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Minimum iPhone for a new installation of the Featherweight GPS Tracker app

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Adrian A

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A customer alerted me to an unfortunate recent development. Apple's Testflight app, which we are using to distribute the Featherweight GPS Tracker App, recently was "upgraded" such that it will no longer be installed on devices that have less than iOS 13. The iPhone 6 only goes up to iOS 12.4. I am running a test iPhone 6 right now on iOS 12 that already had the older version of TestFlight installed, and it's still working, and so is the Featherweight app on that device. But for an iPhone 6 that doesn't already have TestFlight installed, you won't be able to install it to install the FIP, as far as I can tell.

So now the new minimum iPhone if you are getting a used phone to use as a dedicated rocketry tracker is the iPhone 6s, which can run the latest iOS, iOS14. These are available for about $120 on eBay. As always you don't need any cell phone data to use the phone as a tracker, just the bare device.

See the link below for the latest iOS version that is supported for each device.


For the iPad, it's the Air 2 or the mini 4. For the ipod touch, it's the gen 7.
 

neil_w

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Just curious, why are you distributing via TestFlight rather than the app store? Are you still in beta?
 

timbucktoo

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Just curious, why are you distributing via TestFlight rather than the app store? Are you still in beta?
Good question! I would like to add to that - what if something happened to Adrian or Kevin, say they just gave up rocketry and walked away? Not saying it is going to happen but what would happen after the 90 day beta version? Would we no longer be able to use the system?
 

Buckeye

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A few of us have been complaining about this very matter in this thread:

 

Adrian A

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I agree with all the above responses. A full release through the store has always been part of the plan, but we haven't given it a high priority compared to feature improvements, etc. Kevin is working on it at a higher priority now.
 

JohnCoker

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I can see how maintaining two different platforms would be a pain. For the hardware integration, do you need access to things not available through a cross-platform framework such as Cordova?
 

kjs

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A few of us have been complaining about this very matter in this thread:

I agree it is probably time for a real app store release and will be looking into it, but this "voice goes away with iOS X and returns with iOS Y" seems like a bad release of iOS as nothing was changed in iFIP for that release and the next iOS update "fixed" it.... And Apple does seem to still want us developers to keep "coming to the alter" regardless of release mode - as the 'dark mode' update required an app update to continue working properly (even if you didn't want to support dark mode).
 

kjs

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Good question! I would like to add to that - what if something happened to Adrian or Kevin, say they just gave up rocketry and walked away? Not saying it is going to happen but what would happen after the 90 day beta version? Would we no longer be able to use the system?
Adrian and I aren't willingly (COVID?) leaving rocketry anytime soon. My wife and I both go to the local TRAPHX launches and she has been volunteered to possibly be Treasurer and I am starting to help with the equipment hauling and maybe more... They are our local rocketry tribe... :)

This last launch, we went out on Thursday and stayed camping until Wednesday. At the launch, I flew to 12k feet and 17k feet with Featherweight Tracking... that was on a pretty basic rocket with a K and an L and 3D printed Raven bay and Tracker bay... I also tracked other rockets with the 'Featherweight Community' feature we are working on.... We're in this pretty deep and enjoy it a *lot*!

But yes, we need a release that spans the 90 day version - but we will have an on going questions when future updates involve new features that require updated firmware and you order a new unit that contains the new firmware and want it to work with your old units with older firmware... do you want your old phone app to downgrade the new unit or suggest you upgrade your phone app to the new features... it isn't a simple answer...
 

kjs

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I can see how maintaining two different platforms would be a pain. For the hardware integration, do you need access to things not available through a cross-platform framework such as Cordova?
If we go to dual support (iOS and Android), then I have to imagine we will need to use some cross platform solution - and that it will be a rewrite to support that. But one rewrite to support dual platforms is better than one rewrite and the still have to support independent
updates to both...
 

kjs

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Just curious, why are you distributing via TestFlight rather than the app store? Are you still in beta?
We have still been doing frequent updates and it was easier that way as it didn't require Apple 'approval' for look and feel...
 

JohnCoker

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If we go to dual support (iOS and Android), then I have to imagine we will need to use some cross platform solution - and that it will be a rewrite to support that. But one rewrite to support dual platforms is better than one rewrite and the still have to support independent
updates to both...
Yeah, I used Cordova to implement the ThrustCurve app, but that didn't need any hardware support. I see there's a bluetooth plugin for Cordova, but I have no idea how well it works.
 

Zeke Johnson

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>>>----->

If there were an Android version available, this would not be an issue.

At least for now, Android still allows sideloading APKs without much hassle.

Zeke
 

kjs

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Yeah, I used Cordova to implement the ThrustCurve app, but that didn't need any hardware support. I see there's a bluetooth plugin for Cordova, but I have no idea how well it works.
Yes, I need BlueTooth and phone location and phone orientation (magnetometer) and graphics... My experience with "cross platform" development platforms is you get 95% if you're lucky and then the rest sucks... but that was a long time ago, so I'm going to investigate a few - after we get an iOS only version out.
 

kjs

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>>>----->

If there were an Android version available, this would not be an issue.

At least for now, Android still allows sideloading APKs without much hassle.

Zeke
I don't disagree - but we started with iPhone so that is where we are... :)
 

gtg738w

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+1 for Cordova. We’re using BLE and location and it’s been great so far. Very easy to build and publish the same source for the iOS App Store and Google play.
 
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kjs

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+1 for Cordova. We’re using BLE and location and it’s been great so far. Very easy to build and publish the same source for the iOS App Store and Google play.
Thank you (and JohnC) for the advice! I think it might be time to do quick evaluation of a couple cross platform development packages and pick one.
 

BEC

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I wonder what John Beans uses for his cross-platform development/publishing for AltimeterThree? His opinion would be another good one to get along with Russ Parrish's.

Having used both of their apps on both platforms in my role as the obsessive tester I can say that the differences in the respective apps, to me as a user, are more Android vs. iOS look and feel than variations in their actual apps. I do have to concede that doing this testing is pretty much the limit of my Android experience, so I'm far more comfortable in the iOS world in general.
 

Chad

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Thank you (and JohnC) for the advice! I think it might be time to do quick evaluation of a couple cross platform development packages and pick one.
i haven't been here in a while because of work (I'm involved with the covid vaccine) but Ionic is an OK framework for cross platform apps. it's built on top of Cordova and Angular.
 
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