Re: Explore Stars app #ExploreStars
Add my vote for an iPhone version, which I understand isn't yet available. But, can anyone comment on why not?
With an iPad version available, it would seem most of the work is done, but if not, what help is needed? What are the hurdles? Is one coming soon? Need any UI/UX help (not a programmer)?
There were nearly 47 million iPhones sold in Q4 2018 vs. less than 10m iPads (https://www.statista.com/statistics/253725/iphone-ipad-and-ipod-sales-comparison/), so unless there's a hidden reason why iPhones are being actively avoided, it would seem an opportunity to seriously grow the number of people who could quickly use the mounts like mine (iEXOS-100 PMC-Eight) without having to buy or setup a separate tablet or laptop. I know that everything takes effort, but what I'm not understanding is that I can't seem to find any information on any current efforts for an iPhone version, or reasons why it's taking so long, or if help is needed, what it might be? The latest info I've seen is here: https://explorescientific.com/pages/does-explorestars-or-the-pmc-eight-work-on-an-apple-iphone-or-ipad which is quite old at this point.
To be clear, I wouldn't necessarily expect the iPhone version to be 100% the same as the iPad or laptop versions. Ideally, it would at least:
- Align the scope
- Allow manual motion control (like a hand controller)
- Be able to choose from a catalog of sky objects
- Slew to that object
- Continuously track the object for viewing through the lens.
If that list is too much, even just having the ability to manually control the mount through an iPhone would make it 1000% more useable for a quick viewing. If a lightning-usb cable is needed, that's fine, but wifi would be great too. If you want a stretch goal, integrating a camera viewer into the phone would be really nice too.
I get that the community is aimed more at the advanced enthusiast to pro user, and that you can do a lot more things with a laptop for astrophotography, etc. I also get there are some telescopes that use an iphone, but they're generally really low level. But not having Explore Stars on the iPhone is actively excluding a HUGE number of people who just want to buy a scope and mount for a reasonable price, take it out in the yard when friends come over and be able to point it quickly at a planet for the kids (and adults) to see (and not have it fall out of view by the time someone else comes up to the lens).
Yes, I can pull out a laptop or tablet, but those are separate two handed or two-trip operations that take a decent amount of setup time and a place to put them near the scope that won't fall over or get stepped on. With an iPhone, you could get the scope outside, do a quick alignment, and be looking at stars or planets in a couple minutes, while running the whole thing with one hand on a device you can put in your pocket. If you want more customers, I can't think of a better way to lower the bar of entry and get people exploring the night sky.
PS - If an iPhone version is available (no pc required), and I just didn't see it, apologies, and please let me know:)