SkyView - Explore the Universe

Common Sense Media says

Astronomy app uses location to explain your view of the sky.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

There is a somewhat helpful introductory tutorial and a help section in the settings. Once accustomed to the controls, users are able to search for sky objects, track their orbital paths, and read facts about them. The settings can be adjusted to view only planets or constellations, increase the sizes of objects, remove the camera view, etc.

Violence

A few descriptions and illustrations of the constellations mention violence or display weapons, such as Orion (the hunter) or Andromeda (chained to a rock to be eaten by a sea monster). Perseus is shown holding the head of Medusa.

Sex

A few constellations mention sex, such as "Virgo is Latin for virgin." A few of the female constellations, including Virgo and Andromeda, are sexily clad, but there is no nudity.

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

A few constellations mention or display alcohol-related activities, such as pouring libations to the gods.

Privacy & safety

The app will use your location to calculate your view of the night sky. If you prefer, this can be disabled and the location can be entered manually.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that SkyView - Explore the Universe is an educational astronomy app that uses your location to overlay your view of the sky onto your camera view. Planets, stars, constellations, and satellites are magnified so you can "see" where they are during the day or night. Tapping on objects allows you to read numerous facts about them and track their movement through the sky. You can also search for objects that are above the horizon and follow an arrow on the screen to locate them. A few constellations come from myths that include violence or sex, but descriptions are not lurid. Wikipedia is the source listed for many of the facts. The app will ask permission for your location, or you can enter your location manually.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • astronomy

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • investigation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Highly engaging. Just point the mobile device skyward and view the planets, stars, constellation outlines, and satellites. Written information is minimal.

Learning Approach

This app helps kids learn through the visual experience of seeing the enhanced images of celestial objects and satellites, their projected paths, and reading a bit of information about what they're viewing.

Support

Find an excellent tutorial in settings under the tool icon. Instructions are also provided along the way.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • astronomy

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • investigation

Kids can learn about astronomy and tons of sky-related factoids, from astronauts and their missions to distances of stars from Earth. They can build their research skills by tracking and recording the trajectory of their favorite planet. SkyView Universe is well-suited to give kids who are already interested in astronomy the information they seek and also to inspire kids who may not have wondered about the sky to be more curious. SkyView Universe gives loads of science information with some cool features, but the amount and depth of exploration is up to the kids. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Cynthia Chiong

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What's it about?

In SkyView Universe, kids can see what's in the sky above them. They point the device in any direction and see what planets, constellations, and even satellites are in the sky. When they see something, they can tap on it, and then read a bunch of facts about it: Did you know that one moon day is about 27 Earth days? Kids can also see the sun, moon, or a planet's path in a 24-hour period –- even a period in the future! There’s a lot of information here, so parents may want to help guide kids through it.
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Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

SKYVIEW - EXPLORE THE UNIVERSE is an excellent tool for learning about the astronomical universe. It is similar in many ways to other astronomy apps available, but its ability to search for an object and its overlay of objects on your personal camera view are neat features, as is the inclusion of man-made satellites and their histories. It can be hard to adapt to the app's controls at first, but once you get used to how to move your device, the app is very powerful and exciting. 

Families can talk about...

  • Go to different locations to use this app so kids can see different views.

  • Spend a night outside stargazing with kids.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$1.99
Release date:March 7, 2013
Category:Education
Size:42.30 MB
Publisher:Terminal Eleven LLC
Version:2.1.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later

This review of SkyView - Explore the Universe 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.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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