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Old 20-07-2010, 07:22   #16
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Because of battery life issues, I think we should consider smart phones a thin client solution only.
I don't think that's a good idea. Smartphone chartplotter use is best as a backup and for remote charting like when on a dinghy. A thin client would kill both major uses.

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I can't imagine that the charge on an android phone would last enough running something like opencpn...
As an experiment, I navigated my boat from Maine to Key West using my Treo smartphone as the primary navigation tool with its 2.5" screen. That was in 2005. It's pretty trivial to keep any phone continuously powered using a simple 12v car charger. They draw very little current to maintain their charge.

This picture is from 2005 when testing a variety of devices:


Even today, I generally have an iPhone, iPad, and a few other phones continuously powered when underway. The iPad, in particular, is able to keep it's charge using full screen display for about 8-10 hours depending on what device radios you turn off. Of course, it can be continuously powered via 12v too.
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Old 20-07-2010, 13:14   #17
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I don't think that's a good idea. Smartphone chartplotter use is best as a backup and for remote charting like when on a dinghy. A thin client would kill both major uses.
Well, in the event that I'll lose my bearings on a dinghy, which hasn't happened yet, I'll use my trusty, cheaper and waterproof GPS.

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Even today, I generally have an iPhone, iPad, and a few other phones continuously powered when underway. The iPad, in particular, is able to keep it's charge using full screen display for about 8-10 hours depending on what device radios you turn off. Of course, it can be continuously powered via 12v too.
Again we have different, yet both valid, conceptions. If I have a device plugged, I rather have a netbook, with its larger screen and multiplicity of uses. An ipad would be totally out of question for me, not rugged enough and I need to hold it. I can imagine it banging around in the cockpit, wet and cracked.

Thinking about it harder, perhaps a GPS in the cockpit and a netbook running opencpn inside is all we'll ever need.
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Old 20-07-2010, 14:03   #18
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Well, in the event that I'll lose my bearings on a dinghy, which hasn't happened yet, I'll use my trusty, cheaper and waterproof GPS.
Of course, that's not how it will happen.

You'll take your dinghy from the anchorage, around a few islands and into town. You'll have a nice dinner and come back to find that it's now dark (wishing you hadn't had that second bottle of wine) or the fog has come in so thick that you can't see 100 feet ahead of you. You reach for your GPS, but of course, you don't usually carry it with you - few people do. In fact, does anyone carry a GPS with them any longer? Anyway, you then realize that you have your phone with you because, in general, most people carry their phone with them especially when they leave their boat.

That's when a phone chartplotter is very nice to have. And it's the first of many situations where people wonder how they ever got along without it.
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Old 20-07-2010, 14:23   #19
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Because of battery life issues, I think we should consider smart phones a thin client solution only. I can't imagine that the charge on an android phone would last enough running something like opencpn, but it could last much longer visualizing lean web pages created by opencpn via wifi with 1 minute refresh cycles.
Maybe I'm missing something, but I thought the battery usage was taken primarily by the screen (this life is really dependent on how much you actually stare at it) and secondarily by the radio(s), wifi being a function that broadcasts via the radio and takes more energy than everything but the screen.

I'd like to use something like this for coastal cruising around the Puget Sound, as an alternative to paper charts and an old, non-charting hand held GPS (and the trusty compass). With a client server setup, where's the server going to be? putting it on my boat just defeats the purpose, and I might as well just bring a laptop.
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Old 21-07-2010, 09:32   #20
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... I thought the battery usage was taken primarily by the screen (this life is really dependent on how much you actually stare at it) and secondarily by the radio(s), wifi being a function that broadcasts via the radio and takes more energy than everything but the screen.
Wifi uses less energy than the cell radio, in any case. Being in similar frequencies, one has hundreds of feet of reach, the other miles. And they use different devices inside the phone, although I don't think you can turn them off independently.

