Star Walk is not a new app, but there is something new about it. You guessed it, the graphics have been updated for the retina display on the new iPad. While Star Walk has always been one of my favorite educational / astronomy apps, it’s now everything it’s always been plus a copious amount of added pixels to feed your hunger for content on the new iPad’s retina display. Join us for our comprehensive Star Walk review for iPhone and iPad.
Star Walk is not your average app. It’s available for both the iPhone ($2.99) and iPad ($4.99). It has so much data built in, with such beautiful graphics, and intuitive funtionality that its hard to ignore what I will call, the Star Walk experience. Most of us have a list of apps ready to go when a friend or family asks us, what does this thing do? This should be in that list.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of Augmented Reality, it allows the camera (which is improved on the new iPad), to overlay the app’s data on top of the real world as shown by the iPad camera. In the case of Star Walk, this is Augmented Reality of the sky with the actual sky outside. Using this functionality, you can align your sky, to the sky in the app. This allows for pin point precision for tracking satellites, finding stars, or finding constellations.
Accelerometer and Gyro
As you move your iPad or iPhone, the sky on the app will move along to match your sky outside. It is a truly amazing experience. Finding celestial objects is as easy as moving the screen over the object in your real world view and clicking on it. You can also search for an object to have it instantly come up on the screen. Then match it up with your sky to quickly find, Jupiter, a Satellite, or a specific constellation.
There is information on literally every star plus other objects like satellites and constellations. For the more popular objects, there is even more information and a blown up animation view. The best part is that there is no requirement to be connected online as this is all built in. All of this in Retina Graphics only taking up 153MB. Not bad at all. On screen, there seems to be a million stars. It looks like a trick, as if zooming in will change the image and lower the amount of starts. That is not the case here. As you zoom, you zoom into real objects. Vito Technology, creators of Star Walk claim there are 170,000 stars bult in with over 200,000 objects on screen. This is compared to 10,000 on the iPad and iPad 2. The app also contains pictures of the day which is a super high resolution view of a celestial scene. These are simply stunning.
Whether your a parent showing his kids the stars, a part time star gazer, or an aspiring astronomer, you will enjoy this app. Anyone with even the slightest bit of interest in the stars (and lets be honest, we’ve all looked up a few times) will like this one. The intuitive nature of how the app is used will inspire you to continue to use it. You can even find the International Space Station as it flies over your house on a clear night. If you an have any interest in astronomy, Star Walk is a must have app for your iPhone or iPad.
Star Walk retails for $2.99 on the iPhone and $4.99 on the iPad. It’s available for purchase and download from the App Store.