Thursday, December 22, 2011

ScreenDim and RootDim (formerly SuperDim) apps for Android

1. I put in the Android Market a new paid screen dimmer, ScreenDim, loosely based on my SuperDim code. ScreenDim allows you to dim your display below what the OS normally allows, does not need root, and does both backlight and contrast adjust (at least on backlit devices). (The contrast adjust function is visually like ScreenFilter functionality, but my testing suggests that ScreenFilter may slow down 2D rendering by 30%, while I haven't observed a significant slowdown with ScreenDim.) You still have profiles. But because this app is aimed at non-root users, I removed ChainFire3D integration as well as extra LED support (I may do something in the latter direction if there is an open API.) It will be interesting to see how ScreenDim does on OLED devices on which SuperDim didn't work. There is a free three day trial version.

2. I renamed SuperDim to RootDim to differentiate it from ScreenDim.

3. I have not abandoned RootDim/SuperDim. I uploaded a new version to the Market that should give better control over LEDs. You can, for instance, set the power LED to turn on when and only when charging, or when the device is on, or never, etc. I think there are still some bugs in this functionality, and the functionality does not turn on automatically after a reboot until the bugs are worked out. But it's a start.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

SkySafari out in Android Market

SkySafari is now up on Android Market.  I've been one of the beta testers.

Here's my five-star Market review:
This is easily and by far the best astronomy software for Android devices.  I think it's better than Stellarium for the desktop.  Superb coverage of the solar system (planets, minor planets and comets) and deep sky objects.  Good information on various objects.    It's great to have outlines of wide deep sky objects.    The Pro version adds tons of stars.  From my experience with Palm apps, for serious star-hopping and identifying of faint objects with a decently sized telescope (I have a 13"), one really should benefit from having the greater depth of coverage that the Pro version provides over the Plus version.    Hint 1: If you have a somewhat slower device, you can greatly improve smoothness by setting the Horizon to Transparent with Line and turning off Milky Way textures.  Hint 2; While the built-in night mode works well, it doesn't affect the on-screen keyboard keyboard or any soft keys on screen if your device have them.  For rooted devices, you can install ChainFire3D and use its night mode, and for unrooted devices, you might try my own free "GB keyboard with optional night mode".

Monday, December 5, 2011

LunarMap HD and Lite officially released

I finally got to the 1.00 release.  It's now in the Market:
The screenshot shows the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's false-color far-side map (HD version).

And here is the latest Lite apk file.