09-13-12 07:19 AM
42 12
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  1. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    There is a new release of What's up now available in App World. The app was approved in just a few hours but the description and graphics is still awaiting approval. So I thought that I would tell you what's included in the package.

    The biggie is that this Sky Map is also a compass - the first real magnetic (as opposed to gps) compass available for the PlayBook. Documentation is fairly complete and it is very important that you read and understand the ground rules. (Swipe down from the top bezel to get help.)

    I got the compass working using some much-discussed undocumented features first demonstrated by our very own peter9477. So the app has "point and view" capability. I'm calling it "experimental" because although it seems to be working on the four devices that I have access to, your mileage may vary.

    I have included a compass rose in the app so that you can check the magnetometer's calibration occasionally. Consider the in-app compass feature a bonus - some vendors are charging a buck for just an inferior gps "compass". The next release (in progress) will use the official magnetometer API which will be available sometime in February (if all goes according to RIM's announced plan.) The "real" API is self-calibrating and you won't need to bother with all the futzing around that may be required in this early release.

    A lot of people will also be interested in some of the other improvements in version 1.5 including optional larger fonts, a red themed night mode setting, rise/set times, moon phase and orientation info and some miscellaneous bug fixes. Last but not least, I've added the Messier and Caldwell deep space objects for your viewing pleasure, along with capability to look them up in Wikipedia, of course. Thereis a new settings page that allows you to customize the user interface to your liking.

    I'm crossing my fingers that there are no major (negative) surprises and I hope you like this version.

    I would appreciate any feedback you can give me either here or on the app's Facebook page (see my signature for a link).
    01-26-12 11:04 PM
  2. peter9477's Avatar
    Thanks for getting this out BuzzStarField! Looking forward to playing with it again, especially that sweet compass!

    Also congratulations on having the first PlayBook app released with support for the magnetometer! (Hey everyone, that alone warrants a nice five-star review for the man! ;-) )
    01-26-12 11:21 PM
  3. Revord's Avatar
    Updating now. Holy smokes you are a rockstar I tried fiddling with the google sky on 2.0, but its so wonky it was next to useless.
    BuzzStarField likes this.
    01-26-12 11:36 PM
  4. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    Thanks for getting this out BuzzStarField! Looking forward to playing with it again, especially that sweet compass!

    Also congratulations on having the first PlayBook app released with support for the magnetometer! (Hey everyone, that alone warrants a nice five-star review for the man! ;-) )
    Couldn't have done it without you and HaTaX - so I hope that people consider writing nice reviews for your apps too!

    I do like the idea of a review or two. As it turns out, the paid version is getting its fair share (thank you nice people!) but the demo has not received a new comment in months. It's slipping badly - almost at the bottom of the page now. So if you plan on upgrading, please consider writing a review for the freebie prior to downloading the paid version. The paid app writes over the demo version so you can't go back after the upgrade - this is a big problem with having a separate demo app.
    HaTaX likes this.
    01-26-12 11:39 PM
  5. HaTaX's Avatar
    Got the new version loaded up and it works great! Good job on providing some really nice functionality at your own expense for time and bug exposure.

    Very kind of you to provide this without adding in an extra charge as I know you spent your time tweaking it to release quality.
    BuzzStarField, kbz1960 and chiniki like this.
    01-27-12 12:07 AM
  6. FF22's Avatar
    I got the notice in the upper left but when I went to appworld, it was initially still v. 1 and only offered Delete. About 1/2 hour later it was there so grabbed it.

    Congrats.
    BuzzStarField likes this.
    01-27-12 01:01 AM
  7. marksasongko's Avatar
    hey buzz, nice to see your app finally getting the magnetometer.. looking forward to using it soon..
    BuzzStarField likes this.
    01-27-12 02:57 AM
  8. mundo472's Avatar
    This looks fantastic! I can't wait to get outside tonight!!
    BuzzStarField likes this.
    01-27-12 05:15 AM
  9. Roscopcoletrain's Avatar
    Awesome, great to hear!
    BuzzStarField likes this.
    01-27-12 06:14 AM
  10. stuka85's Avatar
    does the stars map rotate with the compass?
    01-27-12 07:10 AM
  11. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    does the stars map rotate with the compass?
    In a word yes. Due to current limitations though, the panning is nowhere near as smooth as a movie because the updates from the sensor are received every second or so. I personally find the button for a simple one-time aiming action more useful than panning.
    01-27-12 07:22 AM
  12. stuka85's Avatar
    oh coool, i had to tab on the bottom and press the 2 arrows to make it work like that i was wondering if the magnetometer wasnt fully integrated to the app great work buzz, cant wait to try it at night!
    BuzzStarField likes this.
    01-27-12 07:29 AM
  13. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    Got the new version loaded up and it works great! Good job on providing some really nice functionality at your own expense for time and bug exposure.

    Very kind of you to provide this without adding in an extra charge as I know you spent your time tweaking it to release quality.
    Thanks HaTaX. It was quite difficult getting calibration to an acceptable point and it's all throwaway code, given that the official API provides system-wide background calibration. It was a lot of fun though, learning about how magnetometers do their thing.

    The code for handling for handling magnetic variation (declination) for any location on Earth using a mathematical model of the planet's geomagnetic field, was as easy as finding and porting some Java code to AS3. I will be sharing the code with the RIM developers' forum community in due course - the official API does not have this capability.

