Solar Explorer 2.4
The new version of Solar Explorer has been out for about a week on Android. During that period of time, I’ve been trying to sort out bugs that are affecting the latest Motorola phones, causing the spacecraft to be invisible in the app. It’s not fixed yet, but I’ve narrowed it down to either a Motorola bug or a bug in my development tools. I’ve submitted it to Stonetrip and they’ll look into it further.
Since I can’t fix the Motorola problem any time soon, I’ve now gone ahead and built an updated version of the app for Playbook, and submitted it to AppWorld a few minutes ago. The new release it going to require Playbook’s 2.0 OS, because the latest bug-fixed Shiva engine also requires it. Hopefully you’ve all upgraded to the superior 2.0, because I can no longer build for the old 1.0 SDK.
As mentioned previously, there’s quite a few changes in this version, including a calendar to select a date on which to view the location of the Planets and Asteroids. There’s also the option to set one of four different simulation speeds so you can speed up or slow down the rate at which everything happens. The date selector is hidden when the info panel is open, so if you don’t see it, close the info panel. Screen space is limited, and I want to keep the UI as clean as possible.
The biggest improvement is a complete rewrite of the orbit calculations to allow for the accuracy needed to position the planets accurately on a given date. This was built on the changes recently made to Exoplanet Explorer that animated elliptical orbits with much better accurately.
In terms of bug fixes, the “vanishing sun” problem is now resolved, so when you zoom out to show the orbit rings, our Solar System will no longer be suitable for vampires. Another similar bug caused vanishing textures when the planets were zoomed out (far away), and that’s also been resolved. Both are related to the graphics chip used in the Playbook, and the same exact problem showed up on Android devices that also used the same chip. Cross platform development can also cause cross platform bugs.