New features in TPE 3.8 for iOS

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Version 3.8 of TPE for iOS brings some handy new features, which I’ll briefly explain here:


We’ve added support for Handoff. Handoff is an iOS technology introduced in iOS 8 that allows you to ‘handoff’ a task from one device to another, making it easy to continue working without interruption.

It works like this: if you’re using TPE to plan a shot on your iPad, for example, you can pick up your iPhone. At the bottom left of the lock screen, you’ll see a small TPE icon. Swipe upwards on the icon (just as you would to activate the camera using the icon at the bottom right), unlock the screen if required, and TPE will start on your iPhone and will open to the same shot plan as you had on your iPad.

Additionally, a double press on the home button will bring up the app switching screen, and again, if you have just been actively using TPE on your iPad, there’ll be a Handoff banner at the bottom of the screen, which you can tap to continue on your iPhone.

Handoff with TPE

In addition, you can Handoff from iPad or iPhone to you Mac OS X. If you’re working in the TPE app, when using the app switcher (Command-Tab) on OS X, at the left hand side, you’ll see a Safari icon with a mobile ‘badge’. Select this, and your shot plan from the iOS app will open in the Desktop web app in your browser.

(It should also work the other way around, i.e. from Desktop web app to iOS app, but so far, I haven’t been able to get things playing nicely – work in progress…)

For more on how to use Handoff on iOS: How to setup and use Handoff on your iPhone and iPad

Universal links

Universal links were introduced in iOS 9, so you’ll need to be up to date to benefit from this one. In essence, Universal Links allows iOS apps to use regular URLs (i.e. web page links) to open an iOS app instead of opening in Safari.

3.8 adds support for opening links to the TPE Desktop Web App directly in TPE for iOS. If you have 3.8 (or later) installed, and you’re reading this on your iOS device, try clicking this link – it should open in TPE for iOS:

Yosemite Valley before Sunset

You can choose to view this in Mobile Safari instead, by tapping the link at the top right of the screen:

Universal links - open in Safari

Additionally, if the link opens in Mobile Safari, you can open the same shot in TPE for iOS by pulling down on the top of the page and clicking the link displayed:

Spotlight search results

If you’re running iOS 9 or higher, there’s another new trick that TPE has learned: celestial events including lunar and solar eclipses, meteor showers and other special events (e.g. this year’s Transit of Mercury) will now appear in search results on your device:

Celestial Events in Spotlight

Tap the result and TPE will open directly on the event you selected, making shot planning around these events a seamless experience.

No more zooming in/out

A small change, but one that will really help users of Skyfire and the light pollution map overlays, when using Google Maps: the map overlays are now visible at all zoom levels, which means no more zooming out to see the overlay and back in again to see the map detail:

Light Pollution at all zoom levels

Hope you enjoy these updates – let us know what else you’d like to see!