UPDATE: This app has been superseded by the DishPointer AR apps – they are much better and easier to use. You can directly see where the satellites are.
We have released our first iPhone app: DishPointer Compass. Imagine you have a device in your hand which you can point in any direction and it tells you which satellite you would receive from that direction. This is exactly what DishPointer Compass does in connection with the new iPhone 3GS. Simple and very effective. Available on the App Store.
This is how it works: The new iPhone 3GS has an inbuilt magnetometer, i.e. a compass. The app uses the compass bearings together with your location information (remember, satellite pointing angles are different for different locations on the planet) obtained through GPS/WiFi/Cell network and computes the satellite position at which the iPhone points.
The app has been developed for maximum ease of use and speed, no nonsense features and gimmicks. Just switch it on, wait till it locks to your current location and then spin it around. All satellite positions with positive elevation angles will be displayed on the screen, one by one, e.g. 110W for 110 West DirecTV, 13E for Hotbird, 19.2E for Astra, 42E for Turksat etc.. you get the point. If there is no satellite in that direction, it will tell you so.
Some additional info: The inbuilt magnetometer is very sensitive to electro-magnetic interferences. So make sure you keep the iPhone away from any other electrical devices, metals and magnets. Your current location (latitude and longitude) is displayed at the bottom left of the screen, and the current true compass bearing is displayed at the bottom right. This is for you so that you can double check the output if you wish to do so.
You can get the DishPointer Compass iPhone app by clicking here.