Night Sky

A real con­stel­la­tion prize

Mac|Life - - APP LIFE -

Free (with in-app pur­chases) From iCandi, ican­di­ Made for iPhone, iPad, Watch Needs iOS 9.3 or later

Here’s a watchOS de­vel­oper that gets it! Night Sky 4 may be de­signed for stargaz­ing the heav­ens above, but the Ap­ple Watch app of­fers some very com­pelling rea­sons to keep your eyes on your wrist, too.

For starters, there’s a com­pli­ca­tion that no­ti­fies in­ter­stel­lar buffs when the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion will next pass over your par­tic­u­lar chunk of this planet we call home, which also dou­bles as a short­cut to launch the app. Do that, and you’ll be asked to align your Watch with the Moon in or­der to view all the con­stel­la­tions, plan­ets, satel­lites, and stars in the sky around you.

Should you be un­able to see the Moon (dur­ing day­time or on cloudy nights, per­haps), you also have the op­tion of get­ting ori­ented by com­pass in­stead. As with the iPhone app, mov­ing your wrist changes the view of heav­enly bod­ies ac­cord­ingly in real time, or you can turn the Dig­i­tal Crown to move for­ward or back­ward in time through the nifty “space travel” view.

Last but not least, a deep press on the dis­play pro­vides op­tions to dis­able track­ing or cal­i­brate your view, while low­er­ing your wrist pro­vides a big pic­ture com­pass view of ev­ery ce­les­tial body over­head. What’s re­mark­able is how faith­ful the watchOS ex­pe­ri­ence is to the iPhone ver­sion – as much as is tech­ni­cally pos­si­ble, any­way.

This is se­ri­ously one of the coolest Ap­ple Watch apps around, and bet­ter yet, these watchOS fea­tures are all part of the free down­load; a pre­mium sub­scrip­tion for $1.99 per month (or $9.99 an­nu­ally) adds even more cool iPhone fea­tures, in­clud­ing a cus­tom an­i­mated view of the sky and a vir­tual moon tour.

The bot­tom line. You’ll wish ev­ery Ap­ple Watch app was as cool. J.R. Book­wal­ter

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