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Problem with Sky Safari on Android ICS tablet


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I bought a generic Android tablet a few weeks ago (Android 4.0 ICS) and it's a revelation, but I'm having a problem with one particular App. It's Sky Safari and I have the same problem with both Standard & Plus versions.

I pay for the app and eventually it shows as purchased on Google Playstore.

I download the app, apparently correctly, but when I open it, after a correct title screen, the main screen comes on with a window saying "Cannot verify licence code".

Both Google and the developer (Southern Skies) are supposedly trying to sort it, but has anyone here any ideas please. I'm a total Android virgin!

One more question: When I go to Google Play on the tablet, does Android access it directly, or does it go through the browser? I'm using Firefox, but am wondering that if GP is accessed by the browser, maybe a change of browser would solve my problem.

Apart from this, I can thoroughly recommend the app. I've seen it running on a friend's Galaxy and it has to be one of the best, (if not the best) astro programs around for tablet or smartphone.

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hi derekm

had the same thing happend to me when i purchased skysafari from google playstore

i give up in the end

there is a icon in the top right corner on the main sceen of the tablet that's say's shop

click that and it take's you to google playstore

there some good astronomy apps on there

i got

google skymap

acrusky, stellarium moblie to name a few

just type in astronomy in the search in the playstore


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Thanks for the reply Steve. At least it shows that I'm not the only one. I'm still trying to bang heads together (Google and Southern Skies), but making no headway yet. Each one blames the other. It's a pity as it's about the best astronomy program I've come across, at least for the tablet.

If I tap the tablet screen at the side the licence window, the app opens and can be used, but not all the data is available. With tablets becoming cheaper and much more popular, you would think they would be trying to sort out the bug.

I use Redshift on the PC, but although it seems to hold more information, it's also more complex to use.

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I've had problems with Skysafari too. It says my new HTC One V phone running ICS is not compatible, so i can't download from Play Store. With my tablet, a Novo 7 Elf running ICS, i have the same licence problem as everyone else. Apparently this can fixed by using a different version of ICS, one that tricks Google store into thinking the generic tablet is actually a Samsung Galaxy Tab II. But i looked at the instructions for the flash procedure and decided against it. So for now i use my old Samsung Galaxy Ace phone which runs Skysafari without any problems. Not ideal as both the tablet and HTC phone are far more powerful with much better screens.

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I believe the reason One V is not compatible because it doesn't have a compass. SkySafari developers must have specified minimum hardware requirements in their app.

It happens as well with SkEye.

So when buying a tab or phone for astronomy use, check it has GPS, gyroscope, and compass.

I use SkySafari Pro on my Galaxy Tab 7 and Galaxy Nexus.

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I don't think the compass or lack of is the issue. I don't have a compass and the app runs fine without the licence, except that it will not download or install extra information, including images of deep sky objects.

Southern Skies are helping. They asked me for a logfile from the tablet (and explained how to get it!) and this is their reply:-

" The problem is shown in the following two lines:

I/LicenseChecker( 1067): Binding to licensing service.

E/LicenseChecker( 1067): Could not bind to service.

This is generated by Google's code, not ours. It shows the licensing code is trying to contact the Google license service and is unable to.

I did some Googling and found a few other folks that have the same problem.

1. In one case the problem had to do with having an old AndroPTT App Center installed. My understanding is this is an alternative source of Android Apps. Do you have this installed and do you know the version? They said it needed to be greater than 1.5

2. Someone else commented that the license server is not very tolerant of slow network responses. Are you located somewhere with somewhat dodgy internet? They did claim they "fixed" it by modifying Google's code to be more tolerant but they gave no details. Possibly I could try that but it would require a new release to try it out.

Anyway, it seems we are getting closer to the problem."

They also commented that Google are pretty reticent about giving assistance, even to app developers. Sounds to meas if they're little more than cyber box shifters.

If anything new crops up, I'll post details. It's an excellent app and deserves to run correctly for us and to make it in the marketplace for its developers.

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Don't see how to edit.

"Possibly I could try that but it would require a new release to try it out."

This refers to my suggestion to SS to send me a copy of the app that does not need a licence code, my download having already been paid for.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well this has all died a death. The problem is with Google, but they don't answer my emails and have simply refunded the cost of the program (which still works, less the extended database and images of objects.)

Google's after sales service is a sorry affair.

It's a pity the app can't be bought elsewhere.

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