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SkySafari 3 hits the App Store!!!

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#51 psonice

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 09:42 AM

Bill:

See what you mean about the gyro/compass. Maybe you could have a toggle switch (compass/gyro+compass/off). Or a little pop-up, like you've done for the time controls (I've just changed my last ipad app to work like this, it's decluttered the toolbar and the controls are much easier).

For the tonight view, it could be improved plenty with just a few changes (in order of importance, my opinion only of course):

- Order the list. I'd say order by object type, and then visible magnitude. That lets me jump to the objects I'm interested in, and stop reading the list when it gets beyond my equipment.
- Remove moons from the list. We don't need an exhaustive list of each of the moons of saturn + jupiter, just the planet itself :)
- Some rise/set time indicator would be really helpful.
- Remember to include our moon :) (Not sure if it is or not - it's not showing tonight, but it's kind of borderline time-wise tonight anyway..)

There's also the things that would make it super-awesome, like a list of tonight's GRS + moon transits. But just one or 2 of my list above would make it useful.

#52 meteorite

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 02:35 PM

I have the Orion Star Seek (ver 2.1) on my iphone now but I wil purchase Sky Safari 3 plus later today. SS3 plus only controls GOTO scopes, right? I have an Orio XT10i intelliscope PUSHTO but SS3 does not interface with that scope, right?

-Walt

#53 btschumy

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 03:17 PM

No, the Orion Intelliscope is supported. Of course you don't have GoTo, but it acts like a DSC controller. You see the scope's location on the screen and you can just push the scope around to center it over the object you want to observe.

You do need to buy the SkyFi wireless box or the SkyWire wired cable to interface between the Intelliscope and the iOS device.

#54 Astraforce Paul

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 04:21 PM

In version 2, one could show DSOs even in a wide field of view. There was an option to do that. Unless I've missed a setting, that no longer seems to be the case--which is a major setback and a loss of a feature that distinguished SkySafari from many other astro apps.

I'm testing out the basic version (couldn't pass up the $1 price!).

Does the Plus version have that DSO wide fov option? Or, have you dropped it entirely?

#55 btschumy

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 05:55 PM

That feature is only in the Plus and Pro versions. That was the case in version 2.x as well. The low end version didn't have that setting.

#56 Vic Menard

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 08:42 PM

Just purchased the pro version (I'm on the notify list for the OSX version).
Download and install on my iPad took about ten minutes.
I need some time to explore the new features, settings and interface.
First glance, :waytogo:

#57 psonice

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 09:01 AM

Bill: small bug report - the app goes extremely slowly when using the time controls, when it gets to 2020. As in it goes from pretty snappy to many seconds per frame. This is on an iphone 4, with 4.3.3. Not seen it happen anywhere else, but at around 2020 it happens every time. Not tried going back into the past.

Also, and this isn't really a bug report, more of a "this is a stupid thing to do, so don't do it" report: setting the star magnitude to 18 when then view is zoomed right out is not wise. It takes a long time to draw, and the screen ends up nearly pure white. Don't do that. :)

Having used the app a bit more, I'm really liking it, I must say. Also great work on the graphics, it's both good looking and highly functional. Very fast too, considering what's going on in the background :)

#58 btschumy

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 09:39 AM

psonic,

Yes, we are aware of the slowdown. We use the DE-408 ephemeris data for rapid calculations and that only goes to 2020. If you go to the Precession settings and turn off "Light Time" under Other Settings, you should not have the slowdown.

We've considered extending the ephemeris further out, but the trade off is longer loading time and greater memory usage. Everything is a trade off.

Although I've worked with computers for 30 years, I'm continually blown away by how fast they are. The amount of calculation we are doing with every screen refresh is absolutely phenomenal and yet we can run at about 20 frames per second.

There is another reason not to set the limiting mag too high (at least on Pro). We are still working on it, but it looks like the memory usage goes sky high and the app is shut down by the OS. So "don't do it".

#59 psonice

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 10:03 AM

Would it be possible to just disable the 'light time' setting when it goes past that point? I think for most people, a bit less accuracy wouldn't matter. If people do need it accurate beyond 2020, perhaps have an 'always use high precision' setting of some kind?

And yes, the speed of computers now is incredible - especially the GPUs. Even a device this small can tear through an incredible amount of work, especially if you use the hardware well. My current project involves doing complex colour effects on HD video, and writing out as H264. It'd doing that at 30fps - most PC software would have "rendering - please wait" with a progress bar when trying this, but because we can use all the extra hardware it flies :)

#60 TBerdon

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 01:39 PM

I'm using the plus version on the iPad and love it. Thank you very much for a great product.

I do have one suggestion though. It might be helpful to have an option that forces the unit not to sleep when in night vision mode. That way WiFi disconnects are not an issue as well as having to deal with a non night vision unlock screen. I know is is possible on IOS because another app that I have (Nightstand Central) does it.

Thanks again for a great product.

#61 btschumy

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 01:51 PM

That's a good suggestion. We can add an option to enable this. I'd rather not tie it to night vision because people use the product with Rubylith and leave night vision off.

#62 dflachbart

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 03:31 PM

That's a good suggestion. We can add an option to enable this. I'd rather not tie it to night vision because people use the product with Rubylith and leave night vision off.


