Solar Walk is a magnificently created app from Vito Technology Inc. We expected no less after using and reviewing another popular Vito Technology Inc. App, Star Walk. Unlike Star Walk, where the sky is viewable, albeit impressively from a single vantage point, Solar Walk will allow you to zoom into various celestial objects, changing the rest of the sky as you go. Join us as we take you through a detailed look at all the features in our Solar Walk for iPad review.
Navigating Through Space
On first launch, you will be taken through a quick zooming animation from afar, all the way to Earth. Similar animations are used when moving from one celestial object to another. The objects are presented in stunning 3D detail with the ability built in to move around the objects. Satellites are shown with streaks of lights in tow around the Earth. Most objects present on the screen can be clicked on for a more in depth view. As you pinch outwards away from an object, space opens up to reveal more objects. Whenever you use Solar Walk, the sun’s reflection on the planets, their location, and even the moon’s locations are in real time.
Besides this virtual exploration mode, a search option along the bottom left of the screen will allow you to search for objects by typing their name. This includes the sun, planets, comets, stars, and satellites. This search area also includes a browse mode which shows small thumbnails of the objects along with their name.
Reviewing Objects In-Depth
Once an object has been focused on, a variety of options are available to you. Some objects contain more options than others, planets obviously having the most. So we will use Jupiter as our example. Tapping the screen will show or remove these options. While present, a couple listed on the bottom middle let you either center on the planet in a standard view (crosshair), or bring up a full information screen about the object (i). This view includes an even more in depth and enlarged view of the object, along with some or all of the following: General Information, Figures, Internal Structures, and Science Missions. The Internal Structures option is particularly interesting as it will initiate an animation which cuts through the planet to reveal its layers (or presumed layers). Finally, photos are available along the bottom of the screen which will provide even more views of the object under review.
Other Available Options
A menu button on the bottom right will provide you access to a number of additional features. These options include a true-to-scale view of the object, bookmarks, movies, settings, and a help screen. The bookmarks option will allow you to revisit recently viewed objects. The movies page provides videos which are very interesting ranging from Size Comparisons to Moon Phases. The settings page will provide options to toggle sounds, music, and geography. Even cooler, if you happen to have a pair of the Red and Blue 3D Anaglyph glasses, you can view the app in real 3D. Options accessible through the top left button include the ability to Email, Tweet, Facebook, Save to Camera Roll, Print, Rate the App, and Gift the app.
Solar Walk is even more fun to use than Star Walk due to the zooming around and highly interactive nature. It’s literally jammed pack with information about our solar system. Whether you’re a student in this line of study, or just someone interested in the stars, there is no doubt you will learn and be impressed all at the same time. Normally the app is $2.99, but it is currently on sale for $0.99. I highly recommend you getting this one on your iPad.