Sky Guide review: A great way to identify the stars above

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars Outstanding
  • Overall: 8.8
  • Installation and Setup: 8.0
  • Features and Support: 9.0
  • Interface: 9.0
  • Performance: 10.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Sky Guide is a fun, interactive, and well thought out tool for stargazers new and old. The amount of information, and the overall look and feel within the app are unmatched.

The Bad There should be an option to add some transparency to the sky overlay, taking advantage of the camera to augment reality and help line up viewable objects.

The Bottom Line If you want to learn more about the stars, planets, and satellites spinning around us at all times of the day, Sky Guide is the best app to do it with.

Don't Miss

Sky Guide is one of those apps that when you first look at its description and the screenshots, you don't see how it can be any different from any of its competitors. Apps that are used to show you more information about the stars circling around you are nothing new. I remember the first Android device I owned came preloaded with Google Sky Maps. At the time, I thought it was completely and totally amazing an app could use a smartphone to figure out where I was and what exactly I was looking at. Not only could it do that, but it also provided a map of the stars and constellations high above me. I definitely said "wow" a time or two when I first used it.

Fast forward to today and Sky Guide has once again wowed me.

Navigating the sky
I'm not a huge fan of apps that present you with a tutorial on the first launch and I feel the same way about Sky Guide. While there is a massive amount of information in Sky Guide (it uses over 37,000 exclusive photos to present the sky to you), the app is built in a way that it's very intuitive to use from the start. I get why companies insist on doing a tutorial at first launch, but I just think they're rarely needed.

As the tutorial points out, navigating the app can be done one of two ways. You can scroll through the sky using familiar gestures, or you can tap on the compass button and use the gyroscope to view what's in the sky. There's also the ability to have compass mode automatically activate when you tilt your device up.

Tapping on any stars, planets or constellations will play a musical note based on the temperature of the object. The hotter a star is, the higher the pitch. The larger a star is, the higher the volume. After tapping on an object you'll see an info button displayed on the right side of the screen. Tapping on it will provide you with all information regarding the object, be it a star, constellation, planet or satellite.

An in-app purchase is required to unlock the ability to view and track satellites. The cost is $1.99, which is in addition to the $1.99 price tag for the app itself. The app is built and optimized for all iOS devices, including the iPad, running iOS 6 and above. As someone who has always wondered what space junk and satellites even look like, let alone where to look for them, the extra purchase was a no-brainer.

Don't Miss

 

ARTICLE DISCUSSION

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy

Sky Guide (iOS)

Part Number: id576588894

$1.99

Quick Specifications See All

  • Category Education
    Entertainment
  • Compatibility iOS
About The Author

Jason Cipriani has been covering mobile technology news for over five years. His work spans from CNET How To and software review sections to WIRED’s Gadget Lab and Fortune.com.