Night Sky

Twin­kle, twin­kle, lit­tle star…

Mac|Life - - APPLE LIFE - Kenny Hem­phill

Free (Pre­mium subs: $1.99/mo, $9.99/yr) From iCandi, ican­di­apps.com Made for iPad, iPhone, watchOS, Ap­ple TV Needs iOS 9.3 or later

Night Sky en­ables you to view con­stel­la­tions of stars and plan­ets – not to men­tion satel­lites – on your iPhone or iPad, in real time. Hold your de­vice up to the sky and the app tells you ex­actly what you’re look­ing at. An aug­mented re­al­ity view over­lays the con­stel­la­tions, plan­ets, and names on the view from your iPhone’s cam­era. You can, of course, pan and zoom to see more or less de­tail as you gaze.

There’s a great deal more to Night Sky than that, how­ever. Ver­sion 4.4 brings sev­eral new fea­tures in­clud­ing a World Trav­eler mode. This al­lows you to choose any lo­ca­tion on the planet and ex­plore the sky from that area. There’s in­for­ma­tion on light pol­lu­tion and stargaz­ing con­di­tions, as well as rise and set times for the sun and moon.

Also new in 4.4 is VoiceOver sup­port, and a sec­tion that pro­vides de­tailed in­for­ma­tion on the 2017 US solar eclipse, show­ing the event from dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions com­plete with tim­ings.

Night Sky also has an as­tro-pho­tog­ra­phy tool that pro­vides you with cam­era set­tings de­signed to get the best pos­si­ble shot of what­ever you’re try­ing to pho­to­graph in the sky, from a bright con­stel­la­tion to a sin­gle planet. Bear in mind, though, it’s not go­ing to work mir­a­cles.

A cou­ple of fea­tures are only ac­ces­si­ble with a monthly sub­scrip­tion. The first of them en­ables you to tour the moon­land­ing sites recre­ated from the Apollo 11 and Apollo 15 mis­sions. The other pre­mium fea­ture is Night Sky Tonight, an an­i­mated view of the sky above you from sun­set to sun­rise the fol­low­ing morn­ing. We wish it were pos­si­ble to view this full-screen, though.

The wealth of data and in­for­ma­tion that’s avail­able in Night Sky is in­cred­i­ble – ev­ery­thing you could want to know about ev­ery satel­lite, con­stel­la­tion, and planet is here. Ap­ple TV and Watch apps are in­cluded, the lat­ter us­ing Se­ries 2’s GPS and gy­ro­scope to en­able iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of things in the sky by rais­ing your wrist.

The Bot­tom Line. Whether you’re an as­tron­omy geek or have just a pass­ing interest, Night Sky is a fas­ci­nat­ing joy.

The de­tail avail­able on ev­ery con­stel­la­tion, like this en­try for Leo, is in­cred­i­ble.

World Trav­eler mode lets you see the sky from any­where on the planet.

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