Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

New Kindle Fire Astronomy apps?

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
69 replies to this topic

#26 Ken Kobayashi

Ken Kobayashi

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 347
  • Joined: 09 Apr 2007

Posted 29 September 2011 - 10:22 PM

kobayashi: there are many reasons. If you go purely by quality and quantity of apps for example, android is probably worth a lot less than half price.


By the same argument, Macs should be worth about half as much as comparable Windows systems. (Software quality is comparable, and if you want quantity of software, Windows is way ahead.)

The quality of the device + software makes a big difference too - I have an iPad and a HP touchpad.


You do realize that the HP Touchpad runs WebOS, not Android? And the Touchpad hardware is made by HP, which doesn't make any Android tablets?

I suggest you try a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 before jumping to conclusions.

#27 psonice

psonice

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,113
  • Joined: 24 Jul 2009

Posted 30 September 2011 - 04:18 AM

By the same argument, Macs should be worth about half as much as comparable Windows systems. (Software quality is comparable, and if you want quantity of software, Windows is way ahead.)


Yes, kind of. Quantity and quality of apps is very important. In the case of windows/mac not so much, because most people will find what they need on either platform. There's still a lot of more specialist stuff people need windows for though - that's why it's more advisable to go with windows for say astronomy. At work I use a mac with vmware for the windows software I need, at home I don't need windows at all.

On the tablets the software library is much smaller though, so here iOS has a big advantage. For astronomy, it's very hard to recommend android over iOS, because so many high quality astronomy apps are only found on ios. Between android and playbook or touchpad, it's easy to recommend android, because the others are even worse.

Really though you can never say iOS is better than android in general, because they both do certain things better than others. Astronomy apps? iOS. Customisability? Android. Games? iOS. External hardware? Android. And so on.

You do realize that the HP Touchpad runs WebOS, not Android? And the Touchpad hardware is made by HP, which doesn't make any Android tablets?

I suggest you try a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 before jumping to conclusions.


Yes, I absolutely realise that (I have a touchpad, and might use it for android dev at some point if android is ported to it). And I didn't make any conclusions on android at all there - I concluded that the touchpad was worth much less than the iPad based on quality. I own and use both, and the touchpad is terribly slow, and generally of lower quality.

On the galaxy tab, I don't know, I've only tried one out fairly briefly in a shop. Android varies wildly though, you get some REALLY nasty tablets at the low end, and good ones like the galaxy tab at the high end.

Related rumour: I've just seen somebody mention on twitter that amazon is in talks with HP over buying palm! That would be a pretty amazing twist, if it's true, but the day after they release an android-based tablet? Maybe if they're pushing it as a media playback device rather than an app running device, but it wouldn't fit in with the amazon app store at all. Unless they're thinking webOS running android apps? I think it's likely bs :)

#28 weezy

weezy

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,460
  • Joined: 13 Feb 2004

Posted 30 September 2011 - 08:32 AM

Amazon doesn't have much in the way of Astronomy apps. I managed to get Market on the Coby and sideloaded one app which Market said was not compatible with the tablet. (From elsewhere)
I have no idea what Market's criteria are- but I've found other apps (free) that it says won't work, and they are perfectly fine.

#29 mewmartigan

mewmartigan

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 1,366
  • Joined: 02 Jul 2008

Posted 06 October 2011 - 07:18 AM

Not sure if this was covered already but the I think the consensus is that the Fire will not have access to the Android Market, only the Amazon App Store.

However, you are supposed to be able to sideload via usb and it should run any Android app. So basically you can run any app but you have to get the .apk file for the app from your phone or something else and usb it onto the Fire.

Of course nobody will really know anything until its released....and I'm sure it will be quickly rooted as well to do anything you want :)

#30 Tom T

Tom T

    A Father, A Teacher, A Pioneer

  • *****
  • In Memoriam
  • Posts: 36,397
  • Joined: 26 Feb 2002

Posted 10 October 2011 - 01:43 PM

I don't get it, what's so great about the iPad that it's worth twice as much as a comparable Android tablet? I I've owned both and even at the same price I prefer Android. It's more versatile and easier to use.


What is so great about the iPad??? I am not big fan of Apple Products but the obvious answer begins with "Several Serious Astronomy Apps."

At this point, it's something like iPad 6, Android 0 but there are men on base.

Jon


That's being generous.

But in general I agree. There are many full featured astro-apps for iOS. Next to none for Android. Same goes for games, and more than likely other areas.

My android tablet is good for the internet, playing media and reading books. My iPad is basically a replacement for my laptop (but with better games than my laptop). Android'd decent but if I had to pick one it'd have to be iOS hands down. And I'm FAR from an Apple fan. I truly despise several aspects of the Apple business strategy. But the app store, they did right.

