09-30-11 09:37 AM
54 123
tools
  1. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    No doubt about it. Thanks to Michelle for the fine writing. CrackBerry is the best!
    Michelle Haag likes this.
    09-19-11 02:54 PM
  2. kojita's Avatar
    just bought it, awesome app. can t wait for the augmented reallity update once u get access to the compass and accelerometer
    09-19-11 04:44 PM
  3. kbz1960's Avatar
    Android has Google's (free) Sky Map, IOS has several native astronomy apps. So competition is pretty fierce on the more established platforms.

    In many ways my app shows off capabilities unique to PB. IOS apps tend to have extensive mage libraries stored in local database and they are self-contained. I really like the PB's superior multi-tasking and being able to smoothly integrate my app with the browser. I have leveraged the vast resources in Wikipedia which allows me to deliver more data/images without having to do the database work myself. Such integration would be difficult given IOS' awkward task switching.

    One more thing that introduces a small problem re porting my app to IOS is that I deliberately used the "QNX" components available in the Tablet SDK to give the app a more standard BB look and feel. These would likely have to swapped out for an IOS or Android version.

    I have decided, for better or worse, to concentrate on the neglected BB platforms.

    I am definitely planning to port my app to the new QNX phones and I have just begun porting to BB Java-based phones. I have a simple prototype that already works passably well on my 9700 but it needs a lot of work. 0S7 has an API for the magnetometer so I think that OS7 phones are a good target for my app. On the other hand, if OS7 is just a short-lived stop-gap measure by RIM, maybe it's not such a good idea. So I'll have to weigh the amount of work required to do the port vs profitability calculus to determine my next move.

    I hope that I have answered your question...
    Well since you've made the decision to support QNX and RIM I've made a decision to support you. Will be buying your app.

    And Thanks!
    kyopo likes this.
    09-19-11 07:05 PM
  4. pattste's Avatar
    I am definitely planning to port my app to the new QNX phones and I have just begun porting to BB Java-based phones. I have a simple prototype that already works passably well on my 9700 but it needs a lot of work. 0S7 has an API for the magnetometer so I think that OS7 phones are a good target for my app. On the other hand, if OS7 is just a short-lived stop-gap measure by RIM, maybe it's not such a good idea. So I'll have to weigh the amount of work required to do the port vs profitability calculus to determine my next move.
    I'm sure some will disagree but I think you should concentrate your efforts on QNX. Make your current app as good as you can and start thinking of other apps that you can make for the PlayBook. Considering how few good apps we have on the platform, that shouldn't be too difficult. You've already mastered the tools so you might as well leverage that knowledge.

    I think BlackBerry phones have too small a screen to be really usable running something like What's Up! Plus we know the future is QNX and people who have the discretionary income to buy tablets are the type who won't hesitate to spend a dollar or two on a good app.
    09-19-11 07:15 PM
  5. mithrazor's Avatar
    What about implementing ads in the free version since the SDK just came out. And adding augmented star gazing. It looked amazing on the iPad. D:

    But yeah, you can add those 2. And you can have the free app. Then a paid one for a few features that are locked in the free one.

    I don't know how much you can make off the ads and if it'll be better vs keeping what you have now. But definitely something to look into.
    09-20-11 02:42 AM
  6. TheScionicMan's Avatar
    If I could make one suggestion, it would be for the ability make the text labels larger. Even when zooming in, the stars get closer but the label stays the same size. Yes, I know its my aging eyes that are the problem, not your app, but it is the augmented reality that I need until I finally embrace the reading glasses thing.
    09-20-11 02:59 AM
  7. zacberry1's Avatar
    09-20-11 04:48 AM
  8. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    What about implementing ads in the free version since the SDK just came out. And adding augmented star gazing. It looked amazing on the iPad. D:

    But yeah, you can add those 2. And you can have the free app. Then a paid one for a few features that are locked in the free one.

    I don't know how much you can make off the ads and if it'll be better vs keeping what you have now. But definitely something to look into.
    I can't imagine using valuable real estate to display random ads. Perhaps, To be effective they have to be at bit in-your-face. Perhaps I'm being old-fashioned but I, myself, hate ads getting in the way of what I'm trying to do. The only "ad" that is acceptable to me is a subtle pitch to buy the paid version.

    My thinking in having a free version with some features locked after the demo period is that it's better to have a "crippled" (but still useful) version in "My World" than none at all. That way, I have a chance of making a sale after each update. If the app is uninstalled, the user will not receive a notification.

