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post #1 of 18 Old 11-23-2015 Thread Starter
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Question Satellite Internet Apps - what new apps do you want or need?

Hello everybody!

I'm a software developer and I'm looking for ideas and suggestions for making new Satellite Internet Apps. Please tell me what apps or software you'd like to see or need.

As a developer, I was struck by how little software and apps there are for satellite connections. SMS, email and weather seems to be catered for, but there is little else. General purpose Internet apps and software aren't really suitable since they require more bandwidth than is available or time out with the long delays.

I'm looking to build apps that work on very low bandwidth connections (such as Iridium Go!) and that are very frugal in their data usage. I want to build software that makes that which was previously hard or impossible to do via satellite possible and easy. It won't hurt if it also ends up saving time or money.

I've done satellite work previously, but this would be the first time providing end user software. My specialty is low bitrate encoding and communication which I believe will serve me well when building satellite apps.

Below is a short list of ideas for apps that I've come up with so far. Please let me know if you have better or different ideas or if you like any of mine.

  • Facebook for Satellite
    A Facebook client optimized for satellite links with low bandwidth and long delays. Post and read, upload and download images.
  • Chat
    Group chat for friends and families. Optimized for very low bandwidth, long delays and intermittent connections.
  • Push to talk
    Send and receive audio messages using a very low bitrate. For when you want something more personal than an SMS.
  • Forum browser
    An efficient text only browser for discussion forums like this.
  • Picture uploader
    Upload and download pictures faster, more efficiently and with better quality than via email. Pause and resume transfers, batch transfer for multiple files.
  • News reader
    Catch up on your favorite news sources. Read articles and optionally download pictures and illustrations.

I hope you'll come up with good ideas. If you do, I'll build it

P.S. Please let me know what platform you'd like the software or apps on: Android, Apple, Linux, Mac, Windows or other.
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post #2 of 18 Old 11-23-2015
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Re: Satellite Internet Apps - what new apps do you want or need?

my kids can text on their phones if they have wifi even if they dont have a phone contract. i dont know how they do it, but the app gives them an phone number to use. i have texted my kids lots of times that way. could you make a satellite wifi phone texting app?
thanks and blessings
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post #3 of 18 Old 11-23-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Satellite Internet Apps - what new apps do you want or need?

Sure, but you'd still need a satellite phone or data contract for it to work. Wifi texting only works if you have access to wifi and your satellite phone will not have access to wifi without a phone or data contract.

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post #4 of 18 Old 11-23-2015
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Re: Satellite Internet Apps - what new apps do you want or need?

Due to the expense of satcoms (your lunch comment) - I don't see a lot of app possibilities here. The stuff you've listed would be astronomically expensive wouldn't they?

Maybe Nautical Pong?
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post #5 of 18 Old 11-24-2015
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Re: Satellite Internet Apps - what new apps do you want or need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by longjonsilver View Post
my kids can text on their phones if they have wifi even if they dont have a phone contract. i dont know how they do it, but the app gives them an phone number to use. i have texted my kids lots of times that way. could you make a satellite wifi phone texting app?
thanks and blessings
Already exists. DeLorme/Earthmate app combo for texting. $25-$75/mo subscription charge. Not free, but pretty affordable. Worldwide coverage.


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post #6 of 18 Old 11-24-2015
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Re: Satellite Internet Apps - what new apps do you want or need?

How about an app that strings together a bunch of DeLorme texts to form a grib file and then translates it into weather pics.
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post #7 of 18 Old 11-24-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Satellite Internet Apps - what new apps do you want or need?

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Due to the expense of satcoms (your lunch comment) - I don't see a lot of app possibilities here. The stuff you've listed would be astronomically expensive wouldn't they?
Not necessarily. Iridium GO come with an unlimited plan and others such as BGAN and iSatHub charge by the meabyte, not by the time. If you only use very little data, it works out on BGAN/iSatHub as well.

For example, if the apps are designed to work on Iridium they can only consume about half a megabyte per hour. And that's at full tilt, which is unlikely to happen all the time. This translates to $2 (iSatHub) or $3.5 (BGAN) per hour max.

On Iridium there is no additional charge if you are on the unlimited monthly plan.
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Re: Satellite Internet Apps - what new apps do you want or need?

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How about an app that strings together a bunch of DeLorme texts to form a grib file and then translates it into weather pics.
Doable, assuming you have enough patience and the amount of text messages isn't rate shaped or limited. We are talking about perhaps 100 text messages per GRIB file. That's going to take a good while, even if there are no limits on text messages.
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Re: Satellite Internet Apps - what new apps do you want or need?

Web proxy that will zip or rar or otherwise compress web data and the application on board will decompress the data. This might also offer text only or full data transfer.
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Re: Satellite Internet Apps - what new apps do you want or need?

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Web proxy that will zip or rar or otherwise compress web data and the application on board will decompress the data. This might also offer text only or full data transfer.
This is basically what Opera Mini does. Unfortunately this is not enough because even with compression regular websites and applications overwhelm slow satellite links (such as Iridium) or end up costing a lot (BGAN, iSatHub and other which charge by the MB).

What is needed are specialized apps that only transfer the bare minimum of data. This is why I am proposing building new apps.
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