed are to function in conjunction with other related devices you use across your life. I have an android phone, tablet, google tv box and I use Chrome browser. All my media, bookmarks, browsing habits/history, syncs across all the devices. plus it all happens wirelessly no attached cabled syncing.

What ever tablet you go with make sure it fits all your needs. Do you plan on using this device for other than astro use as well? Take into consideration size, most people think bigger is better but I tried using my 10"  tablet for astro field use and found it cumbersome as It was really a 2 hand hold device. 7" is nice but the sweet spot is in the 8-9" range. If you do go with a bigger device have a strategy for attaching to a stem or stand so you don't have to hold it all the time. 


Edited by Sean Wood, 15 August 2014 - 04:41 PM.


#21 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 08:04 PM

You can use a smart cover on a iPad, the tablet turns on automaticlly when you open the cover and turns off when you close it. No lock screen. Certain screen types (AMOLED?) dont really need a red film since that type doesnt use a backlight.

 

If you are connected to a GOTO telescope, turning the tablet off is something best avoided.

 

And really there is no reason to shut the device down. I'm not sure about Android battery life (probably all devices are different) but the iPad Mini gets great battery life when the screen is at full power (about 10 hours). At reduced screen brightness for night work …. I think it could last for days!



#22 demiles

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:08 PM

Jeff, It doesn't turn of the ipad, just the screen. If your already invested into the Android Eco system by all means stay with it.



#23 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 09:29 PM

 



I am using Sky Safari 4 Pro on a couple of tablets, primarily the Nexus 7 (2013)...  It does everything I want to do with ease..  I am not quite sure what Rod is thinking.. 

 

Jon

 

Right from the creators themselves

 

Pay attention to #15, 16, and 17 in the FAQ.

 

 

It's worth noting that was in regards to Sky Safari 1.8.. Sky Safari 4 running on a Nexus 5 or 7, or even a mudane 1 GHz single core instead of a 2.3 GHz quad-core.. way fast.. 

 

Jon



#24 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 09:32 PM

 

You can use a smart cover on a iPad, the tablet turns on automaticlly when you open the cover and turns off when you close it. No lock screen. Certain screen types (AMOLED?) dont really need a red film since that type doesnt use a backlight.

 

If you are connected to a GOTO telescope, turning the tablet off is something best avoided.

 

And really there is no reason to shut the device down. I'm not sure about Android battery life (probably all devices are different) but the iPad Mini gets great battery life when the screen is at full power (about 10 hours). At reduced screen brightness for night work …. I think it could last for days!

 

 

With the Nexus 7, I use the never sleep option and the battery seems like it lasts forever, certainly not a problem over the course of an evening. 

 

Regarding size, I like the 7 inch size because it fits in a large pocket on a jacket. I can have it with me at all times, it's protected from dew and dust.

 

Jon



#25 jimsmith

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 09:55 AM

Nexus 7 I think it is going to be then.  My iPhone has a flip cover which I close when I slip the phone in my pocket. That way I don't accidently scroll the map or change anything before I next get it out.  Is that what Nexus 7 users do?








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