    I am finding though that even at $0.99, it's a tough sell. A disappointingly large segment of downloads are not being converted into cash to pay my bills. Am I being too generous by allowing the app to work after the 5-day demo period ends?
    09-20-11 08:25 AM
  9. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    If I could make one suggestion, it would be for the ability make the text labels larger. Even when zooming in, the stars get closer but the label stays the same size. Yes, I know its my aging eyes that are the problem, not your app, but it is the augmented reality that I need until I finally embrace the reading glasses thing.
    This will be included in the next update - sorry that I can't be precise about the release date. In the meantime, remember that if you selected the star, all the info about the object (including the name) is displayed in the info box. You can press-and-hold the info box to make it brighter. You can also move the box around the screen by dragging it with your finger.
    09-20-11 08:39 AM
  10. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    I have received an indication via a review posted last night that there may be a problem loading What's up. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

    I think that this is just trollish behaviour so I have asked that it be removed but I just want to make sure.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Title: crap
    (1/2 star)
    Created Date: 2011-09-19 23:00:12.915911
    File Bundle: Filebundle[id=266657, name=Whatsupv101]
    Release: 1.0

    Review Body:
    doesn't open on playbook w latest software os
    Last edited by BuzzStarField; 09-20-11 at 12:26 PM.
    09-20-11 12:21 PM
  11. TheScionicMan's Avatar
    I have received an indication via a review posted last night that there may be a problem loading What's up. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

    I think that this is just trollish behaviour so I have asked that it be removed but I just want to make sure.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Title: crap
    (1/2 star)
    Created Date: 2011-09-19 23:00:12.915911
    File Bundle: Filebundle[id=266657, name=Whatsupv101]
    Release: 1.0

    Review Body:
    doesn't open on playbook w latest software os
    It's working just fine for me.
    09-20-11 12:36 PM
  12. SlcCorrado's Avatar
    I have received an indication via a review posted last night that there may be a problem loading What's up. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

    I think that this is just trollish behaviour so I have asked that it be removed but I just want to make sure.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Title: crap
    (1/2 star)
    Created Date: 2011-09-19 23:00:12.915911
    File Bundle: Filebundle[id=266657, name=Whatsupv101]
    Release: 1.0

    Review Body:
    doesn't open on playbook w latest software os
    You would think they would contact you before leaving a bad review

    I picked up Whats Up a while back. Nice addition to the PB. Looking forward to a nice update!
    09-20-11 01:37 PM
  13. Shadow_S2K's Avatar
    I've no problems with this app with the newest update.
    09-20-11 02:11 PM
  14. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    You would think they would contact you before leaving a bad review
    It is sad but true that there are people who get a kick out of writing bad reviews. Some are more obvious than others - like the one I got on Saturday on the free version that said "lags... like all blackberry apps". We do have the option to remove these "reviews" but it can take RIM several days to respond to our requests.

    It is also sad but true that some developers abuse this privilege. Devs are consumers too and I have been burned myself. I used to monitor an app for a few days prior to making a purchase to check if there is a pattern of abuse.

    But now that I've discovered CB forums, all I need to do is perform a quick search and I have all the information I need to make a decision.
    09-21-11 07:51 AM
  15. SlcCorrado's Avatar
    It is sad but true that there are people who get a kick out of writing bad reviews. Some are more obvious than others - like the one I got on Saturday on the free version that said "lags... like all blackberry apps". We do have the option to remove these "reviews" but it can take RIM several days to respond to our requests.

    It is also sad but true that some developers abuse this privilege. Devs are consumers too and I have been burned myself. I used to monitor an app for a few days prior to making a purchase to check if there is a pattern of abuse.

    But now that I've discovered CB forums, all I need to do is perform a quick search and I have all the information I need to make a decision.
    That's a good call. I have definitely seen reviews abused in both ways you described. That's why the forums rock

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    09-21-11 11:12 AM
  16. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    If you buy a QNX handset, what happens to all the apps on the previous OS 6 or 7 device?

    Also, will the QNX apps purchased on for the PB transfer to the QnX phone?
    Nobody knows for certain but we can speculate.

    Apps that target OS6 and 7 will have ti be re-written from the ground up in order to run on a QNX handset. It is conceivable that RIM may provide a "player" that is capable of running Java-based apps on the new handsets but this is by no means a certainty (or even a probability).

    If the AIR SDK is available for the new handsets, which seems likely, PB apps could be tweaked to run on the QNX devices. Developers would have to release new versions of the apps adjusted for smaller screen size and probably some other minor differences between the platforms. Likewise, NDK and Webworks aps could probably ported to QNX handsets with minimal effort. Depending on how the developer implements the new versions, you may or may not have to re-purchase the revised apps.
    09-22-11 09:17 AM
  17. TheScionicMan's Avatar
    Hey, I noticed your app is on the Featured scroll in App World. That's cool!
    09-23-11 12:42 PM
  18. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    Hey, I noticed your app is on the Featured scroll in App World. That's cool!
    It may have been a coincidence but RIM featured my app shortly after I sent the following email to App World Marketing. I was asking for some information about plans (if any) for an SDK update so that I could use the compass. This is my second email on the topic. It would be nice to get an actual reply to my emails but being featured is nice too!

    -------------------------------------

    To: App World Marketing
    Subject: Marketing guidance

    Hello,

    I hope that you will be able to redirect this request for information to an appropriate RIM department.

    I am the author of the PlayBook app "What's up". I released the current paid app in mid-June 2011 and I want to thank you for featuring it in the App World carousel in the week that it was released. It sold fairly well in that week but subsequent sales levelelled off at about 10 per day. This week my efforts to promote my app at CrackBerry.com have been rewarded with a spike of sales. I do not expect this welcome improvement in business to endure but is does buoy my hope that my app will be successful in the end. But there is a huge problem.

