Star Walk

Sponsored App Review: Star Walk

January 21, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

Description: Star Walk aims to be an astronomers best friend, and with all the features it’s packing it might just be. Allowing users to explore the space and stars in real time from their Android smartphone or device, Star Walk is augmented reality in space. With over 200,000 celestial bodies, Star Walk allows you to point your device in the direction of certain constellations and planets in order to see their relation to where you are on Earth. There’s detailed information for each celestial body too, so it’s not only a great app for those interested in space, but a great learning tool as well. Using your device’s compass, accelerometer and GPS, you get the best view of the constellations, even if it’s not dark! Take a look at the trailer below for a quick look at the app.

How it Works: To touch the stars with Star Walk, you’ll first have to download the app from the Play Store. From there, you can start exploring space.

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As you can see, constellations are mapped out brightly and clearly. You can zoom in to get a much better view. You don’t always have to move your device to move throughout the night sky, you can drag and zoom in with a pinch. When you click on a body and then hit the info button, you’re given detailed info about that particular body.

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There are some settings that you can change as well, allowing you to change the appearance of certain things.

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The night mode is a particularly good feature for those true stargazers. You could bring your tablet along and use it with your telescope for a real fun night of stargazing.

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Sky Live is another feature that astronomers will love, it tells you when the sun rises and falls as well as other info about main planets. Essentially, it tells you what’s happening in the solar system right now.

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Opinion: I’m a pretty big Sci-Fi fan so, Star Walk is a great app for me to review. I’ve always had an interest in astronomy although over the years, it’s dwindled. Star Walk however, has rekindled my interest in these things and there’s no reason not to check out Star Walk even if you’re that big a fan of astronomy. The app itself is as much a brilliant example of what software can do these days, just as the content of the sky above us is. With fluid animation, great graphics and detailed info on everything you care about Star Walk is one of the best apps to get closer to space.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – There were no slowdowns when running the app but, it can be quite resource intensive.
  • Features (5/5) – Bringing multiple pieces of hardware together, and vast amounts of information together to create a stunning example of mobile technology, Star Walk ticks a lot of boxes.
  • Theme (4/5) – The universe is a spectacle to behold in its own rite, but Star Walk is good-looking and does our solar system justice.
  • Overall (4/5) – It might be a little resource intensive but, Star Walk is well worth the small asking price – doubly so if you’re interested in getting closer to the skies above.

Pros

  • There’s something a little magical about getting this close to the stars on your smartphone or tablet.
  • Great for educational use as well as for enthusiasts.
  • Lots of information on tap too, it’s not just about the graphics and augmented reality features.
  • Quick and easy to set up, and simple to use too, even those who aren’t too versed in tech can use this to great effect.

Cons

  • Can be quite resource intensive and might not run too well on older devices.
  • Interface can feel a little like an iOS 7 app rather than an Android app but, this isn’t much of an issue.

Conclusion: Star Walk is a great app that everyone and anyone can learn to use quickly and in fact, anyone who has had even a fleeting interest in space should try this out. It’s a cool app to show off to friends and it’s a brilliant way to bond with your kids as they study space at school. With all the right boxes ticked, Star Walk is an app that’s hard to show off in screenshots – it needs to be used to believed. Once you do start using Star Walk, you’ll find yourself wanting to know more about the stars above and luckily, a lot of info is included right within the app so, Star Walk is one of the best apps out there for those curious about what’s above.

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