These days the power hog is the CPU. With smart phones featuring 1GHz CPU's, any heavy usage of it will be cancer for battery life. OpenCPN is not a huge CPU hog, but is has its moments.

I'm all for new uses of technology, but common sense has to prevail. I will not cook with a microwave on the boat because is newer than the trusty blue flame from the stove. By the same reasoning, taking a GPS for wandering around seems more sensible than having a complex program loaded into a phone. Without even considering that the UI will be a mess compared to that of a GPS. And I think we are all aware that GPS' are smaller than smart phones these days.
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Old 13-10-2010, 04:56   #21
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Hi Guy’s, Just to jump in here, Android 2.1.1 and the new 2.2 allows you to go Aircraft mode and still run your GPS, So, drastically cut your power drain, I run OpenCPN on a Ms OS Tablet and have to find 17Vdc to keep that charged, Yes Android market has Navigational apps, But, Dave and a whole bunch of great guys burnt the midnight oil to bring us this excellent program (Thank you!), I would like to bet that ALL of them were into “SmartPhones” years ago, its, just another step. My sailing area is SE Asia. Paper Charts, Radio, Sat, Local Pilots SmartPhones and my android phone is too, so I can take a photograph for my record's, you can’t have enough. lets stay on course, porting the OpenCPN to android is the question? Is it doable, yes!
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Old 15-10-2010, 07:30   #22
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...lets stay on course, porting the OpenCPN to android is the question? Is it doable, yes!
Very enthusiastic Moufflon. Commendable.

However, a port is not possible. Android's applications can't be written in the language which is currently used to implement OpenCPN, and worse, the libraries that OpenCPN calls to perform all of its User Interface work will never be available under Android.

Hence the only possible options is an almost total re-write, which would be a huge effort, effectively a complete new project.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 15-10-2010, 08:15   #23
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Mike

Thank's for a nice clear answer

OpenCPN is just a great program, I would like to bet, the question won't go away, I have seen it on another thread, also ANDROID will become the premier OS it might take a while, but, already the tablet / MID's with 10' screens with a price below $200, are appearing, it will never be better than a whole suite of software, but, I never used all of Excel, ect

Thanks SAM for starting this thread, Mike Thanks again.

RGS///Peter
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:38   #24
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Re: Android Port ?

I'd like to second the enthusiasm shown above.

It is not possible to directly port the C code and WX based UI to Android OS. But developing a new version of OpenCPN for Android would be possible, and I think that would be easier for anyone who has a deep understanding of the design and implementation of OpenCPN. Many individual pieces of the underlying logic might be relatively easy to re-implement in a Java/Android environment for someone who is very familiar with the chartplotter domain.
Android development is relatively simple (I do it.) The UI aspects would not be too hard to do. I believe the harder stuff would be related to chart rendering, quilting etc.

I think in the long term tablets will become very commonplace for boaters. Further, Android OS can be deployed on tablets that could be specifically geared toward marine use. Which would mean greater battery life than consumer tablets, protection from the elements, etc. For all these reasons it would be great to have the premier free chartplotter app available on Android.

btw, for a very nice new Android Tablet see: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Review - The Best Android Tablet? | PC Perspective
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Old 10-08-2011, 14:37   #25
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Re: Android Port ?

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You may have a look here about Galaxy:
AppleInsider | German court bars Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 from sale in Europe in Apple suit

It seems to be a bad iPad clone only.
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Old 10-08-2011, 22:49   #26
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Re: Android Port ?

Hi SgtPluck

Talk about before the curve, this thread is a year old.

Android apps EarthNC & Oziexplorer are already there: OziExplorer GPS Tracking Software for Mobile Devices running Android.

There will always be valuable comments from the "Glass half empty" nay Sayers, be sure if I had $100's, I would buy a 12v / own Battery backed up, Electronic wizz bang, but, only to support my Paper chart, there are too many stories of poor watch keeping boats hitting "Way Points".