Honestly, I don't know if Android will ever catch up. Fragmentation is a real problem with that ecosystem.

#31 dkb

dkb

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 527
  • Joined: 23 Jul 2008

Posted 10 October 2011 - 06:04 PM

I don't know it is being too generous.. or at least iOS users actually use their devices more. comScore just released their net traffic report on smartphones and tablets.

"The iOS platform also accounts for the largest share of Internet traffic, measured in terms of browser-based page views, in the U.S. at present. When measuring market share of Internet traffic by platform, iOS accounted for more than half (58.5 percent) of the share of total non-computer traffic in the U.S. Android OS ranked second, delivering 31.9 percent of overall non-computer traffic in August. With iOS having a significantly higher share of traffic (58.5 percent) compared to its share of devices (43.1 percent), it suggests that iOS users are heavier-than-average consumers of Internet content."

Also:
"iPads dominate among tablets in driving digital traffic. In August 2011, iPads delivered 97.2 percent of all tablet traffic in the U.S."

See comScore page for more details.

#32 Don Trinko

Don Trinko

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2,272
  • Joined: 05 Jul 2009

Posted 10 October 2011 - 06:12 PM

FYI; I bought a 7" android 2.2 new from ebay. don't care anymore what the Kindle fire will do. Still looking for good astronamy apps. Don T.

#33 psonice

psonice

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,113
  • Joined: 24 Jul 2009

Posted 10 October 2011 - 06:24 PM

dkb: it's well known (at least amongst devs) that a lot of android phones being sold are replacements for the old feature phones, and get used as such. I.e. the people buying them want a fancy looking phone they can show off to their friends for a while, and they'll use it for phone calls, the odd photo on a night out, and perhaps a little internet.

There seems to be a split between the geek market and that one with android. I think that explains the high sales numbers, yet the low(ish) web use and app use, plus the low take up of tablets.

#34 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 95,324
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004

Posted 10 October 2011 - 06:49 PM

There seems to be a split between the geek market and that one with android. I think that explains the high sales numbers, yet the low(ish) web use and app use, plus the low take up of tablets.



I use my HTC Incredible a great deal... with no internet, cable or phone at our place in the mountains, it's all I have. Riding the bus to work, I surf the net, post to Cloudy Nights... Except for a serious astro-app, the apps I need are there. I can even watch Netflix if I want. My friends Androids, they use em... Right now I am using my son's old iPhone 3G to run Sky Safari. When Sky Safari comes out for the Android OS, the iPhone is gone.

This is the way I look at the Android Tablets:

The manufacturers look at the price of the iPad and think, "if I make a good Tablet, I want to sell it for nearly as much as an iPad." I looked around, the cheapest Tablets with Android 3 are about $400...

The buyers are looking at that $400 price tag and saying, "When they come out with a decent tablet with Android 3 for about $250, I am buying... I am not paying $400 when I could have an iPad for $500.

When the manufacturers get the right product at the right price point, the dam is gonna burst.

Jon

#35 Tom T

Tom T

    A Father, A Teacher, A Pioneer

  • *****
  • In Memoriam
  • Posts: 36,397
  • Joined: 26 Feb 2002

Posted 10 October 2011 - 08:57 PM

I don't know it is being too generous..


Sorry, shoulda clarified. It was too generous to android. I'd have put the astronomy app count at more of like 357 to 12 instead of 6 to zero.

#36 dkb

dkb

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 527
  • Joined: 23 Jul 2008

Posted 10 October 2011 - 09:39 PM

I use my HTC Incredible a great deal... with no internet, cable or phone at our place in the mountains, it's all I have. Riding the bus to work, I surf the net, post to Cloudy Nights... Except for a serious astro-app, the apps I need are there. I can even watch Netflix if I want. My friends Androids, they use em... Right now I am using my son's old iPhone 3G to run Sky Safari. When Sky Safari comes out for the Android OS, the iPhone is gone.


I think that is a testament right there to the iOS platform that you are running Sky Safari on an iPhone that is over 3 years old. The HTC Incredible will most likely never get Android 3.x and I'd be surprised if Sky Safari runs on pre-3.x Android.

#37 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 95,324
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004

Posted 11 October 2011 - 06:46 AM

I think that is a testament right there to the iOS platform that you are running Sky Safari on an iPhone that is over 3 years old. The HTC Incredible will most likely never get Android 3.x and I'd be surprised if Sky Safari runs on pre-3.x Android.



For running astro-apps, there is no doubt that the iphone is currently the better choice than the Android. Other apps, I am happy with what I have.

As far as whether Sky Safari will run on the HTC Incredible, I think Bill can answer to that question. So far, I have heard nothing to suggest that it won't run on Android 2.2.