    I believe that my astronomy app has the potential to compete successfully with apps like Google Sky Map (Android) and Star Walk (IOS). I believe that the biggest impediment to its success is lack of access to PlayBook's on-board magnetometer via the AIR SDK. Access to the magnetic compass is vital so that I can create a fully augmented reality experience for my users. To get futher information aboiut how I would leverage this technology, please read my app's description in App World and scan the reviews that purchasers have submitted.

    In this regard, I am somewhat frustrated by lack of information about RIM's plans for the AIR SDK. It would really be nice to know if the SDK will ever be extended to support the on-board compass. While I know that is is unlikely that you can provide specific information about timing etc, I am hoping that you can at least tell me if support is even on RIM's radar. If it will never be possible to access the compass from AIR apps, then it does not make much sense to continue to improve the current version.

    If you can provide me with any information at all, I would be eternally grateful.

    Thanks for considering my request,
    Maurice Rice
    09-23-11 01:19 PM
  19. peter9477's Avatar
    @BuzzStarField, I'd be very surprised if there's any connection between your mailing them and them posting your app as Featured.

    In any case, I just wanted to add myself to the peanut gallery here. We went out for a quick walk around the park with my daughter (5) tonight now that dusk is arriving just before her bedtime. I'd watched this thread recently, and while I hadn't planned to buy this yet (was going to wait for OS 2.0 hoping for compass support), on the spur of the moment I grabbed it as we left (literally downloading as we walked across the yard!).

    The sky wasn't great, but with the help of What's Up we spotted Vega right overhead, where the air is thinnest, and shortly after two other bright ones in the "What's in the sky now" list. Spent much longer outside than we'd planned (your fault my daughter got to bed late!) and were eventually able to find the dippers, Draco, and a handful of others down near the horizon.

    I think I'll head up back out now with my wife to find Jupiter... apparently it's going to be very bright this weekend and for the next while.

    Thanks much! Great job on the app.
    09-24-11 08:50 PM
  20. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    @Peter9477, thanks for your kind words. It's really nice to hear you (and others here) say that What's up has the power to bring families together. Until I posted this thread, I did not know that I had written app that encourages family activity.

    My experience with the app suggested otherwise. I sensed that my own family had disowned me due to my constant muttering and fuming at Adobe/RIM. Last winter and spring were not a happy time as I struggled with AS3 and a half-baked SDK. Some aspects of PB are still half-baked, but I can truthfully say that my mental health has improved immeasurably since then. I owe my change in perspective to meeting my new friends at CB. Thank you all for your support.
    peter9477 likes this.
    09-25-11 12:01 AM
  21. SlcCorrado's Avatar
    Just wanna throw in my two cents again... This app functions perfectly. With compass/magnometer support it could definitely compete with googles star app. As much as I love that app, I would much rather see a star app built specifically for the playbook Thanks again for all your hard work!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    klc99 and BuzzStarField like this.
    09-25-11 03:26 PM
  22. klc99's Avatar
    Went camping a few weeks ago, and we were so keen to pull out the PB and try What's Up Away from the city, we could see much more. Thanks to What's Up we walked around so we could see different constellations and planets we wouldn't have known to look for. Definitely family-friendly.
    BuzzStarField likes this.
    09-25-11 05:39 PM
  23. jrmtz85's Avatar
    I'll probably get it today when I get home (if I can remember, stupid gears of war3 eating up my time!)

    just had a quick question: i know you said the point and find feature depends on RIM giving you access to the advanced functions, so is there a timeframe for getting that? Will the NDK finally allow it?

    Thanks!
    09-26-11 11:18 AM
  24. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    I'll probably get it today when I get home (if I can remember, stupid gears of war3 eating up my time!)

    just had a quick question: i know you said the point and find feature depends on RIM giving you access to the advanced functions, so is there a timeframe for getting that? Will the NDK finally allow it?

    Thanks!
    Good question but I have no good answer. I have posted my most recent attempt to get an answer earlier in this thread (see my post dated 09-23-2011 01:19 PM)

    And you really need to stop playing those silly games and get outdoors I hope you enjoy using my app as much as I enjoyed making it.
    09-26-11 11:32 AM
  25. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    Just wanna throw in my two cents again... This app functions perfectly.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    The app is not perfect but I'm trying. You don't need to read this unless you have a problem while trying to set the longitude and latitude.

    A few people have reported a subtle bug in the location dialog that prevents you from updating the longitude and latitude using the postal code method. Typically these users attempt to use the GPS method from inside their house and get impatient waiting for a response from the GPS chip. They then hit the PC button hoping to use the postal code method instead. Unfortunately my code does not enable the buttons properly so you cannot initialize the conversation with the geocoder service. If this happens to you, the only way to recover is to restart the app. When it opens again go to the Location dialog and tap the PC button and follow the onscreen instructions.
    marksasongko likes this.
    09-28-11 10:25 AM
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