Christian’s no Galileo, but casting his eyes to the heavens is much better with iOS
It seems like astronomy apps are about as common as stars in our galaxy. Yet Sky Guide is the one I keep coming back to over the likes of Star Walk and Luminos. For me, it’s got just the right blend of armchair astronomer and genuine techie field use. First off, the visuals are jaw-droppingly good and if you’re fussy about visualisations for the constellations (and I’m seriously picky), then Sky Guide is clearly the benchmark.
The usual scroll-around-and-zoom-around approach is once again employed here, as you’d expect, and it’s not delivered that much better than other top astronomy apps until you use two fingers to swipe up and change the sky brightness. This stunning HDR feature brings to life the depth and colour of the night sky and the tiny twinkling of the stars in view (and accurate colouring) is exquisite.
The features don’t end there either. You can even listen to the stars, and I’m not talking about the dreamy background music. Hotter stars have higher pitches and larger stars have louder volumes. It’s a subtle addition to the sky map, but adds to your astronimcal knowledge – check out the multi-twinkled tune of the Pleiades!
Then there’s the brilliant time controls which speed you through time to see the heavens move years into the future in just a few seconds. Tap near the bottom of the screen to bring up the playback controls. Finally, there’s the Filter, a kind of magnifying glass device that appears if you tap and hold an object (star, planet, nebula etc). It doesn’t zoom though, rather it allows you to rotate through various wavelengths of light to get an entirely different view of the galaxy.