You’ll do a lot of wishing on Star Rover iPhone app

Nov 23, 2010
Education

Star Rover is an app that shows you where all the star formations and planets are on a given night in a given location anywhere in the world. It’s a cool concept that I think would be great for kids to learn about the constellations. However, there are quite a few shortcomings to this app. […]

Star Rover is an app that shows you where all the star formations and planets are on a given night in a given location anywhere in the world. It’s a cool concept that I think would be great for kids to learn about the constellations.

However, there are quite a few shortcomings to this app. If fixed, the app would be much better. When I test drove it, I tried to look in the sky on two separate nights. I live on the city outskirts, where there aren’t many lights, just street lights. What I found was that the sky just wasn’t dark enough to see enough stars to make this app useful. To get the full benefit of this app, I think one would need to be out in the desert or in the country when the sky is black. When the app first opens, it asks where you live, which is very important because it then can give you accurate views of your sky. The app also shows you which direction you are facing via a compass.

It’s a beautiful screen as it shows you thousands of stars, all the planets and the constellation. It allows you to place a grid on the sky, and see the sky in both day and night. There is also a button that shows the astrological illustrations from which stars are made up. I just wish there was more basic or beginner information in this app. It lacked any kind of instruction. There are also some numbers in the upper left hand corner that wouldn’t make sense for the average Joe. To find out anything in the app, I had to go back to the App Store to read more. I think that’s something that should be addressed in future revisions.

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Whoever uses this app will need a lot of patience. It was cool to see what would be up there in the sky from where I live, but when I went outside to check, my sky didn’t match the sky on the app. It’s obvious they have accentuated the sky to see all the stars. It’s just that it was very difficult to see anything.

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