What’s new in SkyMap 1.1 for Windows Phone

by adrian 4. April 2011 00:02

Hello everybody!

We’ve just released the first update to SkyMap for Windows Phone 7. We received a lot of feedback from you (thank you all for that!) and you may even recognize some of your suggestions in the new features.

I guess you are quite curious what’s new in this version, so here we go:

Improved map graphics

One of the main areas of improvements was the map itself. Now we show images for the planets, the moon and the sun, we show star colors and diffraction spikes for the most visible objects. We also tweaked some the colors that we use in the map (please let us know what you think about the new color theme).

Orion Sky Map

Sky object information (wikipedia integration)

When you click on a major sky object, you will see a link that points to more information on wikipedia about that object (this feature needs data connection). Over there you will find very comprehensive articles about the various sky objects, including real images.

sky object information with link to wikipedia

New quick settings bar

We wanted to make some of the settings easier to access, so we added a new bar – the quick settings bar. You can access this bar from the Application Bar, by clicking on the “quick settings bar” menu item.

The quick settings bar

The buttons represent the following operations:

  • Flip the map horizontally
  • Flip the map vertically
  • Show more stars
  • Show less stars
  • Reset the map (it resets the map to the initial position)
  • Refresh the map

Flip map options

In some cases, you may need to flip the map (for example if you watch the sky via a telescope). So we added these features to make this easier.

Stars density adjustment

The number of stars you see on the sky depends on a few factors (weather, light pollution). For example, if you live in a city, you will see less stars than if you go in the middle of nowhere. Trying to identify the stars may become confusing if the map shows too many stars comparing to what you see.

To make this easier, we added these 2 buttons that you can use to adjust the map so that it matches the amount of stars you see on the sky.

Here is how the map looks like if you increase the number of stars to the maximum value:

Sky map when stars density setting is set to the maximum value

Alt/Az Grid

More map customization options

Now you can show or hide anything on the map. You can find these in the Settings page, under the Display category.

Other fixes and improvements

  • we improved the map pinch to zoom functionality
  • the map position is persisted at tombstoning - if you press the Start or Search button, than you press the “Back” button to return to the application
  • fixed the rotation of the splash screen that was happening while loading the data if you held the phone in landscape mode
  • label overlap detection improvements
  • the autocomplete box in the search dialog now also shows the type of objects
  • fixed the autocomplete box appearance for the light phone theme
  • some stability improvements (fixed a few crashes)

We hope you enjoy the new features!

If you have any comments, or suggestions, feel free to contact us (you can use the “Send feedback and suggestions” button for the Settings page, or the email link from the about page).

- Adrian

Month List