There are plenty of stargazing apps on the market. When you put “stargazing” into the search field in Google Play and App Store, you find dozens of look-alike applications with bluish-purple icons and beautiful constellations on screenshots. But how to choose the one that fits your needs the most? We prepared a small guide to help you.
Define your stargazing goal
If you’re outside, looking at the dark sky and just want to know where is the Big Dipper or curious about that reddish dot above your head, get Star Walk 2 or Sky View. Both are super easy to use, user-friendly, have an augmented reality feature, and an intuitive search. Considering the outstanding visuals Star Walk 2 gives you a better immersive experience. Sky View is a bit more plane, yet it has a convenient search feature: if you hover over an object and hold still for a second, the app shows you its name.
In case you’re aiming to find something except stars and constellations without paying extra, use Night Sky (available only for iOS). With the help of this app, you can spot most celestial objects for free. For Android, there is Stellarium, where you can spot asteroids, comets, deep-sky objects, satellites, and more for free. Stellarium is also available for iOS, but only its paid version.
See if you need something “extra”
The core functions of all stargazing applications are the same — learn what stars you see in the sky, see them in augmented reality, read more about celestial objects. You got the point. But developers try to make their products unique and add some nice, educational features. For example, in Night Sky, there are astronomical articles and sky quizzes. Star Walk 2 also offers fun yet educational astronomical quizzes and the news about upcoming stargazing events with information on how and when to see them. If you want to learn more about astronomy, these apps will be your perfect companions.
Trust the reviews
Reviews are always useful — hundreds of people already did research and gave you their opinions. Also, we can’t tell you which app is “the best stargazing app”. Everyone has their own needs and wants — for example, some people enjoy a stunning picture, others put more attention on the interface convenience. Simply, some apps are better for Android, others fit iOS more.
Just open any app in the store and take a look at ratings. Note that the best score doesn’t mean the best option. You should consider the number of reviews as well.
For example, search for “stargazing” in Google Play. The second app on the list is Star Tracker — it has 4,5 stars based on 48,000 reviews, which is quite good. But the first one on the top of the list — Star Walk 2 — has 4,6 stars based on 340,000 reviews! Quite impressive. However, it still isn’t the ultimate way to choose the best stargazing app, it just shows that most users picked Star Walk 2 as the most fitting app.
Are there any features that you are missing in Star Walk 2 in comparison to other stargazing applications? Let us know on social media.
Sincerely yours, Vito Technology Team.