I've been meaning for some time to post about some of the recent changes to the Android versions. But first since Windows 8 has been released I want to let users know that if you have Windows 8 and are having problems with the key code not sticking on Jyotish Tools for Windows just set it to “Run as Administrator.” This also worked for some Vista and Windows 7 users who found the same problem.
I recently updated Jyotish Tools for Android to work better with the (too many) different screen configurations available on Android. Mainly the Info screen which uses different fonts was sometimes taking the font size wrong creating a bad display for some users. I was also concerned on some devices the info screen was a little too small to read. This took a bit of work because the qualifiers for screen size aren't working as Google advertises. In fact I added to a bug issue report on Android about that. For instance a qualifier for 720p (720x1280 or 800x1280 screens) should work but it doesn't. It will take a 360p (half size) instead. There were other odd size screens that needed be accounted for too. In most cases these are for devices running Android 4.0 or higher.
For the holiday season I am noting some sub $100 Android phones being sold in the US. For “Black Friday” there were some deals on the LG 35G phone for $60. That's without a contract so all you pay for the phone itself. The catch is that it is a 240x320 screen or QVGA which I don't recommend for my astrology apps because they need a higher resolution for detail though I have taken pains to make sure they work at that resolution. The phone is also just “Edge” for wireless and not 4G which you may want for quick updates to Google Maps etc.
However as I've stated in the past Google has apparently changed their per unit license fee for the Google API (which my Jyotish Tools requires) so some of these less expensive devices now include Google Play. I am also considering dropping SWREG purchasing for my Android apps as there is no way of filtering non-Android devices. Users who have purchased that way will still be supported. I am looking into another third party for Android API only devices which do not have Google Play that provides a store app to address the problem. Also Amazon.com is expanding their store in other countries and their store app is available on many devices though may not always include paid apps.
Google Maps can be very useful especially in countries like India where there has only been one time zone since the end of WW II. However it is less useful for other countries which have had flaky time zone changes the last 50 years. In the USA the DST time zone dates have been standardized since 1966. For most locations as long as you enter the date first then look it up with Atlas it will include DST.
Better yet however is the Geonames.org project which includes millions of locations in the world. I know some apps use access to Geonames but I find that problematic as I know some folks traveling and particularly using tablets that are wifi only would not be able to access it all the time. Instead I have created a database from the Geonames data for cities of 1000 or more population. This is a 5 MB database and has over 161,000 locations. It will be added in the future as an extra download in the apps. The old atlas will still be there but the new one requires a different interface to make it easier to narrow searches by country. Also it uses the time zone database built into Android devices and most all computers which is historical and for the most part can check for DST on a certain date.
There are some other things in the works for both Jyotish Tools and Tropical Skies including for the latter improved display and the much requested bi-wheel. I have also been working with the JPL Ephemeris and plan to implement that in the future.
"Nothing much here timezone signs are wrong."We know the user has no actual knowledge of astrology. Worse yet they may find that because MoonCast is sidereal astrology their Moon sign may well be different. Of course if I changed the program to use the travel or time of day time zones then even more confusion would reign. Hence like other astrology software developers I stick the traditional conventions of astrological time zones.
(Update: I've also added a brief demo of JyotishTools too):
Next up will be a video on how to use the settings for each program and possibly ones that you can play on your Android phone which will fill the screen providing a simulation of the apps.