Monday, August 25, 2008

Almost Ready...

Hopefully this evening or tomorrow evening I will submit the next update to apple. So give it a week or so.

I've touched up the buttons and such since I posted the last screenshots, I'll post some other screenshots in a couple of days. (Have to have something to do while we wait for the review! =) )

I'm planning on making a preference for continuous updating. (This may or may not make it in this version) It's probably a battery drain, but things seem to be much more responsive when the GPS is sending updates continuously. The currently released version only sends updates every few feet of movement. I think adding the option is a good compromise between battery life and accuracy.

Compass rotation is elusive. I've added a preference to turn this on and off because people keep asking me for that. I want to state that I'm still not in love with it, but I'm not sure I can wait on apple -- who knows when the 2.1 firmware will come out, or what features it will have. We are nearing the end of august and Apple still doesn't have what I would expect in their beta for (presumably) september so I will be interested to see if they keep their september deadline with some of their promised functionality. Anyway. Sorry I'm rambling... Compass rotation will be in the next release, but may not be any better than what is there now. I'll see what I can do, that's my focus for this evening, to smooth that out.

I may also add URL support for Geopher Lite. This won't mean much to you guys probably, but if I do this it would allow other applications to send coordinates to Geopher Lite. For example, clicking on a google maps link in safari will send you to the google maps application. Adding in link support similar to this would allow other developers to send target coordinates to Geopher Lite. I think it could be a good thing for everyone if other developers choose to use it. It ay also be a waste of time, we'll see. =)

Things are coming along. I am already into development of the full version of Geopher and that will gain more and more development time. Geopher Lite is getting to be fairly polished for what it is and I'm pretty happy with it. That doesn't mean it's perfect though -- keep the suggestions and comments coming in!

9 comments:

magicwaldo said...

I don't know if anyone has suggested it or if you have looked into it, but I'm curious if it would be possible to have geopher connect to the wap.geocaching.com rather than the full blown website. I understand that the wap site is rather limited, but it does load much faster for those of that do not have access to a 3G network yet.

I often find myself wanting to refer back to the logs while geocaching, but the load times for geocaching are slow at best.

Other than that, I am very impressed with this incredible program. It has all the features we need and the price is perfect! I'd just like to know though, what do you have in store for the full Geopher program?

DadGuy said...

magicwaldo,
I have looked at this a little. It's on my list, I'd like to have an option in the preferences to use one site or the other. I don't know the URL schemes for wap.geocaching.com. If someone wants to go to the effort of getting the log URL and search URL setup for me I'd be able to add that quickly... My time has just been spent elsewhere. It is on the list though.

As far as the full version, the big obvious is GPX and LOC file support. Included with that is cache list management, favorites, etc. I'd like to support a few different methods of getting this data in your lists. Hopefully not manual entry, I'd like to stay away from that as much as I can. =) I'm planning full skin support and I think it will be very cool, I'll announce more on that front as we go along. Notes on caches was one thing I was excited about, it sounds like other programs are doing this as well. Geotagged picture support should be doable with Apple's SDK. Possibly tracking support depending on user demand. I'm considering a google maps overlay as well, but that may not do much more than what you already get with the maps app, I guess we will see there. Other things as well, I don't want to say too much too soon. Expect it to be at least up to the level of other things out there with the possible exception of offline map support. I'm on the fence on that one still, it's a lot of work.
And of course what you see in Geopher Lite all has the potential (and is likely) to go into the full version.

Hope that helps a bit.

Thanks for the suggestion!

Anonymous said...

Am I not understanding this compass! I'm used to a GPS that points directly to the destination. Geopher seems to tell me the direction based on a magnetic compass bearing. In other words it will tell me that the cache is West of my current location. I now have to pull out a magnetic compass to figure out where West is. I hope I'm not understanding something because if I need to constantly compare Geopher to a magnetic compas, I won't use it.

DadGuy said...

anonymous,

The next update to Geopher Lite has compass rotation that you can turn on. It has been submitted to apple, so when they approve it you won't have to know where north is anymore, the iPhone will figure it out with GPS coordinates.

Hope that helps.

SBC said...

I am shocked to hear you actually hold back on the GPS signal! The GPS antenna uses almost no energy, so all you are doing is making your program funtion sub-paar.

Back in the Mio A701 days we did a lot of testing to see how much power the built-in SiRF III antenna used. The result was that even if it was active 24/7, it was impossible to notice any drain. This was about two years ago with the technology used back then, so unless Apple really have messed up the iPhone, power drain due to GPS antenna usage should be of no concern whatsoever. What drains the battery when you run a GPS program is the CPU and the display, nothing else.

sbc said...

If you wanna save power, make a key available on the navigator screen to toggle the display light on/off. The screen is so good in the outdoors, that often the backlight isn't needed.

DadGuy said...

sbc,

I wish I could change the screens brightness. Apple doesn't give out control for that. (They pulled at least one flashlight app from the app store because it messed with the brightness, it's not available in their SDK) I've already looked into that, no dice.

As far as throttling back the GPS... You give me too much credit. Apple doesn't give nearly that much control for their GPS. The only way I can change updates is to have either continuous updates (which I've re-enabled in the under review version due to some complaints) or say via apple's API "give me GPS updates when I move X meters". I had it updating every 0.75 meters so that it wouldn't hammer the CPU with updates. That's what the option will do when I add it. (It didn't make it into the review version, but should be in the next revision) The new option that is there will simply turn off the GPS when in the target selection screen like it does by default now. I added this because of people who use google maps -- they never look at the target screen and don't want to stay there to wait for a good GPS lock.

Hope that helps.

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to the update!! Looking forward to the full version too! :) I'm new to the game, and I found my first 3 geocaches with Geopher Lite. TFTA! -marqueA2 @ geocaching.com

Adam said...

i'm newite at with geocaching too! im really excited meeting pros.. if you have time, please visit my site at http://www.mygeocachenation.com/

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
DadGuy has been working with apple computers since the mac classic. I love games and puzzles and like to solve problems. I'm having a blast developing for the iPhone and iPad.