Although at Apple we had already talked about some astronomy applications, we had not yet talked about Star Walk, a beautiful astronomy application “for all audiences” and loaded with features and very well done. Star walk includes a database of more than twenty thousand celestial objects.
In this entry we are going to see everything it has to offer and why we should download it to anything we have a chance to see the stars. In this entry I will review the iPad version of Star Walk.
The application takes us right away to the view of the stars at our current location . This is done using the iOS device positioning system. One thing I liked quite a lot is that, if we lift the iPad or the iPhone towards the sky is when the iPad’s gyroscope and accelerometer are activated, for tracking and identifying the celestial bodies. If we leave it supported on the table or tilted down, we can access its functions comfortably.
the interface is really quite intrusive, as we can see from the pictures at the entrance. Basically we have four icons in the four corners of the screen, so that it doesn’t obstruct our view of the sky on the screen.
In the upper left corner we find a menu that leads us to the more social options of the application , such as sending an image by mail, tweet or share it on Facebook, as well as save it on the device or print it. Or also evaluate the application in the App Store or buy it as a gift for someone else.
Let’s go to the lower left corner, where we will find the possibility to perform searches of constellations, Solar System objects, galaxies, stars and even satellites , in case you want to determine where the International Space Station or any other communication satellite is.
In the upper right corner we have a button that activates the augmented reality. So, we’ll see what the iPad (or iPhone in its case) camera captures with the overlay information, great for identifying celestial elements, but I don’t know if it will work well since I haven’t been able to test it. It also activates the temporal function of the application, appearing a scroll bar like in Time Machine in OS X, thanks to which we can see the displacement of celestial objects and satellites in time, or access a specific date.
Finally, the lower right button is actually a menu where all the program functions are located. We can see which are the next events to enjoy in the sky, like star rain, eclipses, etc. See departure and hiding times of the main stars of the solar system, as well as the moon phase. The program has many images of the European Space Agency , thanks to a collaboration agreement between both. Thanks to the agreement, it is possible to simulate that the iPad is a radio telescope, being able to choose between the visible spectrum, microwaves, radio, etc thanks to a scroll bar that appears on the left. An absolutely brilliant detail.
We can access a earth sphere in which all the tweets made from the application appear thanks to the Star Walk Community function .
On the iPad 2, the fluidity and ease of use are really worth mentioning. On the new iPad it should be a joy to enjoy Star Walk thanks to the retinal display. Thanks to the specific Star Walk functions, and the fluidity and great interaction with the user, as well as the fact that no internet connection is required to download data, it can be enjoyed anywhere.
In Madrid and due to pollution, both light and pollution, I can see few stars. If this is not your case or if you have the opportunity to enjoy the night sky from time to time, Star Walk will cost you 1.59 euros in its iPhone and iPad version. More than recommended .