[APP] Altimeter - BETA v0.4 (Feb 7th)

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By David Horn, Retired Recognized Developer on 30th January 2012, 09:33 PM
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Thought I'd let people know about a new app coming out in the next few days (workload dependent). As we know, the Galaxy Nexus has a barometer inside, but it's essentially isolated from the rest of the system.

This app uses the barometer to simulate an altimeter - a surprisingly sensitive one at that.



Features:
* Hardware accelerated via OpenGL - no lag whatsoever with smooth analogue and digital updates
* Automatic pressure setting download
* Multiple themes
* Light CPU and memory footprint
* Metric and imperial units - metres / feet, and hPa / inHg.

Coming soon:
* Better landscape support

Compatibility:
Anything with ICS and a barometer. It'll probably (definitely) crash if you try it on something without.

Feature suggestions welcome!

[v0.4 Beta Released]

Attached is a preview release of the app. Please bear in mind that it's a very, VERY early alpha of what the final thing is going to be like for anyone interested in testing it.

What works:
* Correct indications (both digital and analogue)
* Correct vertical speed calculations
* QNH adjustment
* QNH download
* Preferences (with the exception of theming)

Known bugs:
* Incorrect analogue needle movement if QNH rapidly increased - might be fixed.

How to use - READ ME:

Any barometric altimeter can only give correct indications when referenced to the correct pressure setting, which in Europe is measured in hectopascals and in the Americas, inches of mercury (inHg).

To locate the correct pressure setting, you can look it up at a nearby airport. Go to this link and put in a four letter ICAO identifier (for example, EGCC is Manchester, England) and look for the part QXXXX, which is the current pressure setting to use.

Alternatively, you can have the app download it automatically by inserting the ICAO identifier in the preferences. You'll know it's got a valid pressure setting by the "AUTO" indication in the bottom right corner.

The app is now compatible with American (ie, inHg) units. However, you might notice a slight glitch when using it where changing the QNH manually alters it by +/- 0.02 inHg. This is basically a rounding error: the app is only accurate to the nearest 10 ft, and .01 inHg is about 9.5 feet, hence the issue. Which isn't really an issue.

Please let me know if you get either an incorrect reading; a force close; or something else funky. It should remember QNH settings on pause / exit / rotation but if you've got it on auto-update, it'll invalidate the old measurements after 20 minutes.

Changelog

v0.4
* Themes added (six to choose from)
* Much time wasted trying to add digits to the analogue display. Given up.
* Analogue dial size increased
* About dialog fixed
* Bug fixes.

v0.2
* Automatic QNH download
* Preferences fixed
* Units selectable
* VSI (units/minute) - though not actually tested yet.
* Bug fixes
* Tweaks

v0.11
* Fixed force-close on non-English devices.
* Correct xhdpi action bar icons.
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Attached Files
File Type: apk Altimeter v0.1 [Alpha].apk - [Click for QR Code] (52.4 KB, 332 views)
File Type: apk Altimeter v0.11 [Alpha].apk - [Click for QR Code] (56.8 KB, 164 views)
File Type: apk Altimeter v0.2 [Alpha].apk - [Click for QR Code] (187.3 KB, 162 views)
File Type: apk Altimeter v0.4 [Beta].apk - [Click for QR Code] (69.5 KB, 1936 views)
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30th January 2012, 10:27 PM |#2  
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Do I need to get the pressure from ATIS/AWOS to calibrate this?

Looks cool!
30th January 2012, 10:36 PM |#3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LionAR10

Do I need to get the pressure from ATIS/AWOS to calibrate this?

Looks cool!

Yep. Though unless a storm's coming through you can just wind the QNH up or down to show a known elevation. That'll give a fairly accurate pressure setting for the region.
31st January 2012, 05:40 PM |#4  
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Kewl, wanna try it!
It amazes me how many sensors there are in the Gnex compared to my old N1 ...
31st January 2012, 10:52 PM |#5  
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After taking it to work today I can confirm it reads accurately up to 8000ft (+/- 10ft) compared to the altimeter in the aircraft.
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2nd February 2012, 05:30 AM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Horn

After taking it to work today I can confirm it reads accurately up to 8000ft (+/- 10ft) compared to the altimeter in the aircraft.

Can't wait to try it out.

You should probably be able to filter out devices without barometer by simply requiring android.hardware.sensor.barometer to be true in your manifest. That way you avoid people incorrectly giving you bad reviews just because most phones don't have that sensor. Judging by the comments you see in Android Market, most people can't or don't read simple instructions or important information in the description so be prepared for a lot of 1-star reviews if you don't filter it those devices out. That's the sad truth.
2nd February 2012, 06:28 AM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Horn

After taking it to work today I can confirm it reads accurately up to 8000ft (+/- 10ft) compared to the altimeter in the aircraft.

Are there going to be 'Donate Only' features as well or will only one version be released?
2nd February 2012, 03:35 PM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blunden

Can't wait to try it out.

You should probably be able to filter out devices without barometer by simply requiring android.hardware.sensor.barometer to be true in your manifest. That way you avoid people incorrectly giving you bad reviews just because most phones don't have that sensor. Judging by the comments you see in Android Market, most people can't or don't read simple instructions or important information in the description so be prepared for a lot of 1-star reviews if you don't filter it those devices out. That's the sad truth.

Me cannot wait to try it out as well!! A nice 'backup device' while I am flying my little C172.

And as a 'sad' truth, most people don't know how a barometric altimeter works. I guess sooner or later some people will complain that the altimeter reading is way off their assumed altitude, since they don't know an altimeter need to be calibrated/adjust to the current air pressure in their local area.

Also, people will try it in a pressurized plane and wonder why it display 8000 ft (or 6000 ft depending on plane model) while cruising at 32000 ft!

And Thanks the app author for the work!!
2nd February 2012, 06:49 PM |#9  
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Update: Been busy with work but getting there. Analogue dial now works correctly with smooth graphics, improvements to other parts of the app. Just adding a vertical speed indication (text only at the moment) and polishing a few bits off.

At the moment the preferences screen doesn't work (it's all hard-coded). Would anyone be interested in trying a very early alpha on condition they don't complain if it doesn't work properly? :)
2nd February 2012, 07:05 PM |#10  
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I'd try this for sure
2nd February 2012, 07:57 PM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Horn

Update: Been busy with work but getting there. Analogue dial now works correctly with smoothing graphics, improvements to other parts of the app. Just adding a vertical speed indication (text only at the moment) and polishing a few bits off.

At the moment the preferences screen doesn't work (it's all hard-coded). Would anyone be interested in trying a very early alpha on condition they don't complain if it doesn't work properly? :)

me too

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk
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