Update: Stars For BlackBerry PlayBook Has Updated to Stars v1.0.1 And What’s Up

June 22, 2011 | By | 5 Comments

We told you about Stars when it first came out because I really like it. Well Stars upgraded to a new free version which has a five day “promo” for What’s Up for the BlackBerry PlayBook. If you don’t buy the paid What’s Up, your app will revert back to the basic Stars for BlackBerry PlayBook. Check it out…

Maurice has a done a great job with Stars For BlackBerry PlayBook. I was surprised when I updated to find that it had an option to continue to use free demo/app or to upgrade. But when I went to upgrade I came to a page that stated that the app had been submitted but not yet approved in BlackBerry App World. Maurice let me know this morning that the What’s Up app is available in the BlackBerry App World and is only $.99.

Version 1.0.1 of Stars for BlackBerry® PlayBook™ represents a complete re-write to adresses the many technical and usability issues present in the beta offering. The application shows the real-time positions of the Sun, Moon, planets and the 5000 brightest stars. It is easy to set up, works anywhere on the planet and does not need an internet connection to perform its main function.
This free edition includes a 5-day DEMO of some of the advanced features found in the premium edition. The advanced features will be turned off and the app will revert back to basic no-frills functionality at the end of this period.

The new What’s Up is all about the following:

This app is the only one of its kind available for any BlackBerry®device and provides the definitive answer when someone asks you what’s up. It  builds on the elegant simplicity of Stars for BlackBerry® PlayBook™ and shows the real-time positions of the Sun, Moon, planets and the 5000 brightest stars. It is easy to set up, works anywhere on the planet and does not need an internet connection to perform its main function.
In addition to the basic functionality of its predecessor, you can now enjoy the advanced features that you have been waiting for:

  • GPS support for setting geographic coordinates
  • Advanced text search including phonetic search
  • Multi-touch gesture support for zooming and panning
  • Innovative “Quick Links” providing seamless integration with Wikipedia articles

This app gets the job done but comparisons to my competitors on other platforms are inevitable. As soon as RIM provides an interface to the PlayBook’s magnetic compass, we will finally have a truly “point and view” sky map worthy of unqualified praise. My TODO list is lengthy but the future is bright. Because of these (I believe minor) limitations, you will be able to download What’s up at a special introductory price. You will not be disappointed. If you would rather try before you buy, you can download Stars for BlackBerry PlayBook and take it for a five-day test drive.

Here’s the latest changes for v1.0

  • Functional enhancements for premium version only:
  • GPS support for setting the location
  • Advanced text search including phonetic search
  • Multitouch gesture support for zooming and panning
  • New “Quick Links” provide seamless integration with Wikipedia articles.

Technical and Data improvements:

  • Now using Hipparcos catalog as main source of data
  • Improved startup sequence and load time. Preloading 5000+ objects takes about 7 seconds
  • Much better distance/absolute magnitude calculations as a result of improved parallax data.
  • Catalog cross-reference for HIP ids, HR (Harvard Revised) ids and HD (Henry Draper) ids
  • Now includes spectral types and B-V color indices
  • Altitudes are now corrected for atmospheric refractioon.
  • Update clock stopped while app was running in the background.
  • App now updates the display upon receipt of an activate event.
  • Sundry bug fixes in calculations.

User interface improvements

  • Fixed severe performance problems while scrolling in lists, scroll-panes and the date picker.
  • Chart now reflects star colors and better scaling of dot-size to magnitude values.
  • Increased font size so you can actually read the names.
  • Increased intensity of grid lines to improve visibility.
  • Improved object selection and added visual effects to selection marker.
  • Improved help screens and implemented help (?) button on all dialogs.
  • Corrected spelling and increased the number of proper names and Bayer-Flamsteed designations. Now includes proper names for 300 stars.
  • Added support for two-finder pan and pinch-to-zoom gestures. Swipe gesture is planned but not currently supported.

You can grab the free Stars for BlackBerry PlayBook from BlackBerry App World here

You can grab the paid What’s Up for BlackBerry PlayBook for $.99 from BlackBerry App World here

Filed in: App World, BlackBerry, Downloads, Free Apps, PlayBook Tablet, Software | Tags: , , , ,

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