Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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Space is pretty amazing but much like so many other things that we take for granted, we probably don't think about it as much as we could. Throw in the constant stream of light that things like street lights offer us now and you might not even get to see as many stars in the distance as you'd like to. Fortunately, SkyView aims to help all that while also aiding teachers and telescope owners.
SkyView is an Augmented Reality based sky viewing app. Basically this means that it uses the iOS device's camera so that you can view exactly where a star, constellation, solar system or satellite is located and in the background you can see exactly what's in front of you. It's something that I found rather difficult to screenshot but believe me when I say it looks impressive. It's also incredibly easy to use.
It's not long before you find yourself wandering around your living room, oohing to yourself at how Orion's belt is located to the east at the moment or that the Hubble Telescope is directly above you. Its benefits are even more obvious when you're outside in the dark. Instead of looking up at the stars wondering what you're looking at, SkyView helps you determine exactly what everything is. It's a fantastic app for this and was immensely interesting to use at nighttime.
The features are a bit more in-depth than that though. You can choose to see the path of the Sun, Moon or a planet and see its path across the screen over a 24hr period. Plus you can change the date and time to see how the future will change planetary alignments.
Ultimately though, SkyView is just incredibly fascinating to use. The imagery that comes up to depict everything is clear to see and somehow brings the sky alive more. As an educational tool, the benefits are obvious. It'll make things much more interesting to children who are struggling to see how a constellation is laid out. Purely as a delight however, it's just as interesting. It'll make you want to go to a hill in the middle of nowhere at night just so you can truly appreciate just how small our planet is compared to the rest of the Universe.