Tuesday, June 22, 2010

SATs in the sky

With GPS I’ve got almost the same story as with Compass. From time to time my phone was very slow in founding location with GPS. What the reason for that, asks I myself? Looking through Market I found several GPS status monitors, which nicely shows signal levels of SATs, their placements in the sky, but never ever give me a hint, when I’ve got my precise location on the Earth?

Now I know that with SAT monitor of Ulysse Gizmos. The answer is very easy: to have a fix your phone should know the precise coordinates, named ephemeris, for at least for four SATs. And those SATs may have not the best signal level. Ulysse’s GPS monitor marks those SATs with small “e” in the SAT table. It also marks SATs with small “a” what means this SAT now sends almanac – information about whole SAT constellation. This is useful information for your GPS receiver – next time you precise location (fix) may be defined much faster.

Information panel of GPS monitor works in the same manner as for compass: tap and you will get new information piece: SATs monitor table, where you can see signal level, ephemeris and almanac activity for every SAT, current location accuracy and last fix time. Next view will show your coordinates, altitude, bearing and speed, received from GPS. Third view, as usual, will show you address of current location. Why we decided to show addresses for compass and GPS? The reason is different precision for network location finder and GPS. GPS can be precise to 10 feet while network usual have precision of hundreds feet. Yeah, with such precision we will know at least the name of town where we are now.

The Compass

Probably compass is most funny thing for programming on Android. If you look on Android Market you will find tons of compasses, big and small, nice and ugly, analog and digital. All of them points to magnetic North, some of them even points to true North (the North Pole). But most of time I don’t care where this North is. More other I’ve bet most of yours also don’t care about. The only one thing what I need from compass – it should help me to keep my moving in the same direction!
I was looking through Market for compass with very easy and handy function – set up bearing for movement and keep it till I need it. It was unsuccessful. And I made compass which assigns bearing in one finger touch. And change it in one finger touch. And even reset it in one finger touch (but in this case – long one). After bearing defined you need only “follow the white arrow”, point. Easy, yeah?
With Ulysse Gismos Compass you will know in a same time where true North is (blue arrow), where magnetic North is (red arrow), more important - you will know your current bearing (white arrow), and, of course, your coordinates, located with network or GPS – this program is clever enough to select most precise one. And you even get address of current location for free – some apps on Market will ask you to pay for that. To know all that useful info you need only tap on compass information pane at the left top corner of the screen. That’s it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ulysse Gizmos release 1.0

Yesterday our first product for Android was uploaded on Android Market.

This program is the set of basic auxiliary tools, which you will very rare to use during phone call, music listening or movie watching. I've bet you will never use them during playing a game on your phone. But you may be often will use them in other situations. Current team includes Compass, GPS monitor, Bubble level, Inclinometer and Magnetometer for now.