That would be awesome Bill, I was about to suggest the same thing. I always have to make sure to disable the unlock manually before going outside, the Unlock screen is quite a killer ;)

Thanks,

Dirk

#63 psonice

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 04:33 PM

I think that would be really helpful too. The unlock screen on the iphone late at night.. ouch! Plus, it's like 3 lines of code :)

#64 SandyHouTex

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 07:47 AM

Well I succumbed and bought an IPAD 2 yesterday just so I could get SkySafari 3 Pro. Awesome app Bill T. One small nit - when you click on Canopus for info there is no description. Overall though, fantastic. Especially the ability to change the screen from color to monochrome to reverse monochrome to red. Very well thought out. Congrats.

#65 btschumy

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 07:56 AM

Rodger,

Canopus certainly has a description when I choose it. Does this also happen when you search for it? Is the right hand side just black?

Anyone else seeing this?

Bill

#66 btschumy

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 09:10 AM

I've added the "Prevent Auto-Lock" setting to the app. It will be there in the version we will submit to Apple early next week. Thanks for the nice suggestion.

#67 SandyHouTex

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 06:07 PM

Never mind Bill, it's there now. Sorry.

#68 FoxTrot

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 06:58 PM

Hi guys, I already own Skysafari 2.1.2 with the Expansion pack, on an iPad 1. Whats your advice, should I get Skysafari-3 Plus or the -3 Pro version. Fox

#69 ChipAtNight

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 09:04 PM

HI,
:(
I have big problems with it on my iPad 1, after 2 reloads, the last crash took out 2.1.2, what a mess. Version 3 pro not working very well on 2 iPhone 3Gs and 1 iPad 1. Have posted a support and hope to hear back. The bad part just got the SkyFi and SkyWire, did some play and test with the ETX125 works but want to use the iPad and it will not run anymore on it, waiting for the RS323 cable from Orion for my XX14i. :bawling:

#70 btschumy

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 09:57 PM

Chip,

Sorry to hear you are having problems. Tim and I will help you get this resolved. I have found a bad bug that can occur on the iPad when the OS asks for more memory while you are adjusting settings. Perhaps that is what is biting you. I've fixed this problem and it will be in the new version we submit to Apple this week.

I can't see how a crash in 3.0 could possibly affect 2.1.2. They are completely separate apps and do not interact in any way. This is no more likely than a crash in Angry Birds affecting it. It is a mystery.

#71 dflachbart

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 10:06 PM

Hi guys, I already own Skysafari 2.1.2 with the Expansion pack, on an iPad 1. Whats your advice, should I get Skysafari-3 Plus or the -3 Pro version. Fox


Hi Fox,

afaik both versions have the exact same functionality and only differ in the number of objects included (check out the website, there's a detailed comparison chart). I think the Plus version should have roughly the same number of objects as ver 2 + Expansion Pack, so if what you currently have is sufficient for you the Plus version should be fine. But note that you won't be able to upgrade to the Pro Version if you ever find that you would like to get the larger object database. If you see this as a possibility it might be wise to get the Pro version now (especially since it's currently only 30 USD instead of 60 USD later on).

Greetings to lovely Melbourne,

Dirk

#72 FoxTrot

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 11:42 PM

Hi guys, I already own Skysafari 2.1.2 with the Expansion pack, on an iPad 1. Whats your advice, should I get Skysafari-3 Plus or the -3 Pro version. Fox


Hi Fox,

afaik both versions have the exact same functionality and only differ in the number of objects included (check out the website, there's a detailed comparison chart). I think the Plus version should have roughly the same number of objects as ver 2 + Expansion Pack, so if what you currently have is sufficient for you the Plus version should be fine. But note that you won't be able to upgrade to the Pro Version if you ever find that you would like to get the larger object database. If you see this as a possibility it might be wise to get the Pro version now (especially since it's currently only 30 USD instead of 60 USD later on).

Greetings to lovely Melbourne,

Dirk

Thanks Dirk, that makes sense. Fox

#73 jwaldo

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 07:45 PM

Downloaded the Plus version as soon as it came out, my astronomical productivity has doubled. Having my sky chart, Telrad overlay, descriptions, images, observing notes, etc. all in one place really is fun. I just need to pick up a Starseek now.

Biggest issue I have is with the red overlay over the keyboard. It comes up quickly after the keyboard, the flash of white light is a tiny bit annoying. Also, it doesn't quite extend up high enough; when I hit a key on the top row a bit of the letter sticks out over the top of the overlay. Dunno how easy to fix either of these are, I've never even been near an app developer :lol:

...push-to DSC support using the Gyro...


Words cannot express how much I would love to see this :bow:

#74 btschumy

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 09:37 PM

That red keyboard overlay is a bear. The app doesn't get notified about where the keyboard will be until after it is shown, hence the brief flash. I really do advise you to just get some rubylith to go over the screen it make things so much nicer and it works for all apps!

Push-to using the gyro is on the list of things I want to try to implement. The problem is that this list keeps growing too fast.

#75 jwaldo

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 09:47 PM

That red keyboard overlay is a bear. The app doesn't get notified about where the keyboard will be until after it is shown, hence the brief flash. I really do advise you to just get some rubylith to go over the screen it make things so much nicer and it works for all apps!

Push-to using the gyro is on the list of things I want to try to implement. The problem is that this list keeps growing too fast.


Oh, I've already got a square of rubylith I can stick between the screen and the screen protector. I just never actually remember to put it in before I go out :lol:

I've temporarily stuck my iPhone holster on to the side of my dob, going to experiment tonight a bit with finding objects that way. At the very least it makes a convenient chart holder...


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