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April 25, 2017

Technical Issues Extending iPhemeris Ephemeris to Cover 5000 Years

Geek alert! This is a technical article about some of the issues I ran into whilst extending iPhemeris's Ephemeris to cover a 5000 year period from 2500 BC to 2500 AD. Initially I'd thought it would be a simple matter to add a few thousand more years to the database. Devices have a lot more storage these days and network and download speeds are faster than when iPhemeris was first created. So why not, easy peasy right?! I did the work to read the JPL Ephemeris files and the USNO asteroid ephemeris over 8 years ago (both use the same format to store data) and could easily create what iPhemeris uses in any format. So creating a database that covered a longer period of time was really only a matter of a few days work and given the relative frequency of requests for more data, I thought why not just add it as an In-App purchase. It took only a few hours work to create the new tables and pull in 4 more asteroids/planetoids from the USNO Ephemeris (the more frequently requested ones): Hygiea, Astraea, Eris and Sedna. Then set about updating the various places in the iOS and MacOS versions of the code that […]
September 17, 2015

iPhemeris, iOS 9 and iCloud

As people migrate to iOS 9 from earlier versions of iOS, we've been getting an increased number of accusatory emails and feedback asserting things like: "your App lost all my Astrology charts in iCloud". First, let me assure you, iPhemeris did not lose your chart data. It is most likely all still there in iCloud. In fact nothing has changed in our code relative to iCloud and the way Astrology Charts are stored in over a year! Here is what likely did happen and some solutions for fixing it. In both iOS 8 and iOS 9, Apple made changes to the way iCloud worked to improve stability and reliability. In both these versions of iOS, users have been required to upgrade all the data (not just iPhemeris data) in their iCloud accounts to newer formats. After you've upgraded to the new version of iOS and when signing into iCloud for the first time, a message about this pops up, unfortunately many don't bother to read it and don't realize what is about to happen. And during both of these conversions (to iOS 8 or iOS 9) when you convert one device, you must convert all devices else data on unconverted devices will no longer sync with data on newer devices and vice versa. […]
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