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Star-gazing Apps – SkyView Free & Star Walk

SkyView App

While it starts to get warm, I hope pretty soon we will be able to walk outside in the yard or in the street at night. Every time, when we are out at night, my son likes to point at the stars telling me which is which. I don’t know much about the stars, so I did some search on apps that can help me learn about the sky. It is amazing how many astronomy apps are out there, ranging from very basic to very professional. It took me a while to focus down on two – “SkyView Free” and “Star Walk“. Fun Star Gazing Apps

Both apps can show you the stars and constellations while you hold your iPhone or iPAD up, like you are going to take a picture of the sky. The app will show you the stars you can see from your location on the device’s screen. While you move your device, the view will change with your move. If you tap on a star, or a constellation, the facts about that tapped object will show up at the bottom of the screen, such as name, location. If you want to learn a particular star or constellation, you can go to the list to find your object of interest. In addition to displaying information, you will also see an arrow on the screen to direct you to where it is.

The difference between SkyView Free and Star Walk:

SkyView Free has less facts and data. There is a premium version. If you are at a level beyond SkyView Free, I suggest you get Star Walk, instead of SkyView premium.  At $2.99, Star Walk offers much more facts and better pictures.  For example, it has a calendar of celestial events like planetary alignments, full moons, solar eclipses, and meteor showers.  There is a quick live sky one page that details when planets will rise and set.  With only $1 more, this is a much better deal.

iGameMom Comment:

For general learning with kids, or family fun, go with SkyView Free.  If you are getting serious about learning astronomy, starts with Star Walk.  Of course, if you want to go even further, there are more advanced astronomy apps, such as SkySafari.

If you would like to check it out or purchase it, please use the App Store button provided below. The cost is the same to you, but iGameMom gets a small percentage. Thanks for your support!  Note: the button works for all countries. 

SkyView (Free) SkyView Free     Star Walk ($2.99) Star Walk

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{ 43 comments… add one }

  • Lavonne July 1, 2014, 4:39 am

    Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your
    content. Please let me know. Thank you

    • iGameMom July 1, 2014, 11:19 am

      Thanks for asking. Feel free to share, as long as the share links to my original post, and the share doesn’t have more than 1/3 of the post.

  • ethan April 5, 2013, 7:04 pm

    i disagree with your recommendation of starwalk over skyview.
    eg the free version of skyviewfree provides you with a onscreen elevation and azimuth – this allows you to locate the exact position you are pointing to in the sky. eg it allows you to pinpoint the location of an iridium flare.
    wheres with the starwalk you have no indication of these vital locations.
    secondly the compass calibration in starwalk for the iphone does not show up on the iphone screen. therefore location is to the nearest city. – what you are looking at on the screen is not what you see above – it is inaccurate.
    the skyview calibrates exact compass location so what you see on the screen is what you see above.
    this makes the starwalk a very pretty app but useless because of its inaccuracy.
    will they give me a refund? lol
    thus, i think u should reevaluate your recommendation for starwalk over the free skyview

    • iGameMom April 5, 2013, 11:58 pm

      Thanks for sharing your opinion. Our recommendation is based on several factors, and it is for family use with kids. Cost, how easy it is for kids to learn, how easy it is for family members to interact over the content, … As I mentioned in the post, there are more advanced apps if you want to go deeper …

  • Peggy March 16, 2013, 3:35 am

    What great apps – for the whole family, too! Thanks for recommending them. I plan on pointing my camera more at the night sky this year, I think your apps just might come in handy for this. And a big THANK YOU as well, for “liking” my blog. I’m linking back to you in tonight’s post (both of your blogs).

    • iGameMom March 16, 2013, 3:11 pm

      They are amazing apps, making the star gazing more fun. Thanks for the links on your site, you have an interesting site.

  • Pam B December 23, 2012, 8:13 pm

    Thanks so much! I’ve been longing for something like this and will buy from your link.

    • iGameMom December 26, 2012, 9:33 pm

      Glad you stopped by. Please let me know which one you got and if you like it.

