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Atlas-like application on Android

Atlas is an addon that lets FlightGear users display a real-time "moving-map" of their flight.

Re: Atlas-like application on Android

Postby ludomotico » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:18 am

I have just uploaded a new version to Google Play. In a couple of hours should be available as an upgrade.

The new version uses much smaller images and less than 10% RAM than the original application. I hope that this solves the OutOfMemory error. I have described the application as "compatible with Android 2.1" to simplify deployment to some of you, but keep in mind that I have not tested the application on 2.1 devices.
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Re: Atlas-like application on Android

Postby Groucho » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:16 am

ludomotico wrote in Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:26 pm:I can't devise a usable interface to let the user move/add/remove instruments. I suppose that a first approach is having different hard-coded not-configurable views of the panel, but I'll need your help to select the most suitable instruments for each view.


Why I came up with this: First of all instruments are looking different in the planes- agreed there is a common subset for the smaller ones like horizon, speed, altitude and navigation but the game starts becoming different considering business jets, airliners, military aircraft. You would have to build them up yourself and make them behave and look the same way as in FlightGear. On the other hand all these instruments have already been implemented in FG using Nasal so I am wondering if reusing these efforts would be feasible.

Curt has a valid point here talking about performance. I am not an expert in Android performanc however I'd think that devices capable of running high speed 3D arcade action (which lots of the latest devices do) have enough resources to simulate the instruments adequately.
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Re: Atlas-like application on Android

Postby ludomotico » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:00 am

Groucho, as I said in my first message, I'm new to FlightGear and I'm not sure what "Nasal" means (apart from the information in the wiki). Then, I honestly don't know if it can be reused :oops:

I understand that Nasal is a way to access and manipulate the property tree of FlightGear from an application that runs in the same computer than FlightGear. In my application, I'm remotely reading (but not modifying) this tree through FlightGear's Protocol interface, and in particular the properties of the kind "the altimeter must show X" (in oposition to "the real altitude is X"). As far as I understand, this includes things like instrument failures and delays for free. If I got the idea right, Nasal is writing these values and I'm reading them.

I'm just being conservative with performance. I propose an updating rate of 5Hz (=5FPS), but if your device supports higher frequencies, it is up to you to arrange the parameters of --generic to the ones that fit your system.
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Re: Atlas-like application on Android

Postby Gijs » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:53 am

Cool, the new version loads now! Will test it with FlightGear later today. But this is already promising :-D
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Re: Atlas-like application on Android

Postby ludomotico » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:54 am

Don't get very excited, the maps are not loading ;)

It is a configuration problem: Google asks for a key to use the maps, and it seems that I've packed the wrong key (I've dozens of keys! I suppose that I've used one of my private keys for a public version, and that's not allowed) My fault.
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Re: Atlas-like application on Android

Postby Gijs » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:26 pm

With your update from today it finally works!

Some comments:
  • allow user to select OSM map type (or at least set it to normal mode. The bicycle map is not suited for flying :P).
  • the instruments in "Simple panel only" mode are unsharp. See screenshots below. Do they use the same textures as the map+instruments, only stretched?
  • 5 hz is quite low; resulting in "jumping" instruments. 15 or even 25 hz looks much smoother. Didn't notice any problems by increasing it...

Image Image

All in all it's a very nice application! My screen is way too small to act as an instrument panel during normal flight. But it can be useful to keep an eye on the instruments while getting a cup of tea or something like that :D

You should really write a wiki article about this! Like we have for FGPanel. You may even promote it in the April newsletter!
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Re: Atlas-like application on Android

Postby ludomotico » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:20 pm

Glad it finally worked.