Jon Isaacs

#38 weezy

weezy

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,460
  • Joined: 13 Feb 2004

Posted 11 October 2011 - 07:09 AM

Even the Geek market thinks you need all the junk that comes on the phone. If you root the phone, you are told to leave Telenav alone. You need to register to use it. I don't happen to want it, so never registered. Took a few posts to find out whether or not the app was doing anything in the background.
Finally found out it wasn't and froze it.
(The phone is rooted and unlocked - no custom ROM, yet.)

I found a few starcharts in PDF format, I have geological info from most of the national parks I like, I have 2 Audubon guides, Astro Tools, Vortex and I'm being told by geeks that I'm not using my phone up to its full potential!
It's a glorified PDA which is what I want. Cheaper phones do not have the processor or the screen. I also bought the phone outright so it is non-contract. I don't game, watch movies (prefer a book) don't bother with social media.

As for I-anything, I still have a couple of working Palm Devices and Astromist. I will not buy into the Apple mystique. I'd wind up jailbreaking it anyway.

I sideloaded Astro Tools, and it worked very well in Arches NP, on a non-market tablet. A little work, and I can now access market. This little Coby 7024 doesn't do too badly, plus it's sub $150!

I don't care for apps that use GPS alone. Google Sky kept insisting I was in the southern hemisphere. It simply would not accept the typed in coordinates. Weatherbug has it right, so it's not the gps.

I wouldn't mind a true Linux phone. Nokia is working on a new system called Meltemi to replace S40.
If someone could get Stellarium and virtual moon atlas on a system like that, it would be so long Android.

#39 Ken Kobayashi

Ken Kobayashi

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 347
  • Joined: 09 Apr 2007

Posted 11 October 2011 - 07:09 AM

The manufacturers look at the price of the iPad and think, "if I make a good Tablet, I want to sell it for nearly as much as an iPad." I looked around, the cheapest Tablets with Android 3 are about $400...

The buyers are looking at that $400 price tag and saying, "When they come out with a decent tablet with Android 3 for about $250, I am buying... I am not paying $400 when I could have an iPad for $500.


But the reality is, the hardware in a "decent Android tablet" is basically the same as an iPad. You need the same high-quality touchscreen displays, low-power processors, batteries, flash memory, etc, from the same pool of manufacturers. So it's impossible to sell an Android tablet comparable to the iPad for half the cost. Unless you can sell it at a loss and make money off the users later (like the Amazon Kindle Fire).

#40 btschumy

btschumy

    Vendor - Our Galaxy

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 3,902
  • Joined: 13 Apr 2004

Posted 11 October 2011 - 08:45 AM

As far as whether Sky Safari will run on the HTC Incredible, I think Bill can answer to that question. So far, I have heard nothing to suggest that it won't run on Android 2.2.

Jon Isaacs


We are currently targeting 2.1. However, until we start beta testing it will be hard to know how well it runs on the older OS versions.

#41 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 95,324
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004

Posted 13 October 2011 - 06:52 AM

But the reality is, the hardware in a "decent Android tablet" is basically the same as an iPad. You need the same high-quality touchscreen displays, low-power processors, batteries, flash memory, etc, from the same pool of manufacturers. So it's impossible to sell an Android tablet comparable to the iPad for half the cost. Unless you can sell it at a loss and make money off the users later (like the Amazon Kindle Fire).



I have no way to know what it really costs to build an iPad or Android tablet... I could probably be happy with $250 tablet with less features if it were running Android 3.

Jon

#42 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 95,324
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004

Posted 13 October 2011 - 06:54 AM

As far as whether Sky Safari will run on the HTC Incredible, I think Bill can answer to that question. So far, I have heard nothing to suggest that it won't run on Android 2.2.

Jon Isaacs


We are currently targeting 2.1. However, until we start beta testing it will be hard to know how well it runs on the older OS versions.


Bill:

Thanks for that info. Android 2.1 seems like a well chosen target. There's a lot of phones out there running Android 2 and will be for quite sometime.

Jon

#43 weezy

weezy

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,460
  • Joined: 13 Feb 2004

Posted 13 October 2011 - 08:39 AM

It's not so much the version of Android. The developer of the app has to take into account that the cheaper tablets are wifi only and have no GPS. Any apps whose permissions require the phone number and gps usually won't work.
Whoever is writing the app will have to make manual entry of coordinates a working part of the app.

#44 rmollise

rmollise

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 23,516
  • Joined: 06 Jul 2007

Posted 13 October 2011 - 01:18 PM

It's not so much the version of Android. The developer of the app has to take into account that the cheaper tablets are wifi only and have no GPS. Any apps whose permissions require the phone number and gps usually won't work.
Whoever is writing the app will have to make manual entry of coordinates a working part of the app.


Most of these apps are developed to run on the Touch, so developers usually already have the no phone/no GPS covered. The iPod and similar can determine location via wi-fi.

