Solar Walk - 3D Solar System model - Christmas Edition

App review by
Jonathan H. Liu, Common Sense Media
Solar Walk - 3D Solar System model - Christmas Edition App Poster Image
"Fly" through solar system, learn facts with 3-D model.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The basic functions of the Solar Walk app are easy to use: Rotate the model and zoom in and out with the touchscreen. Buttons allow you to "fly" to a planet, and an info button opens up a detailed description. However, there are no instructions or help screen.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Solar Walk is an educational app that models the solar system. It has a lot of information about each planet and many of the moons, and users can navigate through the solar system. There aren't any instructions so the user just needs to explore the app to find out how it works. Parents should note the app's large file size.

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Is it any good?

SOLAR WALK is an impressive wealth of information about our solar system, presented as a 3-D model that can be rotated and zoomed easily. When a planet is selected, a button appears that lets the user "fly" quickly to that planet and then get more detailed facts about it. There is also a date and time shown in one corner -- this can be set to "now" or dialed forward or back to see where the planets will be at any particular time in the future or where they were in the past. Another feature is the red/blue stereoscopic view if you have 3-D glasses, but it can make everything appear odd colors.

The app does not include any instructions; it is mostly intuitive but it would have been nice to have a brief summary of the app's functions. The "Watch Videos" button only has one button showing the relative sizes of planets.  Although missing a few details, Solar Walk is a great app.

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