App Review: Star Walk for iPhone
Star Walk gives you the view of the stars and expanded universe through your iPhone. When you start the app, your location is determined by the application and the stars that are above you are presented on your iPhone screen. As you move the screen around using finger gestures, you see different sides of the universe. The view from the app is that you are on Earth, looking up at the stars.
As you move around the app, you can see our local Solar System as well as thousands of other systems and stars. The app also dynamically shows you known star constellations that appear and disappear as you move past them. Tapping on any star or local planet presents additional known information about it, moon/planet phases and a Wikipedia link for additional information.
The app also includes a very innovate Time Machine function where you can travel back in time and see how the stars and/or constellations were aligned at that time. Coming back to the present is done by tapping on “Now”. You also get a fantastic Search function which allows you to search for specific stars, constellations, solar systems or messier.
If you have an iPhone 3GS, you can take advantage of the “Star Spotter” feature which uses the iPhone 3GS Digital Compass feature. The Star Spotter feature gives you a live representation of what you see in the sky and the sky will move as you move. If you don’t have an iPhone 3GS, you can still use Star Spotter, but instead of moving your physical location, you will just move the iPhone around.
Lastly, the app includes a Settings menu that gives you toggles for sounds, constellations, brightness, and night mode. Night mode turns your display to the color red (“Night Mode”), but the data on the screen is still fully visible.
Overall, Star Walk is an amazing application that is loaded with features and functions. The interface is very well done and navigation is made very easy, especially with the inclusion of a help feature if you ever need it. Star Walk is a highly amusing application and is a great crowd pleaser.
Star Walk is scored a 5 out of 5.
Star Walk is available in the iTunes App Store for $4.99.