New post

Improvements for SkySafari 5 Pro

SkySafari 5 Pro is very good app, but I hope that you are always ready to improve it.  I have a few suggestions:

1. The app requires about 1.2 GB of internal storage.  It seems that the enormous object catalogs are responsible for this.  It would be great if the bulk of the data could be stored on the SD card.

2. Creation of custom observing lists is tedious. One needs to go through multiple screens to add each object to a list.  With a bit of programming, thus could be remedied.

3. It would be great if the row of function icons could be customized. Thus way, the unused icons could be hidden.  My fingers have a habit of missing the mark, and I often hit the"Orbit" icon. It takes about 15 seconds to recover from the routine which was mistakenly started. This is kind of annoying, and could be prevented by hiding the icon.

4.  It would be nice if observing lists could be imported and exported to other observation planning apps, or databases.  I use MS Access to organize my information and generate my observation lists.  Once the list is generated, I need to enter it into SkySafari by hand.

Once again, this is a fun and useful app which I use just about every day.

1 comment

  • 0
    Bill Tschumy


    Thanks for you suggestions.  They are appreciated.  Some comments follow:

    1. This requirement to install the data on the internal storage is from Google.  We use their APK Expansion mechanism and this is what they say in their docs:

    "When Google Play downloads your expansion files to a device, it saves them to the system's shared storage location. To ensure proper behavior, you must not delete, move, or rename the expansion files. In the event that your application must perform the download from Google Play itself, you must save the files to the exact same location."

    Google always downloads to the internal storage and, as far as I know, we have no choice in the matter.  That said, there is a chance we will move away from the APK Expansion mechanism in SkySafari 6 so you will have more flexibility.

    2. Can you make a suggestion for how you would like to see it streamlined?

    3. Possibly in SkySafari 6

    4. Which formats would you recommend we support?  Whatever you are doing with MSAccess is probably not a standard and thus would be hard to support.  There are a number of planning apps that do already export to SkySafari format (SkyTools and Deep Sky Planner are two I know of).  Perhaps you could use them.  Although this won't help you now, in SkySafari 6 we are planning on supporting the "Open Astronomy Log" format.  This should make it easier to import/export observing lists and observations.

Please sign in to leave a comment.