Sky Map App Poster Image

Sky Map

(i)

 

Excellent tool encourages appreciation of the universe.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Great menus, clean graphics, and quick response are pluses. The gallery's layout could be better.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Sky Map is wonderful tool for fostering an appreciation of astronomy that makes planned or impromptu family sky observation nights easy. This Google-powered app features layers accessible through the device and on-screen menus, easy search and find, manual or automatic orientation, a gallery of Hubble images, night mode, and time travel. The only thing you need to provide is comfortable reclining chairs, cozy blankets, hot chocolate, a beautiful night sky, and a dash of curiosity.

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

Using network (default), GPS, or manual location, kids can either angle and rotate their device to view the celestial sphere in all directions or swipe around any direction they wish using a handy orange horizon line and cardinal directions for orientation. A tap-activated on-screen menu allows users to select layers, toggle between automatic and manual navigation modes, and zoom in or out. The menu offers search, settings, time travel, night mode, a Hubble image gallery, and tight-text help.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Sky Map is a versatile, easy-to-use planetarium in the palm of your hand -- now that's power. It even does something traditional planetariums could never do: Hold your device at the floor, and you'll see the southern hemisphere just where it ought to be (for all you northern hemispherites out there). Kids can see stars, constellations, galaxies, planets, meteor showers, and Messier objects (learning opportunity here) in regular or special night mode, which changes all text and lines to red for easy viewing. The Hubble gallery hits you with those surreal but real astronomical images easily located -- along with any other object -- through a simple ring and arrow guidance technique. The time travel feature could have scientific as well as historical uses.

The only items missing are constellation images, for instance, a Swan around Cygnus, like those provided by the similar iOS app Star Chart, perhaps a slightly better layout for help text, and some background information about the study of the stars for blossoming observers. Still, it's a fantastic app.

Families can talk about...

  • Schedule a family sky watch night. Encourage the whole family to set up a viewing area -- and prepare goodies.

  • Research good days, times, or objects to view.

App details

Devices:Android, Apps for Windows
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:August 31, 2011
Category:Reference
Topics:Science and nature
Size:2.20 MB
Publisher:Sky Map Devs
Version:1.6.4
Minimum software requirements:Android 1.5 and up

This review of Sky Map was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Easy-to-use stargazing tool shines in its accessibility.
  • Information-packed tool delivers videos, photos, and more.
  • What can you spot in the sky tonight?

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent Written byMURUP July 5, 2013

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Family Media Agreement