I really believe portable devices like the Nexus and iPhone are amazing tools for astronomy. They can give you research information at your fingertips, figure out your position on Earth, direction you’re pointing.
Mobile apps are the future (actually the present). But my entire background and experience are in web development, not mobile, so this is a brand new learning curve. But we have to embrace change and build new knowledge, no matter how difficult it is.
Here’s the first app I’ve ever built. Well, not me, specifically, but I built this with my programming partner Alexander Allahverdiev.
Click here to check out Phases of the Moon App on Google Play.
It gives you the current phase of the Moon, allows you to seek the next full Moon, see a calendar of upcoming lunar phases. Swipe side to side to rotate the Moon to future days and see a realistic view of what the Moon is going to look like.
I think it’s the first app that actually accurately shows both the phase and the apparent distance to the Moon – we accurately show lunation.
Finally, you can just click play, and watch the Moon go through its phases, wobbling forward and back – it’s hypnotic.
Anyway, we need to build up an initial user base of app users so we can see if there are any bugs, and start gathering feedback for future versions. We’ve only done the Android version so far, but we’re going to release an iOS version shortly too, and then keep them concurrent.
Oh… it’s $.99
P.S. I know there are a lot of Moon Phase apps on Android and iOS, that’s not the point. The point is to learn. To go through the difficult learning curve of mobile development, to deeply understand what it takes to build and run mobile apps.