I chose the OSM cycle map because it includes altitude lines, and I though that these lines would be helpful for flying. Anyway, an option to change the map type will be provided in the near future. The low quality of the "simple panel" is to save some memory, exactly the problem that you found in previous releases. Since I don't have a "low memory device", the only thing that I can do is releasing different versions until I hit the "sweet spot" of quality/memory by chance :D

The only limit to the frequency of update messages is "higher than 0.1Hz", or a timeout alarm is triggered. The real limit is not inside the Android device, but the bandwidth of your Wifi network and the FPS of fgfs in your computer. I proposed 5Hz just to be in a safe zone, but if higher frequencies are ok, go for them. I've tested two devices receiving updates at a 15Hz rate at the same time, and they worked perfectly.
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Re: Atlas-like application on Android

Postby snipey » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:59 pm

unfortunately google wont let me download it to my chinese tablet, but it ran on it previously when id downloaded the apk, so could you reupload the the APK file ?
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Re: Atlas-like application on Android

Postby ludomotico » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:05 pm

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13130748/FlightGearMap.apk

Keep in mind that this file is a development version. It has additional features (for example, you can change the map type and the plane bitmap, and a complete C172 instrument panel is on the way), but it is still a work in progress. If you install this file, you MUST download and install the new version of andatlas.xml from https://raw.github.com/Juanvvc/FlightGe ... datlas.xml and keep both files up-to-date manually.

If you use these links to install FlightGearMap, you won't receive updates from Google Play.
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Re: Atlas-like application on Android

Postby Gijs » Sun May 06, 2012 7:23 pm

Thanks for the latest update! I like the selectable maps and especially the C172P panel is awesome!
I just keep on changing fuel levels to see the dials move :lol:

Would you mind if I started a FlightGear wiki article about it?

PS: Linked to the app on FlightGear's Facebook and Google+ pages, so you may see an increase in users...
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Re: Atlas-like application on Android

Postby F-JJTH » Sun May 06, 2012 8:34 pm

Hi !

Now your application works fine on my I5700 (android 2.1)
Thanks you !

Cheers,
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Re: Atlas-like application on Android

Postby ludomotico » Sun May 06, 2012 9:16 pm

I'm a new user of this community and not familiar with the 'protocol' to create a wiki page. If someone starts a simple page, I can fill the data :-)

I'm looking for a way to send data back from the android device to fgfs. Then, switches and instrument calibration can be possible by touching the screen. Any ideas?
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Re: Atlas-like application on Android

Postby Gijs » Sun May 06, 2012 9:46 pm

Done: http://wiki.flightgear.org/FlightGearMap. Feel free to edit/remove/adjust.

I'm looking for a way to send data back from the android device to fgfs.
You may take a look at the Comete app. That allows you to contol your FG-aircraft (throttle, flight controls, gear etc.) via an Android device. https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... droid.fgfs
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Re: Atlas-like application on Android

Postby Link » Thu May 24, 2012 8:09 pm

Gijs wrote in Sun May 06, 2012 9:46 pm:You may take a look at the Comete app. That allows you to contol your FG-aircraft (throttle, flight controls, gear etc.) via an Android device. https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... droid.fgfs

Nice thing. But some time is needed to get used to it. First hours I was adapting it)
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Re: Atlas-like application on Android

Postby ludomotico » Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:20 pm

Dear all,

I have just uploaded a new version of the application to Google Play. I'm sorry for the long time from the last update, I've been busy preparing my PPL classes :)

The update includes calibration of some instruments and communication from the android device to fgfs. Now, you can configure the radial of NAV1 and NAV2, calibrate the altimeter and use some switches (mainly, lights) Let me explain some decissions:

- Calibrate instruments by rotating around the center of the instrument, not the knob. I find this way easier for small screens.
- Communications from the device to fgfs use telnet. You MUST activate the telnet client in fgfs (option --telnet=9000). You MUST configure the IP and port of fgfs in your Android device. I will update the wiki with the new information during this day. Communication is one way, from Android to fgfs: if you switch lights off in you PC, the corresponding switch of the FlightGearMap doesn't change state!
- Heading can be calibrated, but information is not sent to fgfs. Working on that.
- I will add some additional switches: BATT, ALT and... tell me your preferences.
- If instruments are drawn wrong after selecting a panel in the menu, select the same panel again.
- If you calibrate an instrument in FlightGearMap but the panel in the PC does not move, restart FlightGearMap (not fgfs!). I recommended that you start FlightGearMap a minute AFTER fgfs is up and running in your PC. Check that switches work BEFORE taking off!
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