Track your favorite celestial beings with Sky Guide for iOS.
A couple of years ago, I reviewed Sky Guide for iOS when it was a gift from Starbucks. I was amazed at how well the app worked and how easy it made stargazer. Yesterday, Fifth Star Labs, the developer of Sky Guide, released a massive update for the app for version 6.2. This update includes some very impressive new updates that took the developer’s team two years to finalize.
Version 6.2 Updates
- HIGH DEFINITION ZOOM (Enjoy seamless detail in thousands of galaxies, nebulae, clusters and planets)
- 50× LARGER CATALOGS (Dive into 114 million stars, the complete NGC/IC catalog and so much more)
- CINEMATIC TOURS (Discover the cosmos with breathtaking tours, an exclusive audiovisual series)
- Added some of the best comets in history & new visible comets in future
- Added the Chinese space laboratory Tiangong-2
- Updated the map of Mercury
Sky Guide was always an impressive app to me. With it, you have the ability to see exactly what stars and planets are available to view in your area. Once you give the app location permissions, you can tilt your phone back and forth to see what is in the night sky. Since it had been a few years since I worked with Sky Guide, I took the opportunity to revisit it. The new feature I really took advantage of was the high definition zoom. As I was scanning the sky, I found a beautiful blob of color that looked like a galaxy far, far away. When I zoomed into it, I found that it was called “Large Magellanic Cloud” and was indeed classified as an Irregular Galaxy.
One of the coolest features of Sky Guide is the built-in encyclopedia. When you select a constellation or even a single star, you are typically given a prompt on the screen for more information. When you tap on that icon, a side window pops up and provides you with knowledge about the celestial body. I’ve used other apps out there that point out where the stars are, but they don’t give as much detail as Sky Guide.
One thing I hope that Sky Guide works on building in is augmented reality. I believe this app could really work well with that type of technology. For example, last night when I was actually testing out the app, the sky was full of clouds. There were very few stars that I could actually see. The app still worked though because it’s just using my location and then the sensors in the phone to determine where it was pointing. If AR were being used, it would actually use images of the sky I was looking at to point out the location of the constellations.
All in all, I really enjoyed looking at Sky Guide again. It’s still an app that I recommend to people and with the iPhone 7, the app runs very smoothly.
DOWNLOAD – Sky Guide 6.2 – iOS