Solar System for iPad App Poster Image

Solar System for iPad



Well-written interactive book with lots of multimedia.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn a lot about astronomy in a fun, engaging, and interactive way with Solar System for iPad. The app focuses on our solar system, in particular, with information about our sun, planets, moons, asteroid belts, and more. Kids can learn about gravity, patterns (such as rotations around the sun), and each planet and moon (diameter, mass, volume, gravity, atmosphere, and so forth). Bring stargazing to life for kids with this far-out collection of astronomy facts, photos, and animations.

Ease of play

There's quite a bit of content here, but all of it is well-organized and easy to navigate though.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there isn't any questionable content in the Solar System for iPad app. As the name suggests, the app is a digital book about our solar system -- including facts about the sun, planets, moons, asteroid belts, and more. This reference app comes to life with high-resolution photos, videos, animation, music, and text -- and some interactivity, as well. Mom and Dad might enjoy this just as much as kids.

Kids say

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What's it about?

Solar System for iPad lets kids explore the universe by reading articles and facts about our solar system -- be it the rings of Saturn or the atmosphere of Mars -- as well as viewing hundreds of photos, artist illustrations, videos, and animation sequences. Kids touch the iPad screen to interact with the content, such as zooming in and out of Uranus or Jupiter, or to flick through interactive portions, such as "How to spot a planet?"

Is it any good?


SOLAR SYSTEM FOR IPAD is an extraordinary – and extraordinarily attractive -- resource for amateur astronomers with text provided by best-seller author (and former radio astronomer) Marcus Chown, along with interactive 3D imagery of the sun, planets, moons, and more. You can "touch" Saturn's rings (based on images from NASA's Cassini mission), flick through the icy rubble of the Kuiper Belt (rocky bits left over from the birth of planets), or pinch and zoom into Earth to study the continents from above (with or without cloud cover). Along with an opening song set to space imagery, this app features dozens of articles; high-resolution galleries; extensive videos and animated sequences; and key data for each planet or moon (diameter, mass, volume, gravity, atmosphere, and so forth). While relatively pricey at $13.99 as of the time of this review, Solar System for iPad is an out-of-this-world pick.

Families can talk about...

  • Visit a local planetarium, observatory, or air and space museum to learn more about astronomy.

  • Consider buying or borrowing a telescope and looking at the stars with your kids. Or spend some time stargazing together with the naked eye on a clear night.

App details

Subjects:Science: astronomy, geology, physics
Social Studies: geography
Language & Reading: naming, reading
Math: numbers, patterns
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, making conclusions, thinking critically
Creativity: imagination
Release date:December 21, 2010
Publisher:Touch Press
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.2 or later

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What parents and kids say

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Educator and Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written bykellymorrison July 15, 2013

Stunningly beautiful app for space enthusiasts

This app is absolutely beautiful. Both of my kids--even the pre-reader--have spent hours going through it just to look at the rendered and animated images of the planets, stars, and other celestial bodies. I do wish there were a voice-over option for pre-readers and kids with reading difficulties, because the info here is really dense, but the app is so well done that I think the publisher should widen the net to include enthusiastic younger space nuts. That's the only reason it gets four stars instead of five in my book.