    I hope other developers decide to build AR apps for the PlayBook - this is a real growth area for the device and I don't think many consumers are aware of the possibilities yet.

    I will probably be increasing the app's base price in February to align it with comparable offerings on other platforms. Upgrades will always be free.
    01-27-12 07:41 AM
  14. Anonymous94587689's Avatar
    Thank you for the update - I am looking forward to play with it !
    01-27-12 09:41 AM
  15. Rob Robertson's Avatar
    This is fantastic. Congrats on getting this working. I was an avid follower of the "why bother?" thread where you, Peter, Hatax and other programmers exchanged pages of technical nonsense. I can't believe you pulled it off without an API from RIM.

    Again, Congratulations to all of you. This should be on the front page of Crackberry.
    01-27-12 10:04 AM
  16. gailsher's Avatar
    This is great ! It is one of the few apps I really value on my PB and makes it so much more than just a media device.
    Thanks for the update.....I really appreciate this !

    gail
    01-27-12 10:27 AM
  17. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    This is fantastic. Congrats on getting this working. I was an avid follower of the "why bother?" thread where you, Peter, Hatax and other programmers exchanged pages of technical nonsense. I can't believe you pulled it off without an API from RIM.

    Again, Congratulations to all of you. This should be on the front page of Crackberry.
    I cannot say enough about the powerful contribution of consumers who pitched in to help test the various proof-of-concept apps uploaded in that thread. I also want to thank Mojoski and BB.Forever who were very supportive and tested the release candidates for the update. So congratulations are in order, not only for the developers involved, but also the collaborative efforts of the entire PlayBook community at Crackberry.
    Rob Robertson and peter9477 like this.
    01-27-12 10:38 AM
  18. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    This is great ! It is one of the few apps I really value on my PB and makes it so much more than just a media device.
    Thanks for the update.....I really appreciate this !

    gail
    Thanks for the nice review in App World too Gail!
    01-27-12 10:49 AM
  19. djenkins6's Avatar
    Thanks for great updates, I'm a bit confused about the calibration of the compass, would it be possible to post a youtube video demonstrating the rotations?
    01-27-12 11:26 AM
  20. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    Thanks for great updates, I'm a bit confused about the calibration of the compass, would it be possible to post a youtube video demonstrating the rotations?
    There's no "right" way to do the rotations. You could just tap the reset button and then start scanning the sky - it would just take a little longer to complete the recalibrqtion, that's all.

    In order to regain accurate readings faster, just tap the reset button and then turn the device around both axes - speed of rotation can be slow or fast, it doesn't matter. Then turn facing a different compass direction and repeat. No special pattern is required and it doesn't really matter if you initially face north, west or any other direction.

    Edit: I've posted a clarification on FaceBook. I encourage people to use this channel if they have a questions that might apply to the general public.
    Last edited by BuzzStarField; 01-27-12 at 12:00 PM.
    01-27-12 11:46 AM
  21. gailsher's Avatar
    Just a marketing consideration........apps in the App World are listed eveywhere in alphabetical order. What's Up, while a catchy name and clever, is hard to find as you scroll thru the laundry list of apps. Perhaps you should consider a new name for the next version ?

    gail
    01-27-12 04:19 PM
  22. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    Just a marketing consideration........apps in the App World are listed eveywhere in alphabetical order. What's Up, while a catchy name and clever, is hard to find as you scroll thru the laundry list of apps. Perhaps you should consider a new name for the next version ?

    gail
    I doubt that a name change would make my app more visible. I have included a lot of key words in the app's description - if you type "astronomy" or "planet" in the search box my apps are listed in the search results. This is the only alpha list that I know of in PB App world.

    In addition, the categories are listed by "popularity" determined by what appears to be a weighted value based on star ratings and number of reviews. Basically, the more decent reviews one has, the higher your ranking is in the list. What's up is currently the #1 paid app in the education category and is third overall. The demo version is quite a bit lower in the rankings because it does not attract a lot of reviews.

    On the top paid listing on the featured page, rankings are based on (I believe) total dollar sales. The top Free list is ordered by number of downloads. Both of these lists are updated frequently so that they reflect almost current rankings.

    At the current time, my app is in 64th position for sales of all BB apps (because of the update) and is not on the featured page. Top 100 Paid and Free BlackBerry Applications

    The above comments apply to App World on the PlayBook. The web version has a bit more flexibility and can be ordered by a variety of different criteria. But it hardly matters because one can only buy a PB app fromm the PB version of App World.
    01-27-12 05:33 PM
  23. spike12's Avatar
    You are on the top purchased list. Congratulations!
    BuzzStarField likes this.
    01-27-12 07:40 PM
  24. travaz's Avatar
    I LOVE this app. When I got my first PB (on original release date) it was the first app I paid for. Let me back track a bit. The first android phone I saw that a friend of mine had had a similar app. I was like awesome!! Now I have the same. I am glad i bought it at 1.0 and really want to give you kudos on the upgrade. Educational fun and sleek!
    BuzzStarField likes this.
    01-27-12 09:06 PM
  25. manytone's Avatar
    Thanks BuzzStarField!
    In fact can't thank you enough....... New user here and just in time for these great updates! My Buddy Ken says thanks too ;-) Can't believe this was only 0.99 cents!!
    01-27-12 09:35 PM
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