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Top 5 Free Apps

Release Date: August 05, 2009
Genre: Games
Release Date: May 22, 2009
Genre: Games
Release Date: August 29, 2009
Genre: Games
Release Date: March 27, 2009
Release Date: August 07, 2009

iTunes New Music Releases

Release Date: September 29, 2009
Genre: Rock
Release Date: September 20, 2009
Release Date: September 15, 2009
Release Date: August 25, 2009
Genre: Rock
Release Date: August 25, 2009

Top 5 Paid Apps

Release Date: April 22, 2009
StickWars $0.99
Release Date: March 31, 2009
Genre: Games
Bloons $0.99
Release Date: April 05, 2009
Genre: Games

Discover New Music

  • Spilt Milk

    • 10 out of 10
    • Jellyfish
    • The second and final album from this power-pop group makes me wish Jellyfish had been able to make just one more record together. The album is best enjoyed as a whole piece, flowing from one track to
  • Velocifero

    • 6 out of 10
    • Ladytron
    • "Back to the future" isn't the right turn of phrase for Ladytron's newest album,

  • Every Day: The Best of the Verve Years

    • 8 out of 10
    • Joe Williams
    • Joe Williams was Figure Two in my three-man education in singing. A brilliant vocalist, scatter, and interpreter of jazz and blues, Williams produces music that's totally unique, yet sounds so effortl
  • Go Away White

    • 10 out of 10
    • Bauhaus
    • Go Away White is an album I've been waiting more than 20 years to hear, and the good news is that it was worth the wait.  The latest -- and last, no...for real this time -- album from

  • Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

    • 8 out of 10
    • Arctic Monkeys
    • Get on your dancing shoes
      You sexy little swine

      -Arctic

Reader Specials

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Quick Look Review

SkyGazer is Much More than a Sky Simulator

SkyGazer for the iPhone and iPod touch from Carina Software is a guide to the night sky and shows all the stars one can see with the naked eye plus all the planets and 220 of the best known star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. The strength of the app is the enormous amount of additional detail for major objects, including NASA spacecraft imagery.

At first glance, SkyGazer appears to be just another planetarium program that shows the night sky from various places and times.

SkyGazer

Looking West from Denver tonight, end of dusk

However, touching an object of interest, a star or planet or whole constellation for example, brings up a wealth of detail. In the case of constellations, one need merely press "info" at the bottom to bring up a detailed data. For example, the origin and mythology of all the constellations is provided with a touch of the description button.

Info on Bootes

History, Mythology of Constellation Bootes

In the case of the planets, there is a wealth of technical data, diagrams, and beautiful photos from NASA spacecraft and the Hubble telescope that give one a great feel for almost being there, floating in space.

Any planetarium program for the iPhone has access to the horsepower to do the coordinate transformations and display the night sky. However, the strength of this program is the supporting astronomical information. One can learn a lot about observational astronomy if one just sits back and does some reading.

Saturn;s Moons

Saturn's rings and close in moons

A search function is nicely set up in categories, so if, for example, you're looking for Venus, just touch Search, touch planets, then Venus, and you can either find it and show it in the sky (or see that it's below the horizon) or read more details.

The only thing I could wish for is a way to change the time of night right on the display. As it stands, one must go into settings and select a fixed date and time. Its easy to do, and the settings are extensive, but changing the time right on the display with a small slider would be a nice addition.

Jupiter

Read all about Jupiter or just look at a great photo

This is quality software, has a great look and feel, and provides a textbook's worth of information for US$2.99. Anyone who is casually interested in learning the night sky can't wrong for that price. For more advanced amateurs, SkyGazer has a big brother version, SkyVoyager, with a much larger catalog of stars and more capability. Both can control a telescope via Wi-Fi to serial converter if it's one of the computer controlled GoTo versions.

Sky Gazer offers a lot for just US$2.99. It requires iPhone OS 2.2 or later. You'll literally be in heaven.

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