I'm thrilled to announce a major update to my space launch schedule app, Liftoff!
The app was initially released in 2016 and was due for a facelift. Since the summer of 2021, I've been slowly and intermittently working on a complete SwiftUI rewrite to bring in a fresher look and introduce new features.
In Liftoff 2, you can now easily switch between recent and upcoming launches. Every launch in the list now contains a badge indicating the current status and whether a webcast is live.
The details page now showcases images of both the launch vehicle and mission badge. You can also dive deeper into launch vehicle, launch provider, and mission details including mission type and target orbit. The new weather forecast feature helps you stay informed of the condition at the launch pad. Plus, a convenient home screen widget displays a countdown to the next launch.
The most significant addition is the enhanced search page which now highlights frequent launch vehicles, active spacecraft, space agencies, and astronauts currently in space. The search capability provides a way to find more information on them as well as a glimpse into the rich history of space exploration, spanning back to its early days.
Liftoff 2 is also set to launch alongside the Apple Vision Pro tomorrow! While there's nothing too drastically different with the visionOS version, the platform does enable you to have launch videos floating right next to the app, making for a more immersive launch viewing experience. More exciting features are forthcoming on this platform, so stay tuned.
This app wouldn't be possible without the fantastic team at The Space Devs who developed and maintain an incredibly data-rich and up-to-date API for space nerds like myself to use, all for free. A massive Saturn V-sized thank you to the amazingly talented Michael Flarup for thoughtfully crafting such an impeccable icon that not only brought my idea to life perfectly but far exceeded my expectations. I'm glad to finally be rid of that old icon I used for way too long. Also, to the small group of beta testers who provided valuable feedback and bug reports along the way, thank you.