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MoonCalc Pro ported to BB10

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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 07.May.2013 07:31    Post subject: MoonCalc Pro ported to BB10   Reply with quote   

Another application I've just finished porting to BlackBerry 10 and got it approved for sale in the AppWorld store is MoonCalc Pro. The current version is for the Z10 (768x1280 pixels); version for the Q10 (768x768) will come soon.

It is now available here:

http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/28025177/

MoonCalc Pro is an application providing rich information about the Moon and helping to quickly locate it in the sky. All data is generated in real time and for any date and location, including: Moon phase, age, illumination, distance, apparent size, coordinates (right ascension, declination, ecliptic latitude and longitude), azimuth, elevation, moonrise and moonset times, perigees and apogees, new and full Moon dates, and more.

The application also offers a Moon Compass and - which is a new feature compared to the MeeGo and Symbian versions - a "Moon Path" graph showing Moon's path through the local sky on a selected day with the current position marked.

MoonCalc supports both GPS and manually entered geo coordinates.









http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/28025177/

Sailfish OS version will be available soon.

----

P.S. An independent review of the MeeGo (N9) version of MoonCalc can be found here:

http://www.allboutn9.info/2012/04/keep-eye-on-moon-with-mooncalc-pro.h tml


Last edited by Michal Jerz on Thursday, 15.Jan.2015 23:46; edited 3 times in total
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Saturday, 22.Nov.2014 08:45    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

MoonCalc has been rewritten from scratch in Cascades, so now it is a fully native BB10 application, compatible with all devices, screen resolutions and OS versions.

Additionally this new version also provides:
- switchable kilometers or miles as distance units
- Moon elevation shown both with and without atmospheric refraction
- various tweaks and improvements.

Depending on interest, another update MAY come soon providing:
- a list of all Super Moons in a selected year
- a list of all moonrise and moonset times in a selected month
- a share option to quickly and easily share all the calculated/shown data with other people or other applications
- Active Frame showing selected Moon data while the application is minimized
- a couple of other improvements.

The new version has just been uploaded to the BB World store so it should be available shortly after the weekend. Those who already own this application will get an update notification.

http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/28025177/

Some screenshots:

- Full touch (Z10 / Z30):









- BlackBerry Passport (1440x1440 pixels)











- Q10 / Q5 / Classic (720x720 pixels)



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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Thursday, 27.Nov.2014 19:15    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

So... this MoonCalc's rewrite from scratch in Cascades strictly followed the former similar update of StarFinder: around 100 copies of the update downloaded by existing users within the last 2 days, no single review from anyone, one new sale. I guess I'll stop providing further free updates if even such a 100% rewrite completely changing the app's performance and behavior and adding several new features isn't worth anyone's rating (or any other kind of response). It's totally discouraging to have 1-4 reviews per app after two years.

This platform and its users just can't stop amazing me, and proving to me on a daily basis that this (otherwise really superb) platform is completely not worth developing for.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Monday, 08.Dec.2014 10:59    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Another update of MoonCalc (1.3.0) has been submitted to BB World and should be available within a day or two.

This new update brings the following features:

- when minimized, the application now shows an Active Frame displaying current Moon data (phase name and image, illumination percentage, rise/set times, azimuth, elevation). It is dynamically updated every 30 seconds

- Share function in the menu to quickly and easily share current Moon data by email, SMS, on Twitter, Facebook, with other applications (e.g. Remember), etc.

Some screenshots:



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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Monday, 05.Jan.2015 22:52    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I am pleased to inform that MoonCalc is now Built For Blackberry approved.



This means that it has been positively verified for full compliance with all Blackberry criteria when it comes to UI design, power and resource efficiency, user expierience, code quality (e.g. no memory leaks, etc.), security, etc. It is the only Moon tracking tool for BB10 with BFB designation.

http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/28025177/


Last edited by Michal Jerz on Sunday, 30.Aug.2015 17:34; edited 3 times in total
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Kleuter
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 06.Jan.2015 01:13    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

It looks great. Would love to have it...... Really a shame it is not possibel on jolla.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 06.Jan.2015 02:14    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Thank you Kleuter. I still hope that one day Jolla will come back to their senses and enable support for paid apps.

On the other hand, how can we expect Jolla to do it if their own users write such an unbelievable bullsh*t like the person who posted today in the "Support for paid apps" thread on together.jolla.com (which, BTW, is now the SEVENTEENTH most voted for thread out of 9072). He wrote (and two other morons agreed with him) that he does NOT want Jolla to enable paid apps as it would kill open source projects and only commercial apps would be available.

