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iPhone/iPod Touch Astronomy Software

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#26 Richard at GSW

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 07:35 PM

We found for some people there wasn't enough working memory left to run GoSkyWatch properly. We've just released version 2.0 where we reduced and optimized memory use to help with stability.

GoSkyWatch 1.1 on a 8 gig iPod Touch still has issues, random lock ups and in settings, trying to turn things on and off ends up crashing my iPod running v2.01



#27 Astraforce Paul

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 03:36 PM

BUMP!

Anyone using recent updates to any of these programs? Or has other observations about them?

I read where StarMap has revamped its graphic display process and relies on the GL engine or whatever and is now zippy!

Anyone know if any of the classic Palm apps are coming to the iPhone/iPod Touch world?

#28 Matthew E

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 03:04 PM

i came on here asking the same thing.

StarMap is also producing a StarMap Pro version that will be interesting as well.

http://www.star-map....on.html?index=3

I see that StarryNight has a webapp version, but it definately doesnt look as good as any native ipod touch \iphone apps out there.

http://www.space.com/snserver/iphone/

So far i am thinking iAstronomica and StarMap PRO are my favorites to be purchased.

#29 Emanuele

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 11:58 PM

guys,
Check out Distant Suns!
I used to have it on the Amiga, long time ago!
I just purchased it and it is great!! Love it!
Incredibly simple and yet it has all it's needed!

E.

#30 Astraforce Paul

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 04:40 PM

Are you saying that Distant Suns has come to the iPod Touch?

#31 Matthew E

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 04:58 PM

indeed, it can be found here, it will be interesting to hear how this stacks up vs. Star Map

http://phobos.apple....=294198915&mt=8

#32 LcJ

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 03:33 PM

Well, after lucking up and getting an iPone (the wife wanted one - 3G 16 Gig- so I needed to get one also to help with technical questions) and on 10/28/2008 I bought (downloaded) Starmap and GoSkyWatch. They both work fine, only a couple of restarts ... probably playing too much and overloading the phone, but they do what they should. On Nov 2, I downloaded Distant Suns. It is nice, but to me Starmap is the one if you only get one. Also iEphemeris is a nice little freebee to keep up with the moon. All of the first three are fast (once loaded) and are easy to use and locate what you want. I like the information more in Starmap, The description of objects in Distant Suns is good. Pay your nickel, take your choice. Another program I loaded was the iAPODViewer. Really nice. Can save the pictures easily. The only feature I wish it had was an easier way to search by date when looking back through all the pictures of the day. When searching for specific objects is it really good and the information about the pictures is complet.

Good Luck. I like having the info in my pocket.

Good Luck,
Lyle

#33 Matthew E

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 10:17 PM

Thanks for your review!

I also enjoy iEphemeris.

However a similar but not free app Phases looks like it is going to be good, since it's the same company that creates the iStats apps for the mac osx.

Star Map seems to be the winner right now, however there is a Star Map PRO due next year, so i dont know if i should sit and wait to purchase the PRO version or not, since the author has already stated there is no upgrade path from Star Map to Star Map PRO.

#34 LcJ

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 11:29 PM

I do prefer Starmap at this time and I also thought about waiting for the Pro, but honestly, for $12, I think it is a very worthwhile purchase and I doubt if I will ever need the Pro. I find that GoSkyWatch and Distant Suns are lacking compared to Starmap. Each has its place and is a nice tool and if I only had any one of the three, I would be better off than with none, but for me Starmap would be the one I would keep. I was concerned after reading through the reviews here and online, but the newest update seemed to correct the mentioned limitations. Now between the new toys and just getting my SkyPointer installed, I have had a ball the past two (cool) nights.
A laser pointer finder sure beats my telrad which is now no longer on the scope. Good luck in your decision and if you wait on the Pro be sure and post your experience.

Peace,
Lyle

#35 Astraforce Paul

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 05:24 PM

The developer has posted a detailed video of Star Map Pro's features... There's also a page filled with screenshots. It looks incredible!

Video

Screenshots


One thing that I didn't see, though, was how to add comet data, e.g., Comet Lulin, but perhaps I just overlooked it exploring all the other astro candy that will be coming in the program!


#36 btschumy

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:58 PM

Wow! I must say that looks impressive. It will rival Astromist on the Palm platform.

#37 Doug D.

