According to FedEx tracking, my Playbook will arrive tomorrow, so I’ll finally be able to see how Solar Explorer looks on it.
I can’t wait
I’ve had two visual bugs reported in the Playbook version of Solar Explorer, which will be fixed in the next update. The first occurs when the app is started while the Playbook is held in portrait orientation that I’m guessing causes the UI to be squashed horizontally across the screen. The other is that the Sun is flickering or vanishing when the camera is a certain distance from it while viewing Solar System orbits.
I think I already know how to fix both.
I’m not going to rush out an update immediately though as neither of these are critical issues and I want to add a few requested extras such as a mode for displaying the real-time position of the planets, and a method for controlling the speed at which the simulation runs.
I’d also like to add support for language translations, starting with French.
The reason there’s no language options in Solar Explorer is that there’s a lot of text and it was constantly changing while I was working on it, up until December last year. A professional translation service costs at least 10c per word for someone who will do a decent job, and with about 7,000 words in the app, it was just too expensive.
The alternative, Google Translate does a good job, but it doesn’t understand what it’s translating, so it will mess up reference material, like Solar Explorer.
Eric Desgroseilliers has kindly offered to take the French Google Translation, read through it and correct any obvious mistakes that the bot makes. In the meantime I’ll be modifying the app to accept translations and adding a screen to let the user choose a language.
Once these changes are done, I’ll be rolling them out in Android Market first, followed by App World a few days later.
The reason that my most favourite people in the world, Playbook owners, won’t be getting it first is that it’s quicker and easier to upload a patch to Android Market if there’s any problems that don’t show up during testing.