Sep 2010

v1.5 ready for approval

Version 1.5 has taken a lot longer than I expected -- my apologies.

Most of the delay arose from my wanting to allow a better way to manually enter the observer's position, and making that possible for devices from iOS3 to iOS4 proved more difficult than I expected, and has driven me to a decision discussed below.

As I write this, there are three major variations on the iPhone/iPad OS:
  • v3.0, 3.1: original iPhone and 3G, for those who didn't upgrade to iOS4.
  • v3.2: iPad.
  • v4.0, 4.1: iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4.
and I'm glad to say that Satellites works well for every device Apple has shipped, but supporting that spread is getting difficult -- the range of capabilities keeps widening, and Apple doesn't make it easy to test software for those old versions. With iOS4.2 coming in November, the situation changes again -- the significance for me, and Satellites, is that iPads can run iOS4.2 and I can stop support for the iOS3.2 variation above.

But that opens a huge gap between the v3 and v4 populations, and I've reached the sad conclusion that one application cannot bridge that gap. So, I'm going to aim the next major version at iOS4.2 devices and drop iOS3.x support. I really don't like abandoning those early iPhone users so an open question for me is whether to release a more limited, free version of
Satellites to support the iOS3.x population. If I can do that in a way that makes the support of two distinct versions easier than the support of one complicated version, I'll do it.