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 07:48 AM

I agree - the Pro version likes like it will be THE working astronomers tool. I wonder how many of these things one is going to "need" on an iPhone, LOL? I've got Star Walk because it is just too cool looking (and actually useful - just limited) to not have and I downloaded Distant Suns because it is feature filled and useful for my actual viewing. I know I will purchase Star Map Pro as soon as it is ready. I've avoided others for now... Resistance seems futile.

#38 CarterB

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 10:02 AM

Star Map Pro looks great, and the FAQ is guessing April. Entering comet info will be nice, but I'm sure that'll be coming.

I bought Lunar Atlas last night and quite like it for finding craters (haven't used it at the scope yet).

#39 CarterB

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 10:16 AM

I wrote the Star Map Pro developer (via his contact page) after I posted and he said comets should be in the next version of the Pro version.

#40 Astraforce Paul

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 12:50 PM

Say, that's great news. The developer is a responsive, friendly sort--and certainly knows which elements will make a great amateur astronomer's tool. The video makes it look as if it's pretty close to be ready to be released.

He also deserves credit for announcing the pro version early to help people make their buying decisions (pro or regular; or another program)

Doug, what's that Star Walk like? I read somewhere that it's fast but uses pictures of star fields rather than the usual data-driven, star rendering, mag setting approach.

I'm keeping my old Clie SJ33 around for scope use--Planetarium is just so feature rich, intuitive, and useful. I'm not sure I want to use a $300 i-device at the scope, in the dark, when a dirt cheap Palm OS device works so well.

Plus, moving between apps on an iPod Touch or iPhone ruins one's night vision, whereas on the Clie/Palm, Khroma or Chrome let you set up a system wide astrovision color motif--with everything in red on black (or blue on black, depending on one's pref).

#41 Nick Cook

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 04:03 PM

I've got Star Walk because it is just too cool looking (and actually useful - just limited)


Star Walk is surprisingly useful. I use SkyTools V2 for my main imaging planning sessions, but I also use Star Walk as a useful addition to this. It's great fun to use and dare I say it... very Star Trek! ;)

Nick

#42 Astraforce Paul

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 09:48 AM

Uh-oh! That's an endorsement in my book! Star-trek like! :-)

Much like zoom eyepieces and the Moon or globular clusters... a cool, futuristic, spaceship effect!

#43 Doug D.

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 11:17 AM

Last night I downloaded "Moon Atlas", which has a nice interface and a 3-D rotating moon with lots of features indicated - including the dark side. The latter isn't exactly much practical use to an obseerver, LOL, but still nice to have.

My one big hope for this app is that the resolution of the pinch/zoom close-ups will have increased resolution in future updates. A red light nightvision feature would also be ok I suppose but the moon is so bright your dark adaptation is toast anyway.

#44 rboe

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 12:05 PM

So, any one controlling a scope with their app?

#45 btschumy

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 05:56 PM

I don't think any of the existing software supports controlling a scope. Part of the problem is that iPhone/iTouch doesn't have bluetooth or a serial port. To control a scope you would need to use the wireless internet functionality to talk to a computer that was itself connected to the scope. Then the iPhone is basically acting as a remote and you would still need a real computer present.

#46 rboe

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 07:19 PM

Oh rats. I thought the iTouch had bluetooth.

#47 btschumy

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 07:30 PM

Nope, and the bluetooth on the iPhone is purposely dumbed down to only supports a limited profile set (Hands Free Profile and Headset Profile). It can't be used to control a scope since it doesn't support Serial Port Profile.

#48 rboe

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 10:15 PM

Bugger. Thanks for the clarification Bill. :bow:

Apple looses another customer - for now. :shakecane:
Not that I was all fired up to go get an iTouch. :wron:

#49 Astraforce Paul

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 04:30 PM

For those browsing this thread, there's another Moon map program, MoonMap Lite, that's a freebie. It seems quite nice... with pinch zoom (well a little bit), scrolling around, and many features identified.

OTOH, the Moon's divided up into quadrants so you are confined to each one as you scroll around; there's also no phase change illumination; and no options to invert to match scope view. Haven't explored MoonMap itself yet.

#50 dkb

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 02:40 PM

I don't think any of the existing software supports controlling a scope. Part of the problem is that iPhone/iTouch doesn't have bluetooth or a serial port. To control a scope you would need to use the wireless internet functionality to talk to a computer that was itself connected to the scope. Then the iPhone is basically acting as a remote and you would still need a real computer present.


It looks like the ability to do this will now be available with the new iPhone/iPod touch 3.0 software that will be available this summer. It will be a simple free upgrade for all iPhone users. There is support for communicating via blue-tooth through third-party hardware in the 3.0 firmware update.


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