  • Peter November 10, 2012, 8:18 am

    Thank you. Very good to know. — So far I still use maps and a red light flash when I am outside watching stars. … :0)

    • iGameMom November 11, 2012, 11:01 pm

      The app offers a lot more! You should definitely try it.

  • bookquoteshub November 7, 2012, 8:49 pm

    Your blog site is unique and I loved it.I think you should think of adding like ( add love button for me :) ) I especially loved the blog about the app teaching kids to count to 10 in 12 languages.
    I love anything and everything about knowledge and respect people who are educating others too spending their precious time.
    I share quotes from books on BookQuotesHub website.

    • iGameMom November 11, 2012, 10:53 pm

      Thank you! Yours is a good one – I used to have a notebook to keep the quotes from the books I read. I will try put a like button …

  • Trey Montague October 27, 2012, 4:19 am

    I was drawn to your site via a like you added on my SF novel and at first was turned off by the topic about the best kind of ipad covers for BABIES! Babies? Surely not. Then I reasoned that this was probably because many parents want to childproof their gizmos rather than actually allow babies to play computer games rather than interact with humans and tactile objects/plants/animals/etc around them at least, that’s what I hope it was for. On the other hand, these stargazing apps are excellent – makes me wish I had an iphone to put them on! I spend hours looking at the stars with my kids and then discussing time, distance, aliens and the nature of reality/perception, etc, but always stumbled on identifying anything but the plough and the north star. Thanks for posting something which might drag my actual household (rather than just the ones I write about) into the 21st.

    • iGameMom October 27, 2012, 2:34 pm

      Before I started this blog, I have limited my son playing games. Now that I found all these good games, I am trying to incorporate them into my son’s learning journey. We cannot stop the new technology, this is the fact. The best we can do is to explore the new world together with our kids, so they don’t have do it all by themselves. If we don’t go with them, they will eventually move forward without us …

      • Trey Montague October 27, 2012, 5:02 pm

        I agree up to a point but also think it is terribly important that we get the balance between thinking our kids are ‘born’ to compute/screenwatch (not saying that’s what you think, btw) and helping them to balance this with the ‘real’ world. After all, they don’t realise how new the new technology is, it’s just as normal a part of their world as trees as far as they’re concerned – unlike those of us who were born when computers were in their infancy. NB, that’s why I liked the stargazer app so much – it joins both ‘worlds’ together in a productive, educational way, so well done for highlighting it.

        I guess my issue is that I’m extremely wary of letting young kids, whose brains still have so much developing to do, sit and stare at a screen for hours on end. Up until the age of around seven, according to some neuropsychiatric research, this can interfere with the very structuring of the brain and may be at least partially responsible for the increase in (e.g.,) ADHD. At the very least, I think it makes them loose appreciation for the beauty and rawness of the non-screen world, as well as the comparatively slow (and, therefore, they think, boring) timing of the ‘real’ world around them. So, I’ve shied away from things that require/take apps, from x boxes and DS’s, etc., and have fallen to a happy medium of allowing them to watch videos and DVDs (within reason), and play computer games a bit when they’re with friends who have them, so I’m not a complete technophobe.

        I guess I’ll catch up soon enough, and my kids are certainly a bit more savvy about new tech than me, but they aren’t obsessed by high tech, and e.g., can both read ‘proper’ maps as well as knowing how to programme the satnav (yes, I finally succumbed). I hope to keep my happy balance going as long as possible and sites like yours that try and draw out the best of what there is are a fantastic resource, so thank you.

        • iGameMom October 30, 2012, 11:23 am

          I love discussions like this. I agree kids need a balanced development. If they have never thrown something and observed how things fall, they won’t be able to enjoy Angry Bird. They need real-world 3D experience to appreciate everything they have on the screens :-) Part of my concerns – they may lose some opportunities at some skill development. I saw some writing apps that claim teaching kids handwriting on iPAD, with fingers sliding on iPAD – how could that be the same as holding a pencil writing on paper? Kids are not practicing the fine muscles. Technology should not aimed to make kids life easy by avoiding challenges, we want to find ways to help them overcome more challenges. During my search of apps, I try to find apps that help open up more learning opportunities or tackle learning challenges from different angles. Brush of Truth is a book app that let readers choose their own ending, a nice feature that can be done better with app, a feature that help foster imagination; Tiny Tower is not designed for kids, but I see learning opportunities there; similar to Stargazing app, Peterson Bird Guide Apps bring all the bird information at your finger tip while walking in the park… I am glad to see there are a lot people out there are working towards the same goal!

