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Sponsored App Review: Solar System

April 21, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

Solar System is an Android app that aims to educate users, both young and old, about the universe, specifically the planets that make up our own solar system. How the app does this is through interactive displays with 3D renders that show things like how the moon effects our tides, the changing of the seasons on Earth and more. There are quizzes to take part in, which unlock new items to play around with in the Space Station and an augmented reality feature that kids will absolutely love. It’s a well put-together app and regardless of whether or not your 12 or 22, Solar System can definitely teach you a little something about the stars, let’s take a closer look to see what we can learn.

First thing’s first is actually getting the app on your device, and downloading Solar System from the Play Store will make that happen. After that, you can choose a portion of the solar system to learn more.

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Let’s say we want to found out more about our own planet, and who doesn’t?! When you click on the Earth section, you can choose from a number of different sections. Each one will educate users about the Planet and help them prepare for tests later on.

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Learning about the seasons with Solar System is interactive, and you can move the Earth around to see what happens as the Sun hits different parts of the globe.

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You can explore other aspects of the Earth, like the different layers in a 3D, animated view.

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Once you’ve spent some time learning about the Earth, you can answer questions to test your knowledge. Again, these are interactive and are never simple a guessing of answering a question.

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You can do this for the Moon as well, which explains how our tides are formed as a result of where the Moon is in our orbit.

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There’s a lot of other content and quizzes to be explored for the rest of our solar system, but Solar System also has an excellent augmented reality portion to it.

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You can either use the small card available here, or something else to create a “hook” for the app. Either way, the effect is really great, and you can move the tablet around and get a different view of the planet, you can move in closer or move farther away.

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After spending some time with Solar System as an app, I can see exactly why users both young and old will want to spend time learning about the solar system and the different planets. The 3D animations for all of the planets are all good fun to look at and there’s a lot of information that’s presented to users in an interactive and pleasant way. The augmented reality portion of the app is a great way of helping people get to interact with this planets and I’m sure kids all over the world are going to love it. The quizzes are genuinely educational, and knowledge is tested through interactive means as well as multiple choice and true/false questions. Everything is nice and interactive and even though I might not be the target audience, I’ve enjoyed learning about the planets and I finally know what the Moon does to change tides around the world.

Ratings

  • Features (5/5) – With educational material that never feels boring, cool 3D planets and a great augmented reality feature, there’s a whole lot on offer here and all ages will be able to learn something new about our universe.
  • Theme (4/5) – I do wish the 3D models were of higher-resolution, but overall the app looks great and it’s one of the best ways to get up close with the planets of the Milky Way.
  • Speed (3.5/5) – Solar System isn’t quite as quick as I thought it was going to be, but the app didn’t run all that smoothly on my Nexus 9.
  • Overall (4/5) – With a speed boost, Solar System would be an easy recommendation to everyone. Right now though, those looking to learn more about the stars should definitely try this out.

Pros

  • Augmented reality feature is well done and looks great, giving a sense of reality to the educational side of things.
  • The quizzes and fact-checking portion of the app rewards players and it always asks you to answer in a different way each time.
  • 3D planets are rendered well, and the key characteristics of each planet are well represented.
  • Great app to help kids and adults learn more about the universe in an interactive way.

Cons

  • Doesn’t feel as fast as other 3D apps on high-powered tablets like the Nexus 9.
  • Augmented Reality part can be a little tricky at times.

All-in-all, Solar System is a fun, educational app that I’m sure a lot of people will really enjoy, regardless of their age. Obviously, this is going to be of more use to younger users, which is nice as the app isn’t patronising at all and the quizzes are all straightforward questions and exercises aimed towards any learning age. A truly universal app to teach us about the universe, Solar System is great fun.

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