Calendar Reminder Settings

I’ve had a few reports where Meteor Shower Guide freezes when attempting to add a meteor shower alert. It appears this happens when the default calendar is set to something other than a iCalendar. Simply changing your default calendar fixes the problem.

Thanks to James for the most recent feedback on this. I’m amazed how few people report a problem and instead post a negative review on iTunes.

Update Released

Version 1.2.2 was released to the App store yesterday evening. Great to see over 700 people had already upgraded this morning.

This updated did fix the Calendar issue on one iPhone 4S running iOS 5 that previously did not add the scheduled event to its Calendar. One device is not a very good sample size. Perhaps others can report back if it fixed their problem.


Minor Update 1.2.2

Version 1.2.2 has been submitted to Apple for review.  Should be available for download within the next week. This minor update includes the following changes:

  1. Updated several meteor showers in the app database to use the IMO Solar Longitude value. A few entries differed slightly without supporting documentation as to why that should be the case (in particular the Quadrantids!).
  2. Shortened App display name, using MeteorGuide instead of MeteorShower. The name is being truncated on Retina displays.
  3. Fixed end of year scrolling behavior when app starts. When a meteor shower was not found after the current date it was not scrolling to end of list like it should.
  4. Added a possible fix for the iOS 5.0 and greater Calendar entry problem and report any error if event is not saved.

For some unknown reason the Calendar does not update with an event under iOS 5. This problem does not show up in testing or operation for me and nobody has ever properly reported the problem so I was unaware of it until December.

The internal database update changes a few meteor shower timings, in particular the Quadrantids. Version prior to this one had a value of 283.4 which results in a time about six hours later than using the IMO value of 283.16.  Of all the significant meteor showers the Quadrantids have the narrowest shower peak and six hours was a significant error. Oddly the shower this year (excellent by the way) had a slightly later and broader peak so it fell between the IMO prediction and my errant prediction.


Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone! This year the two most active meteor showers are essentially moon free: the Perseids and the Geminids. I’m looking forward to both. Many enhancements and updates are planned for Meteor Shower Guide (MSG) this year. A few of these include:

  • Moon rise and set times are the first major update due first quarter 2012. Previously I’ve been studying Meeus’s “Astronomical Algorithms” and just recently started reading Montenbruck and Pfleger’s book “Astronomy on the Personal Computer”. The later has a nifty quadriatic interpolation method for determining rise and set times.
  • Updating the shower summary description: there is room for improvement in summarizing the predicted meteor shower conditions. The current version does not account for the predicted peak time in relationship to the local observers sunrise or sunset. I’d like to expand this summary to provide people with more guidance. Part of the problem is related to the duration of the meteor shower. If one had some type of full width half maximum value for the major showers this would be helpful.
  • A iPad specific version of Meteor Shower Guide. While still in the planning stage this is likely to include a bit more meteor shower information and at least one new visual feature.

One thing I’ve been considering from day one, but have no immediate time table for, is a simple database to record the meteor showers I’ve watched. This would be kinda neat if the users of MSG wanted to share that in some kind of online map.

As always I welcome any comments or feedback.