Did the support for paid apps in the Ovi Store for the Nokia N900 kill (or in any way restrict) open source development? Not at all, an OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of applications for the N900 remained open source and free. Did the support for paid apps for the Nokia N9 kill (or in any way restrict) open source development? Obviously not, there were hundreds of open source projects. Does the presence of an app store on desktop Ubuntu in any way affect open source development for desktop Linux/Ubuntu? Obviously not.

Where do such people come from? It's not the first time I am seeing a Jolla user with such an attitude towards paid software. If Jolla keep reading such opinions every now and then, they will never bother to do anything.

And the same applies to ideas that Jolla should only support donation-based model, and not strictly commercial apps. After 15 years of running this website and in its best times having had up to 60,000 people browsing it daily and only a FEW DOZEN having ever donated to it, I can easily imagine how many donations an average Jolla developer could expect. I bet that even 99% of those who now postulate donations would never donate, as they actually only want to get stuff for free and alleged "donations" are just an excuse.

It's amazing how some people can't understand that only support for paid apps can bring to the platform applications of truly commercial quality, and a sufficient number of them. If I wasn't taking money for my apps, I wouldn't bother to fix every tiny bug or issue within SECONDS from being reported to me by a user. I would never bother to spend dozens of hours to make my application comply with every Built For Blackberry criterion, and so on. I do it because people pay for it so I know they HAVE TO get the best I can deliver. I am not saying that there are no free apps of perfect quality - yes, there are such apps and quite many of them. But majority of free apps are developed in spare time and updated/fixed when one has the time and mood to do it, simply because THERE IS NO OBLIGATION, so quality of majority of such free apps is USUALLY poor and they're in a permanent beta stage. As simple as that.

Anyway, even though discussion in that together.jolla.com thread has become quite active again and the original poster asked Jolla directly for an update ("Any progress on this, Jolla?"), obviously NO ONE from Jolla bothered to respond with a single word (even though it is a thread created by them), so I will not be holding my breath...

Besides, during those 2 years I've changed/enhanced most of my apps on BB10 so much (compared to what I ported to Sailfish OS in 2013 or early 2014) that even if Jolla one day enable support for paid apps I will need to port them from scratch once again, which as time passes I am less and less eager to do.

It's really a shame that they scr*wed it up so badly. It's probably one of the most important reasons why they will not stay for long.
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 06.Jan.2015 20:05    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

even if Jolla one day enable support for paid apps I will need to port them from scratch once again, which as time passes I am less and less eager to do.

It would probably make more sense to overcome your dislike of iOS and WP Laughing Laughing
Those would be more profitable and earn you more cudos from new users. I do not think my next device will be a Jolla phone. If there are no serious native apps it just does not make any sense, no matter how much I like the UI. And if I feel that way, there will probably be more who will leave them.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 07.Jan.2015 02:37    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

It would probably make more sense to overcome your dislike of iOS and WP

While indeed I do not like these platforms (in terms of using them), I wouldn't mind developing for them if it only didn't require learning all their APIs from scratch. Even getting familar with Cascades (which is based on and very similar to "genuine" Qt) to the point that I can now do whatever I want took me more than a year, so I just can't think of having to learn a COMPLETELY different development platform from scratch... Not the programming languages, as C++ or C# or whatever else is pretty much the same on all platforms and so are the markup languages like QML, XAML, etc., but in terms of the APIs which are unique to each platform. You start having to look up every tiny bit of information in documentation, and only after a year or more you slowly start feeling at home. It's really a painful process that I am not ready to go through once again at this point.

Besides, it is also about Qt which I really enjoy, and developing in something else wouldn't be a fraction as enjoyable as in Qt/QML.

So if I ever decide to port my apps to one of those popular platforms then it'll most probably be Android... but still in Qt.

Quote:

I do not think my next device will be a Jolla phone. If there are no serious native apps it just does not make any sense, no matter how much I like the UI. And if I feel that way, there will probably be more who will leave them.

Try BB10. It is really a fantastic system, probably one of the best ever made. Really well thought out, stable, secure, great looking. Even just the BB Hub itself is worth having, let alone everything else. BB10 is not any less eye candy than iOS and technically superior to it, and also way better than Android - and almost perfectly compatible with it. While development for BB10 isn't too much profitable (but it is very enjoyable), my next phone will most probably also be a BB10, if only they finally release some new up-to-date (as opposed to the planned low-end Z20) full touch model, and if not then I'll probably keep using the Z10 over another year or more. That's the only system I can consider a worthwhile replacement for Harmattan when it comes to how it looks and feels, and while I often miss Maemo's openness, BB10's smoothness, security and stability compensate for that. And 3rd party apps are not a problem on it either as nearly all Android apps now work perfectly fine on it and with almost native performance and look, plus there are now also thousands of native applications of really decent quality. A COMPLETELY different situation than on the Jolla.

