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Why Can't SkySafari 6 Pro Read Custom Observing Lists On Android Anymore? (Answer: The Observing Lists Directory Had To Be Moved Due To New Android 10 Security Protocols - Read On!)

I noticed that Sky Safari 6 Pro in my two Android devices has recently become unable to "see" the customs lists I create with a night's observing program:

I have done the following procedure since about 4 years ago in both SS 5 and 6 and never had any problem, until a couple of days ago:

1) a script in my computer summarizes the variable star observation program for the night and writes it as an observing list (.skylist). I use the format specified here: https://skysafariastronomy.com/support/faq/skysafari.html  See also below.

2) copy the list to the ".../Sky Safari 6 Pro/Observing Lists" folder in the Android device

3) start Sky Safari

4) make the list visible in the observing lists menu

But since two days ago I cannot do 4) because Sky Safari is not able to see the lists I copied to the ".../Sky Safari 6 Pro/Observing Lists" folder. The Observing list menu is simply empty and does not show the lists I created, even when they are actually there.  Updating does not help. The files are to my knowledge properly formatted (see below) and functional (can be opened as text with other apps).

A question in the Cloudy Nights forum seems to indicate that at least another user has had this problem recently: https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/750486-sky-safari-6-pro-cannot-read-custom-observing-lists-anymore/

I wonder if there has been any recent change in the format required for observing lists in Sky Safari? Or is this possibly a recent bug?

Thanks in advance

/H.

# # # # #

Example of list I create (two objects only):

SkySafariObservingListVersion=3.0
SkyObject=BeginObject
ObjectID=2,-1,-1
CatalogNumber=AQ And
CatalogNumber=AQ Andromedae
CommonName=AQ And
Comment=Last observed 52 day ago
EndObject=SkyObject
SkyObject=BeginObject
ObjectID=2,-1,-1
CatalogNumber=R And
CatalogNumber=R Andromedae
CommonName=R And
Comment=Last observed 52 day ago
EndObject=SkyObject

* Note that the forum software reformats the list and makes it look like a long string.

8 comments

  • 0
    Avatar
    Hernán De Angelis
  • 0
    Avatar
    Keiron Smith

    Hernan, 

    Please read the Help files, specifically about migrating from SS5 to SS6, and see that added files are imported and deleted on purpose.

    Please via SkySafari create and login to a LiveSky, and look for your lists.

    Thanks!

  • 1
    Avatar
    Hernán De Angelis

    Keiron,

    I mailed an example list to you. As stated, it is apparent that something changed in early January 2021 that broke the capability of loading lists from the "Observing lists" folder.

    You state that files are imported and then deleted. I cannot see how this works. If imported, where are they then? How can lists be retrieved and shown?

    Perhaps my use case is unusual and not contemplated: I create unique observing lists per session to adapt to the changing needs of a variable star observing program. My observing lists are not static packages that include rarely changing groups of objects, but different sets of stars depending on factors such as observing cadence, etc.

    I would prefer not to create an account and using a cloud service for managing observing lists. I was happy transferring files from the computer, where they are generated.

    Thanks in advance

    Hernán

  • 0
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    Ros Hartigan

    Hello Hernán, I'm sorry for your difficulty! Can you tell me what Android devices you are using and which version of Android they have?

    Ros

  • 0
    Avatar
    Hernán De Angelis

    Thank you for your help, Ros. I have Sky Safari 6 Pro in two Android devices. The main one I use to observe is a Samsung Galaxy Tab A tablet with Android 7.1.1. Occasionally I may use the phone too: a Huawei Honor 8 with Android 7.0

    Thank you for the rapid response and good customer service!

    Hernán

  • 1
    Avatar
    Ros Hartigan

    Hi Hernán,

    The "Observing Lists" directory has moved on the Android device due to security restrictions introduced in Android 10.

    Instead of copying .skylist files to "SkySafari 6 Pro/Observing Lists" on the device, can you please try copying the files to 

    "Android/data/com.simulationcurriculum.skysafari6pro/files/Observing Lists"?
     
    Thanks!
  • 0
    Avatar
    Hernán De Angelis

    Thank you Ros and Keiron for your kind and fast help. I have tested this in both devices with Android 7.0 and 7.1.1 and see it worked.

    Everyone reading this please note that the issue is solved.

  • 0
    Avatar
    CHnuschti

    I think I'll continue this one ...

    Bug in Skysafari Android 6.8.6.3 with observing lists?

    Installed version above on my mobile Nokia 2.3 with "Android 11" and on a Samsung Galaxy Tab(let) A with same "Android 11" version.
    There is no skysafari folder on top (files) level, it's buried down into \internal memory\Android\data\com.simulationcurriculum.skysafari6pro\files\
    There, the folder "Observing Lists" does not exist, also putting up a test list within the app does not create it. You have to create it yourself.
    Once you drop in the observing files per data tranfers over USB (or otherwise) in that folder "Observing Lists" , this is performed, and they appear. On the next reboot of the mobile device, however, the files are disappeared ??? Cannot be seen over the Windows 10 interface, nor over the file explorer interface of the mobile device itself. Pretty odd?
    But at least, the lists are still present within the Skysafari App.
    The advices given here are of no use: https://skysafariastronomy.com/support/manual/observing_lists.shtml

    I also don't see the point to look into "whatever clouds" just to fiddle around with my own personal lists. Another annoying trend impliying people wish to have their data somewhere out of their control, tz.

    regards

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