  • Nick October 9, 2012, 12:23 am

    I’m late to this post but just wanted to say thanks. These apps are fantastic! Very helpful.

    • iGameMom October 11, 2012, 9:10 am

      You are welcome. You are never too late though. Glad you find them now.

  • Luke Englund September 20, 2012, 5:02 pm

    Wonderful

  • Clelia Tesch May 9, 2012, 2:45 am

    You made various good points there. I did a search on the subject and found the majority of persons will have the same opinion with your blog.

    • iGameMom May 9, 2012, 1:04 pm

      Thanks! I spend quite some time on it. :-)

  • Missah MY April 17, 2012, 11:49 pm

    Fellow skygazer,
    thank you :)

    • iGameMom April 18, 2012, 12:33 am

      You are welcome. Thank you for visiting.

  • Amomand4kids April 17, 2012, 1:52 pm

    My kids and I love skyview. They will lay in the backyard and guess at the constelations then check their memory on the app. The outlines of the constelations help my little guy get the gist of the stars. Stars are so much fun :)

    • iGameMom April 18, 2012, 12:29 am

      yes, the outlines help a lot. It is amazing what new technology can do, and how it helps learning.

  • raven2298 April 15, 2012, 12:30 am

    Thank you… very cool apps!

  • Nicole April 14, 2012, 11:28 pm

    I had bought red shift and could never really figure it. This sounds great and more suitable for kids. My boys will love it!!
    Thanks for the work that you do!

    • iGameMom April 15, 2012, 2:12 am

      You are wecome. Let me know how you and your boys like it.

  • Author MelindaTripp April 14, 2012, 6:29 pm

    Wow these apps sound wonderful!

  • hiking mama April 14, 2012, 4:05 pm

    Thank you, I am going to try out the Sky View app soon!

  • Chris Hall April 14, 2012, 11:25 am

    “Google Sky Map” is also another great app to try for the Android and iPhone. For the computer I would recommend “Stellarium.” It provides a lot of great detail of the planets, starts and constellations. You can also follow satellites and the international space station.

    • iGameMom April 15, 2012, 2:11 am

      Thank you for the recommendation Chris. I have them in my note, will take a look for sure.

  • allthingsboys April 14, 2012, 8:23 am

    Thanks for the great suggestions! I’ve looked at these before (constellation apps) but was too overwhelmed to figure it out. Thanks for narrowing it down!

    • iGameMom April 15, 2012, 2:06 am

      It is overwhelming while looking at all the apps available. Glad this can help.

  • caspette April 14, 2012, 6:15 am

    Oh thanks I have been looking for a good one for ages. Star Walk seems to getting rave reviews from lots of people.

    • iGameMom April 15, 2012, 2:02 am

      It is good start. It is also available for iPAD, at $4.99, if you prefer bigger screen.

  • chrisharrow April 14, 2012, 6:05 am

    Star Walk is an absolutely phenomenal app. I haven’t played with SkyView.
    Something else I adore about Star Walk is that the app shows you the stars around you, even during daytime when the sun makes it impossible to actually see them. My students, my children, and I have also had fun aiming the iPad at the floor to see what stars people on the other side of the earth are looking at and just below the horizon to locate stars, satellites, etc just before they rise. It’s an amazing app.

    • iGameMom April 15, 2012, 2:01 am

      I, too, found myself pointing at my feet and see what the sky looks like on the other side of the globe :-)

  • heavenswithlamps April 14, 2012, 1:58 am

    Been a follower for a time. Would like to Reblog. Permission?

    • iGameMom April 23, 2012, 11:40 pm

      Sorry for the late reply. Some how, your comment was in the spam folder. Glad I went checked …
      Sure, feel free to reblog, as long as you let me know, and I am given the credit. :-)
      You have an interesting site. Good job!

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