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Best astronomy apps for iphone and android?

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#1 FoxK

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 07:25 AM

I like this one, being a solar imager

http://www.appbrain....opard.solarlite

Its an Android app but I believe there are iphone ones as well

Another GREAT one....Go to market and search for "skymap" and google has a free app that uses GPS and you can orient your phone to the sky and it will map what you're looking at!

#2 Pegdragger

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 07:44 PM

For the droid systems, google sky map is pretty cool. I have seen it in action, but I do not have it yet. Perhaps I can find an EVO this week somewhere...

#3 FoxK

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:25 PM

Yeah...i did get that skymap. Takes a lil getting used to but seems to work pretty well

#4 psonice

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 06:55 AM

I'm on iphone here so I'll answer that side a bit:

3D sun is the equivalent of the solar lite app for the iphone I guess. It shows the current stereo images on a 3d model of the sun you can play with, and also has a great news section with links to sun related images/stories/videos. It notifies you when there's a major new item too, which is cool. Not sure if there's a way to show the images as animations, but there's always a video of anything interesting.

For star mapping apps, there's a lot.. the main ones are starmap (+pro version, which I use) and voyager. I've not tried voyager, but people say it's easier to use so a lot seem to prefer it. Starmap pro is very heavy on features, but it does suffer from too many features on one big main menu screen a bit.

There's a bunch of other apps that do the same kind of stuff with varying degrees of success + complexity (and prices to match, although the high end apps still come in at 'cheap'), and pretty much all use the built-in compass + accelerometer to do the 'point and see' thing.

There's a ton more apps for APOD, NASA news + videos, satellite tracking, moon atlases, and all sorts. Do a search in this part of the forum, you'll find lots of threads listing them.

#5 FoxK

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 05:31 PM

Great suggestions!

#6 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 11:29 PM

For the droid systems, google sky map is pretty cool. I have seen it in action, but I do not have it yet. Perhaps I can find an EVO this week somewhere...


For anyone reading this late... As far as I can see there are no decent astronomy apps for the Driod. When it comes to DSOs, Google Skymap only has the Messier objects, no NGC, no IC, no nothing.

So far, I have found nothing else that is any better. Pretty disappointing when you see what is available for the Iphone. :(

Jon

#7 psetnik

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 07:08 PM

For the droid systems, google sky map is pretty cool. I have seen it in action, but I do not have it yet. Perhaps I can find an EVO this week somewhere...


For anyone reading this late... As far as I can see there are no decent astronomy apps for the Driod. When it comes to DSOs, Google Skymap only has the Messier objects, no NGC, no IC, no nothing.

So far, I have found nothing else that is any better. Pretty disappointing when you see what is available for the Iphone. :(

Jon


'Tis truly a sad state of affairs for Android device owners. Google Sky Map is really rather useless for serious astronomy - no information about objects, no ephemera, not even moon phase information. It's pretty much eye candy.

Ah, give me the equivalent of Plantarium for Palm OS - that is a FANTASTIC program - very thorough and complete, with supplemental catalogues, huge amounts of data, usable star charts, and so on. Lacks in graphics compared to apps available for the iPhone/iPad, but just... rich is the only word that comes to mind.

#8 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 06:22 AM

'Tis truly a sad state of affairs for Android device owners. Google Sky Map is really rather useless for serious astronomy - no information about objects, no ephemera, not even moon phase information. It's pretty much eye candy.

Ah, give me the equivalent of Plantarium for Palm OS - that is a FANTASTIC program - very thorough and complete, with supplemental catalogues, huge amounts of data, usable star charts, and so on. Lacks in graphics compared to apps available for the iPhone/iPad, but just... rich is the only word that comes to mind.



I have been a registered user of Planetarium for the Palm for several years now... Indeed it is a very powerful program, similar in many ways to Cartes du Ciel, it is nice for planning and observing. My first handheald was a Handspring Visor and over the years I have worked my way through various Sony Clies and now I am primarily using a pair of Palm Tungsten T3s.

They run it fast and have a 480x320 screen that offers the choice of both portrait and landscape modes. In addition I have a Sony TJ55 (something like that) and 27...

Great program, together with Pleiadatlas and Jup, I have things pretty much covered.

I was certainly disappointed after buying my Droid last December to discover the sad state of affairs. I even Emailed the author of Planetarium suggesting that he consider porting it to the Droid...

Jon

#9 Husbyggarn

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 03:36 PM

IMHO, the android platform is newer than iphone, so iphone has had a head start... there are lots of android phones hitting the market now and lots of budget versions so i suspect the number of apps are gonna explode for the android.

#10 prb_ohio

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 07:21 AM

I really like CSDroid - Clear Sky Charts based on your GPS location.

And Solaris gives interesting auroral data - and a nice view of the Earth.

#11 Shadowalker

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 06:59 AM

Just downloaded GoSkyWatch for my iPhone. No special reason. The screenshots just looked real good on the web. I'll let you guys know how it does.

#12 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 08:29 AM

IMHO, the android platform is newer than iphone, so iphone has had a head start... there are lots of android phones hitting the market now and lots of budget versions so i suspect the number of apps are gonna explode for the android.


I sure hope you are right. When I emailed CarinaSoft about porting Sky Voyager to the Droid, they felt that the presence of Google Skymap limited their market.

Jon

#13 Nessmuk53

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 12:19 PM

Jon,

They have to be kidding! I wish someone would port a good app to Android. I used Astromist on my old Windows phone and miss it on my Droid. Skymap is a bit of a joke really. Not a serious astronomy app at all :-(

Bob

#14 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 09:22 PM

Jon,

They have to be kidding! I wish someone would port a good app to Android. I used Astromist on my old Windows phone and miss it on my Droid. Skymap is a bit of a joke really. Not a serious astronomy app at all :-(

Bob


I agree, you agree and I think the good folks at Carinasoft agree as well.

However, the problem with Skymap is that it does the job for most people, not serious astronomers, but most folks who just want an astro ap so it constricts the market...

That and the fact that there are a whole lot more IPhones out there.

Jon

#15 arpruss

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 09:26 AM

That's interesting. Maybe someone should port one of the open source astronomy apps to Android, whether from desktop (xephem, kstars, stellarium or PDA (astroinfo). I might take a stab at it if I had an Android device. It's kind of tempting to get one of those $100 tablets from ebay for this (a 6" tablet would make a great little observing companion), but I have other uses for my astronomy budget right now.

#16 psonice

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 10:16 AM

There are other issues with writing for android too that make it less appealing than the iphone, like the fact that there's a fairly wide range of hardware with differing screen sizes and features, plus a wide range of OS versions and lots of users stuck on old versions of the OS.

Countering that it's more open (and apple's strict app store rules can be painful, I know this from experience ;)

I think this is why there's a definite split between the two platforms: android has more free / OSS apps, iphone has more paid apps but perhaps more quality. As a developer, if I want to make money selling apps the iphone has a definite advantage, and not just in terms of the number of phones out there (which is obviously a huge thing in itself). If I had the resources, I'd target both, but if not it's a pretty easy choice still.

Another thing: who is actually buying android phones? I've only actually see one android phone so far among all the people I know. I work in a big IT department, lots of us have iphones but just one guy went for android (because it was cheaper, but he does seem to regret it!) This is the kind of place where I'd expect to see quite a few if it was the 'geek' market buying them, and the sales figures seem very high for a 'geek phone', so I think it's being sold to some other marketer's target group.

#17 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 12:26 PM

Another thing: who is actually buying android phones? I've only actually see one android phone so far among all the people I know. I work in a big IT department, lots of us have iphones but just one guy went for android (because it was cheaper, but he does seem to regret it!) This is the kind of place where I'd expect to see quite a few if it was the 'geek' market buying them, and the sales figures seem very high for a 'geek phone', so I think it's being sold to some other marketer's target group.



In the US, the Droid is available from Verizon, the Iphone is available from AT&T. So the choice is not so simple, generally Verizon scores higher in customer satisfaction surveys. There are quite a few who use phones with the Android operating system.

I am satisfied with my Droid, I would be a bit happier if there were a quality astronomy ap but I probably would not use it much anyway because I find that Planetarium for the Palm does a good job and I would rather not be risking my cell phone by using it in the dark.

Jon

#18 ZachK

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 02:47 PM

I know at my office there are about an equal number of android and iPhones around. I have to say the more open programming environment on the android has pushed me in that direction. I will be getting one in a bit. Most of the droid users seem to really like them.

#19 RoadsterGirlie

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 08:52 PM

"Where is Io" on the my Android is a lot of fun. When observing Jupiter, it allows you to see which moons are which.

#20 Skywatchr

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 07:48 AM

So far, I am very happy with my Motorola Droid. It blows away my old Blackberry Storm! :lol: I've never used an iPhone, but then Verizon doesn't offer them either. AT&T coverage/service here is terrible so the iPhone is pretty scarce in these parts. :grin:

I know at my office there are about an equal number of android and iPhones around. I have to say the more open programming environment on the android has pushed me in that direction. I will be getting one in a bit. Most of the droid users seem to really like them.



#21 bsim

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 08:26 AM

If you have an iPhone, the "best" astronomy app is Astromist. Some of you may be familiar with earlier incarnations on the Palm and Windows Mobile OS.

Astromist iTunes

#22 andromeda59

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 12:53 PM

I'm thinking of getting a Droid, if for nothing else, to help me locate a few good guide stars under a dark sky, where the amount of stars can be daunting. Does anybody feel Google Sky Map useful in that way?

#23 Markovich

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 01:12 PM

I have StarMap Pro, Sky Voyager, GoSatWatch, Solar Monitor, 3D Sun, ICSC ( Clear Sky Clock). StarMap pro is awesome, great graphics and detail, but a real pain to use. Voyager has a simpler interface with nice graphics. I do prefer Starmap's graphics tho, but in the end, I prefer using Voyager since its easier.

#24 bsim

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 01:59 PM

I have StarMap Pro, Sky Voyager, GoSatWatch, Solar Monitor, 3D Sun, ICSC ( Clear Sky Clock).


I have most of these apps and a bunch of others, but at the end of the day if I had to only keep one it would be Astromist. While it's not as pretty as some apps, functionally it's way ahead. It really includes just about everything you need. It even tracks satellites.

#25 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 08:37 AM

I'm thinking of getting a Droid, if for nothing else, to help me locate a few good guide stars under a dark sky, where the amount of stars can be daunting. Does anybody feel Google Sky Map useful in that way?


I would not buy a Droid just for that purpose. It may be adequate for that, I can't say because I am not in your shoes... For my purposes, it is marginal at best in that regard.

I find my late model Palm Handhelds running Planetarium to be much more effective as starhopping tool.

Jon


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