I don't care if BlackBerry succeeds or not in a longer term. I love their OS and I want to use it (as there is nothing else that comes close ATM) while it exists, then I'll see. If only people were able to correctly assess true quality of an OS (rather than blindly follow what's "fahsionable" - i.e. promoted by mainstream media) and they were buying phones based on such reasonable assessment, BB10 would be the most popular smartphone platform on Earth, as it is much better than iOS and Android, let alone the ugly, still quite primitive and totally locked Windows Phone.
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 21.Jan.2015 22:18    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

till quite primitive and totally locked Windows Phone.

In Windows 10 an app would be able to run on all devices, phones tablets and pc's you could even make a holographic version..... would be cool: Moon Calc Holographic Wink
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 21.Jan.2015 23:25    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

In Windows 10 an app would be able to run on all devices, phones tablets and pc's

Only Cordova and/or pure XAML (or some other scripting language) apps, I'm afraid. I can't see how a binary compiled from C++ code could run (without emulation) on both x86 PC's and ARM tablets/phones, unless Microsoft's plan is to move away from ARM and fully switch to x86 on all their future phones and tablets.

On Android, Java apps (without any native binary code) have been able to run on any architecture (ARM or x86) and device type for years. So can pure QML (+Javascript) apps on e.g. Ubuntu Touch, as it is a pure markup code interpreted upon execution without any binary components included, i.e. architecture independent. On other Qt platforms like BB10 or Jolla they can't, but only because even pure QML applications need to include a simple binary launcher in the package, which could be very easily changed if ever needed (if those companies ever started to manufacture both x86 and ARM devices and had the need to provide cross-architecture compatibility). So Windows 10 won't offer absolutely anything new in this regard, it's pure marketing. Unless - as I wrote - they fully switch to x86 on all their devices and thanks to it make it possible to run same binary code on all products. But that won't be any 'invention' either, just unification of their hardware architectures.

Last time I've heard about attempts to have x86 inside a smartphone was Samsung's unreleased Tizen phone, and IIRC they weren't satisfied with its power consumption. ARM remains unrivalled when it comes to power efficiency vs. performance.
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 27.Jan.2015 13:24    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Michal Jerz wrote:
I am pleased to inform that MoonCalc is now Built For Blackberry approved.

Quoted picture

This means that it has been positively verified for full compliance with all Blackberry criteria when it comes to UI design, power and resource efficiency, user expierience, code quality (e.g. no memory leaks, etc.), security, etc. It is the only Moon tracking tool for BB10 with BFB designation.

It may take up to one day for the BFB designation to appear in the BB World app store.

http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/28025177/


Congratulations Michal. You deserve it!
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 27.Jan.2015 18:01    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Michal Jerz wrote:
I am pleased to inform that MoonCalc is now Built For Blackberry approved.


Michal,
have you noticed any impact of BfB approval on your app sales?
Just being curious...
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 27.Jan.2015 22:37    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

have you noticed any impact of BfB approval on your app sales?
Just being curious...

Yes. Of course still within BB10's generally very poor app sales, but the improvement definitely is visible.

This is for at least three reasons:

1) some people know what BfB is and always prefer BfB apps over non-BfB apps; some people even only buy BfB apps

2) some people don't know what BfB is, but instead they think that only apps with the BfB designation (BlackBerry logo) are native and that all the remaining ones are Android apps (the "Built for BlackBerry" name of the program is also a bit misleading as it sounds as if everything else wasn't built for Blackberry), so they only buy BfB apps

3) BfB apps get much better promotion because in each category in the store and in search results there are separate "Built for Blackberry" lists with only BfB apps. For instance, if you type "astronomy" keyword then you instantly see both MoonCalc and StarFinder (as they're the only BfB astronomy apps) while on the general lists they're deep under tons of completely useless junk.

So it looks that getting all apps BfB approved is the only way to have some acceptable sales on BB10.

----

BTW. The approval process isn't as bad as I thought. Approval is long (10 days) but then one does not have to submit any updates for approval as they check them by themselves when they're submitted to the standard QA. Only if an app stops being BfB complaint they contact the developer and inform him about it.

I was also very pleasantly surprised that after they initially rejected MoonCalc (due to a Help button being located in the Action bar rather than Application menu) and I contacted them and explained that the button points to each page's individual/specific help and not an application-wide help and as such it should not be in the upper menu according to their own guidelines, they re-checked the application and just agreed with my explanation and approved it. Then I also had a very nice conversation with the BfB guy who answered all my questions about the program and even had some useful suggestions about the application. A wholly different experience than with Nokia.
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 28.Jan.2015 23:31    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

nice to see that BfB is being appreciated by users.
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