Sky View has been our regular go-to app when it comes to recommending a good 'learn about the stars' option for space newbies. With its' easy to use interface, social networking functionalities, and offline capabilities, Sky View is able to afford many people the benefit of knowing about the stars above without having to invest in a high end telescope. Now, in case some of you may be wondering, yes, we mean it when we say "has". Sky View is a good little ap that can function pretty well, but the newer update that requires iOS 7 will mean that late adopters of the newer Apple OS are alienated.
So, for those of you wondering, what is this app all about? Sky View is a simple tool for learning about the stars. It has a default database of major stars and constellations and it will help you figure out where they are simply by pointing towards the sky. It works just as well in the day as the night, if you plan on observing the in-app content. But if you want to do a bit of actual star-gazing, Sky View's augmented reality functionalities are pretty adaptable. Our favorite function is the use of light reduction in order to provide you with better night view (you can set it to filter out green or red channels).
Aside from the obvious learning features of an app that teaches you about star positions in the sky, it also keeps track of other heavenly events –so you know when the we are next closest to Venus or when the ISS is within your general airspace. The additional information provided per entry also means that you get to do more than just learn names and positions, you also get some interesting trivia about the various heavenly objects as well.
As stated earlier, the app now requires the new iOS 7 update, and that means users who prefer using the older version of the Apple mobile OS will either have to make do with the older version of the app or just pass it up and grab another sky and stars app.
Those of you looking for a more professional experience are also likely to be disappointed with the offerings of this rather simple app. Despite the developer's claims that content is frequently updated, that is not the case; trajectory updates happen rarely, and the app's overall visuals could use a bit of an overhaul. The user interface, on the other hand, is a blessing to any use who wants to figure out how to navigate fast and still focus on gazing up at the sky.
For those of you planning to use this app on a tablet, we highly suggest using a long chair or just flat ground to support your back. On a regular phone, using this app to look around the sky is one thing, but on a much larger tablet, you will want to have a bit of back support and a way to rest your arms when they get too tired of holding up your device.
Overall, this app is a decent purchase if you want an app that has a more "for everyone" appeal. But if you are a serious star gazer, then you might consider other possible alternatives as Sky View's initial offerings are a little on the simple side than the more in-depth approach it is marketed to have. On the other hand, if you have a bit of cash to spare, and you would appreciate being able to point your phone straight up into the sky and be able to tell instantly what star you are looking at, then you cannot go wrong with this.