#45 Ken Kobayashi

Ken Kobayashi

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 347
  • Joined: 09 Apr 2007

Posted 13 October 2011 - 04:10 PM

I have no way to know what it really costs to build an iPad or Android tablet...



You can easily find out via Google, because there are people who disassemble products and find out the component costs to estimate manufacturing cost. The 3G 32GB iPad2 is estimated to cost $326 to build, for example. That doesn't include development cost, cost of customer support, cost of returned items, markup by the retailer, advertising cost, shipping cost from the factory in China, and of course the manufacturer's profit.

I could probably be happy with $250 tablet with less features if it were running Android 3.


It's not the "features" that cost money, it's the quality and size (battery size, memory size, screen size, etc). If you see the above link, you'll see that eliminating the camera only saves $4.30, and the Bluetooth/FM/WiFi/GPS combination chip is only $7.50. Even the 3G capability costs less than $20 to add. On the other hand, the IPS touchscreen is a whopping $127; this is where they'd have to skimp on to save money. I've used tablets with cheap TN panels and trust me, you don't want that.

#46 psonice

psonice

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,113
  • Joined: 24 Jul 2009

Posted 13 October 2011 - 04:46 PM

Yeah, screen quality is *much* more important on a tablet. A cheap TN panel is really horrible when used in portrait mode particularly - and that's how you naturally use it for things like reading documents and browsing the web. TN panels leak a lot more light too - not good for astronomy use!

Also, it's important to note that apple buys in Volume. They order literally millions of each part - sometimes ordering the entire output of factories a year in advance to ensure they have guaranteed supply and low prices. Very few companies can afford to match that, even fewer are prepared to take the risk involved (build a billion dollars worth of tablets, then hope it sells?)

If you look at the android tablets, you get the cheap but low quality models, then the ones that are decent quality but costs similar to the iPad. They're not hugely undercutting apple because they can't afford to most of the time. Amazon is obviously an exception because they can recoup the money from content sales, although even there it's a much smaller and lower spec'd device.

#47 Mittag56

Mittag56

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 296
  • Joined: 08 Jul 2009

Posted 13 October 2011 - 05:14 PM

Ditto here , looked at the Amazon offer and Apple and being an old electronics tech i just pulled the trigger on the Toshiba Trive 10 inch Tablet. Has high dpi screen HD output jacks and one of the few with a full size USB along with mini usb jack. Also of note is the battery can be replaced by the user...could be wrong but i think its the only one that you can do that with. It also is running pure Honeycomb 3.1 with no company bloat running on top...Hope im not wrong in my choice , but as apps are developed and i be sure they will, it will be able to have a higher chance of running them as the system will be able to be updated.
And best of all with a replacable battery it wont be gathering dust with my phones and PDA's that wont hold a charge anymore. also with the sd slot allowing me to have a total of 128 gig storage, apps down the road will fit on it along with any star catalogs... :jump:

ps I'm also a toy junky and need a fix, what with all the *BLEEP* weather this year...LOL :roflmao:

#48 weezy

weezy

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,460
  • Joined: 13 Feb 2004

Posted 14 October 2011 - 07:09 AM

Some of the Chinese "clones" are not approved by Google and will not run Market. I've sideloaded apps on my Coby which is running the same version of Froyo as the phone. The tablet has about the same processor, but more internal memory. It has no GPS and no Phone connection. If the apps permissions state that it needs GPS or a phone connection the app won't run correctly. I've sideloaded some of the same apps on both phone and tablet - most of the ones that have permissions to the phone do not run correctly.
While the developer might be taking no phone/gps into account, Google isn't.

Amazon does the same. I downloaded Adobe reader from Amazon, finally got fed up with Amazon on the tablet, deleted Amazon Market, and Adobe reader won't run. It's geared to having Amazon Market on the tablet.

In fact, if you don't update your paid apps when Google Market says, they won't run either. I just went through that with an Audubon Guide.

#49 dkb

dkb

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 527
  • Joined: 23 Jul 2008

Posted 24 October 2011 - 09:07 AM

I wonder if people realize you can still get refurbished iPad 1's directly from Apple with the full warranty for $399. Refurbished Apple gear from Apple is indistinguishable from new ones.

http://store.apple.c...ecialdeals/ipad

Edit: Realized $399 is even better deal then I thought since that is for the 32GB 3G version which includes GPS and 3G cellular capability.

#50 weezy

weezy

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,460
  • Joined: 13 Feb 2004

Posted 25 October 2011 - 08:47 AM

Some of us just don't buy into Apple's philosophy and don't want it. It's too big to just stick in a pocket like a 7".
There's MS fanboys, Android fanboys, and Linux fanboys.

If everyone wanted Apple's vision, there would have been no lawsuit about jailbreaking. (It's legal)

I wish Palm hadn't died.


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics