Review: Solar Walk for iPhone
Solar Walk is an enjoyable way to explore the Solar System’s celestial objects and orbital paths.
iPhone users with an interest in space and fans of the popular NASA iPhone app will enjoy taking a virtual, iPhone-style tour of the planets. Opening Star Walk takes the user to an orbital view of Earth as it rotates on its axis. From here the controls are pretty intuitive, as the user can use a finger to navigate around Earth, pinch and zoom to focus on a particular planet, or fly out to the outer reaches of the Solar System for an expanded view of the sun and planets.
Star Walk excels in casual exploration of the Solar System. Swiping a few times provides an excellent panoramic view of the Solar System. Navigating the planets creates an appreciation for the distance between them since the more you pinch; the wider the orbital paths appear to be. Wasting time is easy by simply watching a planet rotate around the Earth. A vertical scrolling bar on the right side of the screen operates a clock to measure the passage of time. A user can either speed up or stop the clock with the scrolling bar or tap on the clock in the upper right-hand corner to select a time in the future or past.
A few navigation buttons are included to make certain functions easier. A spaceship icon will fly a user back to Earth. When up close to a planet or moon, the information button brings up a substantial amount of information about each object.
Hardcore science aficionados will probably find some details to pick at. For example, the clock cannot be adjusted for whatever time zone the user may live in. Also, the asteroid belt and the dwarf planet formerly known as Pluto are absent.
Vito Technology says on the Solar Walk developer page that an iPad version is due out soon. The impressive debut on the iPhone/iPod touch model sets a high benchmark and creates hope for another good application when Solar Walk hits the iPad.
File Size: 53.9 MB
Release Date: April 2, 2010
Developer: Vito Technology
Platform: iPhone & iPod touch
TechNewsDaily Rating (out of 4 stars): ★★★★