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App review: Star Walk

Star Walk
Developer: Vito Technology
Category: Education
Price: £2.99

This amazing app puts a Planetarium in the palm of your hand.

By holding your iPhone 3GS up against the night sky you’ll see a computer generated map of the heavens. As you pan the iPhone the star map pans in real time, thanks to the app’s Star Spotter function, which links to the 3GS’s compass.

As you scan the heavens, Star Walk overlays a series of graphics to give you extra information. Lines join stars together to indicate constellations, and symbols overlay the relevant stars (like a Crab for the constellation of Cancer, for example). If you want to know where to look to spot seasonal shooting stars (like the Geminids), the app scatters animated meteorites across the appropriate part of the screen.

The Time Machine function enables you to fast forward through the days and nights, so you can see what the sky will look like on any given day. An app that is out of this world!

Longevity: 7
Fun Factor: 9
Practicality: 9
Value for Money: 8
Kung Fu verdict: 8.5