On passages of over 100Nm, you've got to get some sleep and do all the night helm, short handed in busy waters at night with 1000's of fishing boat lights all around, requires lot's of course changes, you bet, its nice to look at GPS to confirm your position / bearing to steer, when, you have just avoided been run down by a tug towing barge with more lights than a Christmas tree on the sea going tug, and just a battery lantern on the barge. then try to get out your plastic covered chart and put the GPS fix on to it, while the sea spray is smearing your glasses, the wind and sea are getting up!

When you are safe, you reflect: on progress.

Android is an "Open Source" OS, not "got you by the balls software" like many we could name, Very soon it will be the top OS, with 4"/7"/10" phones / tablets the norm, plugging into the boats 12V/24v will have to be overcome (Why do they use 18v on laptops / Tablets grrr!!), that aside.

OpenCPN is a truly great program, needs to go OPEN SOURCE Android now!

It can not be allowed that the naysayers "its too difficult / you don't understand"

the program is too good, too much hard work has gone into it, Java has been around for years, a Java/Android environment is where any compiler worth his salt should be now.

Yours Aye
Peter
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Old 10-08-2011, 23:28   #27
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Re: Android Port ?

If we for a little time disreagard the huge differences in os that wx and Android make using something on a limited touch screen device and a computer with mouse is huge, much huger that many thinks, Ths UI have to be made quite drasically different. Left click isn't an option on android, buttons for fingers have to be bigger, many small details.

An Andriod, or ios version would becase of this be and feel diffrent in many ways form the original.
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Old 11-08-2011, 00:10   #28
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Re: Android Port ?

I read you balp, I have problems playing Solitaire on my Android, (Fingers too big) then I loaded Android x86 onto my 4 year old FS Tablet, the pen is great!.

As you appear are more informed about the things my I ask / Post this question...As Android is an OPEN OS isn't there libraries for most user interfaces (UI) out there, including map / chart, large digital file management tools ect...

yours aye
Peter
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:20   #29
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Re: Android Port ?

I'm new of the forum but I'm using OPENCPN and I followed its development from the beginning as an interested guest.
First of all let me give a great
THANKS
to the Dave and others team that developed this great product that will become the reference for professional opensource nav programs.

Having it on many platforms (Win/OSX/Linux) is already a rich starting point, but I think that Android soon or late will become the 'de facto' platform for the standard (not proprietary or nearly this) pads, that are (or will become with some rugging) the best fit for cruising purposes (low power consumption even with full screen brightness and dual core cpus, embedded gps, every kind of wireless connectivity, growing availability of main and storage memory, usb/btooth peripheral -pointing devices and keyboard among others- available etc.) . So a sort of port to that platform sould be soon or late on the radar of this forum.
Before a native port that means having the wxwidget API ported to Androd, in the meantime why don't give a look at this:
Ubuntu Mobile Lets You Run Ubuntu on Your Android Device [Ubuntu Mobile Makes Running The Popular Linux Flavor Alongside Android Easy Through App-Based Installation] | TFTS
Ok it is an Ubuntu running in virtualized mode under Android, but I think that the last generation cpu power on Android pads will overshadow the (supposed little) virtualization overhead (the ubuntu human interface should be accessed through Android VNC client)
A more tech guy than me there could give a try and give us a feedback.
In this context, the major issue about the human interface difference between traditional OSes and Android/Ipad (point and click vs. gestual touch) I thing that can be remapped without a big reworking of the OPENCPN code.
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Old 09-11-2011, 15:56   #30
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Re: Android Port ?

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pads, that are (or will become with some rugging) the best fit for cruising purposes (low power consumption even with full screen brightness and dual core cpus, embedded gps, every kind of wireless connectivity, growing availability of main and storage memory, usb/btooth peripheral -pointing devices and keyboard among others- available etc.) . So a sort of port to that platform sould be soon or late on the radar of this forum.
Something like this maybe?

Panasonic Toughpad Android Tablet - Best Rugged Android Tablet
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