APP OF THE DAY: Solar Walk review (iPad and iPhone)

Aim for the stars and you’ll clear the fence by a mile - apparently words from Buzz Aldrin, although we can’t actually find any evidence of the fact. As it stands, it doesn’t really matter because what’s at the core of that nugget has nothing whatsoever to do with today’s App of the Day on Pocket-lint. The link is to do with space, and, now that we’re lunk, on with the app...

Solar Walk

Platform
iPad and iPhone

Price
Free

Where
iTunes


Space. You’ve got to love it. So big, so vast, so black and yet so full of objects so impossibly far away. In fact, the thing is that it's so bloody infinite that it’s rather hard to get a grip on. That’s where Solar Walk comes in, allowing owners of iPads, iPods and iPhones everywhere to take a saunter through the stars without fear of its asphyxiating vacuum and carcinogenic cosmic rays.

The app, which is normally 69p, is free for a while, so get it while you can. With it you can zoom and pan your way about the solar system and way, way beyond, using the axis of time to watch how each celestial body moves in relation to the others. There’s a search to help you zero in quickly on whatever planet, comet, star or constellation you’re after and different modes and angles to view from, too.

What we really enjoy are the videos within the app to help explain some of the basics, such as how eclipses of the Sun occur and why tides are the way they, well, are. It’s just a shame that there’s not more of them: videos, that is, not tides.

Fortunately, most of the night sky’s features do come with information pages all of their own, with all sorts of extra pictures, facts and additional knowledge with which to impress your friends.

There are very few downsides to downloading Solar Walk at all. It’s probably a notch or two away from being a classic. Improvements to the fun factor could be made but it’s certainly slick and pleasant enough as it is. Oh, and fortunately you can go into the settings and switch off the background music that must surely be ripped off a Deep Forest album circa 1995.

New Age eco-electronica, eh? Those weren’t the days.

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