SkyMap 2.3 Release Notes

by Adrian 20. March 2012 01:02

We’ve just released a new update to SkyMap – 2.3. Here is the full list of changes that went in this update

  • Improved graphics (you can see some before and after screenshots at the end of this post)
  • We added a stars twinkling effect
  • Fade in/out animation for the constellation art
  • We added a button to the quick settings bar to toggle the point to sky mode
  • Various performance and stability improvements
  • Removed the 30 degrees limit for the compass compensation
  • Various bug fixes
    • Fixed a bug that caused the orientation lock to be lost after exiting the flashlight page
    • Fixed a bug that caused the map manipulation to become sluggish after opening the APOD page
    • Fixed a bug that made the last match in the search results list not to be selectable
Orion before version 2.3Orion after version 2.3

Before version 2.3After version 2.3

SkyMap 2.2 Release Notes

by Adrian 20. March 2012 00:49

We released the 2.2 update some time ago, but we haven’t got the chance to post the release notes. So here they are:

  • Added an option to hide the Milky Way texture
  • Live tiles with the sun, moon information
  • Implemented search while in the point to sky mode; we now display some arrows to guide you to the object you searched for
  • Improved About page
  • Select the search text in the search page when opening the page
  • Improved the compass calibration instructions by pointing to a post on our blog with more details about calibration
  • Various bug fixes and performance improvements

SkyMap 1.5 Gets Mango Update, Adds Compass Support

by Adrian 5. October 2011 20:46

We’ve just published SkyMap 1.5, which is the first update that targets Windows Phone 7.5 (also known as mango). This update adds the most wanted feature – compass support!  It is the feature that we wanted to add right from the first version, but it just wasn’t possible on the previous versions of the Windows Phone OS.

How to use the compass

Please make sure that you are away from magnetic interferences. Large metal objects, power wires, magnets, speakers, etc. can affect the accuracy of the compass.

When you launch the new version, expand the application bar and click on the enable point to sky item. The first time you may get a Compass Calibration screen. Follow the instructions as indicated on the screen, until the status at the bottom says “Complete”.

From our experience, the compass calibration may take quite a while (especially when done the first time). Take your time, have patience and it will eventually get calibrated.

For more information about using the point to sky feature, please refer to the help page included in the application (you can find it in the application bar).

What’s new in SkyMap 1.5

  • Compass support
  • New sensors bar, that replaces the navigation bar in the point to sky mode
  • Fast app switching
  • The system tray respects the night mode theme (the system tray is setting is available only in the full version of the app)
  • New night mode button in the quick settings bar, to make it easier to switch the night mode on and off
  • The point to sky mode now supports the pinch to zoom gesture
  • The show more/less stars now offers a wider range of values to better match the sky you see in your area
  • Reorganized some of the items in the quick settings bar and the application bar

This update requires Windows Phone 7.5 (mango).

This update also includes the improvements we made in SkyMap 1.4 (which is also available for Windows Phone 7.0). You can find more information about the SkyMap 1.4 update here.

SkyMap Free and AstroPix released to marketplace

by Administrator 21. June 2011 08:02

Our SkyMap trial application is fully functional (it's just a few steps behind the full SkyMap application: it is ad based and has few small limitations). But we understand there are windows phone users out there not willing to install a trial version - despite the fact there is no price or risk involved.

So, as a solstice summer gift to the world, we've decided to release 2 FREE applications:

SkyMap Free - similar to SkyMap trial version (except the picture of the day feature)

AstroPix - astronomy picture of the day based on website

Here are the application detailed description:

1. SkyMapFree

SkyMapFree provides interactive sky maps for any time, viewpoint and location on Earth. It shows the different names, coordinates, magnitude, astronomical rise and set times plus additional information for over 110000 stars, messier objects, planets, sun and the moon.

SkyMapFree has a full set of features in order to help both casual stargazers and amateur astronomers to explore and locate the objects in the sky:
- interactive zoom
- night mode
- gesture support
- constellations, stars, deep space objects, planets, sun and moon information
- autocomplete search function
- fast loading and initialization
- support for portrait and landscape orientations
- map rotation mode
- point to sky mode (beta)
- flashlight, map orientation lock and other improvements
- help page
- improved sky map graphics: planet images, star colors, diffraction spikes, etc
- sky object information (wikipedia integration)
- new quick settings bar (star density selection, flip map)
- alt/az grid
- additional customizations (show/hide map layers: planets, stars, messier objects, etc)

2. AstroPix

Imagine a beautiful clear summer sky. Look up and discover the beauty of our universe… Have you ever looked through a telescope? Do you enjoy the breathtaking pictures taken from terrestrial or outer space telescopes? Look no further and install AstroPix!
Based on the NASA APOD (Astronomy Picture of the Day) website, Astropix is a friendly daily astronomy picture viewer. APOD features each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
The free AstroPix application offers a full set of features, delivering a great integration between the APOD website and the rich and compelling UI of the Windows Phone platform.

AstroPix features:
- Lists the recent pictures published on the APOD website
- Image viewer in both landscape and portrait modes
- Last viewed picture displayed as application background (using panorama control)
- History of viewed images with large thumbnails and description
- Search by name, description or date
- Select a specific date, random date, today, etc
- Image/photograph full explanation and information
- Full screen display
- Image zoom (to small or large dimensions) by pich or double click

SkyMap Timeline

by Administrator 27. January 2011 10:00
  • Dec 2007 – I got a “junk” telescope, a hobby killer from a local supermarket. I had a lot of troubles to find the brightest astronomical target (our moon) and especially to keep it in my field of view; in a few days I got rid of the telescope convinced that the next telescope (if ever) will be a motorized one
  • Dec 2008 – got my serious telescope (more details on my astronomy section of my blog) – it was a small goto refractor and I started to enjoy deep space objects; I finally got hooked by the “astronomy” bug
  • Jun 2009 – I’ve started to create Spica application - a planetarium software (Windows .NET client application) – I’ve never really released it due to various factors
  • May 2010 – Started the implementation of Sky Map Online website by reusing some of my Spica Windows application source code
  • Jun 2010 - Finished the first version of Sky Map Online website and had it hosted on a permanent server
  • Jun 2010 - present - Different site improvements and development of new features (HTML5 page, constellation data and game, website tweaks, comments page, etc)
  • Jan 2011 - Release of SkyMap for Windows Phone 7 application

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