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STARMAP PRO FOR IPHONE 3GS REVIEW


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Hi All!

This is my first review on something, so…please be gentle!

Also as a novice to astronomy I would like to thank SGL and their members for helping me so much. I really have become an addict to SGL! I have only been a member for a few weeks but have found myself browsing, asking questions etc every day! And I have learnt so much in such a short time. So thank you SGL! And now time to give something back…

STARMAP PRO FOR IPHONE 3GS

I have had this app pretty much since I bought the phone around 6 months ago. I really can’t fault it, especially from a novice’s point of view, however I really believe even more experienced armature astronomers would find this tool useful too. I found more in the night sky by using this than I had ever done with a paper star map. Maybe that’s due to my own stupidity but truly this app couldn’t make the process any easier.

Features:

I guess the number one feature has to be the augmented reality, in other words it uses the iphone’s (3gs) capabilities (gps, compass & accelerometers) to change what part of the sky you are looking at, a truly fantastic feature, giving it a ‘point & shoot’ style to viewing what’s up there.

Finding object is just as easy as point and shoot; if they are obvious e.g. planets & constellations.

If they aren’t so obvious e.g. galaxy’s, nebula, clusters etc..Then I found the technique of star hoping from bright stars etc really easy with this app.

Other features include a handy selection of what’s good to view that night (dependent on your time and location).This will give a list of anything you wish to filter it by from messier to planets, comets etc, In the list it will firstly show: ‘name’ ‘rise & set times’ and magnitude. I found this particularly good as my telescope is not very powerful, I could then see what objects were bright enough to have a look at. You can then select an item from the list and it will give a more detailed description e.g. location, distance, constellation etc. Then if you want to find it, it is as simple as pressing the ‘find’ button. Which automatically brings you back to the augmented reality, it then shows an arrow of which way to start moving around until you have it centered.

Another great feature is the ‘optics’ part where you can enter in the type of scope (f/ratio) and eyepieces, Barlow’s and also the finder you have. This then gives you an AFOW of the sky for each zoom factor.

There are other features that are handy such as a red light torch, search, logbook and even the ability to remote control a mount for slewing.

And finally there are features for the astro photographer, such as alarms, countdowns, places to store pictures and info on what equipment you used for them.

So all and all I find this a great app for nights out with the scope. And for times you’re without your scope and the weather breaks for a short time.

Hope this helps inform your decision about this app, for me I certainly have no regrets!

Thanks all,

Michael.

Edited by BeyondVision
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Michael - Nice review, I have this software as well and have to agree with you 100%. I know it's an expensive IPhone app but compare it to Starry Night and the cost soon appears OK!

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Hi blinky! Thank you, yup by far the best app i have! You've got to love the iphone with its design and functions, its truly the future..star trekie allmost! hehe...or maybe thats just my 'space geeky' tendencies! haha

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  • 3 months later...

Great review

I'm finding my iPhone an essential tool for astro. WeatherPro is the best weather data I've ever used, I can VNC into the obs PC, I can get the Obs camera up on it, I can post on my blog and look at SGL on Tapatalk

Is there anything it can't do?

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Cheers folks.

Yea i also have VNC great little app too. And what better use for it than to log in and controll your obsy! ;)

i.brew 1.0....Well believe it or not!! but it would be possible to do this already. I don't know if you remember the Iphone advert on tv where by the guy could controll his lights in his house from the plane.

Well using this same technology (X10) you can control virtualy any appliance in the house i.e the kettle! from a touch of a button on your phone from anywhere in the world. Ok theres no point boiling the kettle a 100 miles from your house, but you get the picture.

Pritty cool none the less! :mad:

Michael

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Have you seen android app "google skymap" and if so, how does it compare?

I have seen this being used on a sony erricson, however i found that the sensors were not nearly as acurate as the iphones, plus it seemed to jurk around a bit. Also i didn't think there were nearly as many features.

But if you don't own an iphone and this is your only option then get it. As i'm sure you will still find it usefull. :mad:

Michael ;)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I use starmap pro and would recommend it without hesitation. I has an amazing catalogue of stars and dso's plus the option to download a vast number of comet and meteor catalogues. I truly think the meteor shower dates is awesome and am already booking days for the Gemanoids in December. If you have an iPhone, you need this app.

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Can I give an honourable mention to Star Walk and Distant Suns? Although less packed with features than Starmap Pro, I find them both really easy to use and have simple interfaces. Star Walk is particularly nice to look at; I see it's also now being used in the iPad TV advert.

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A very well written review Michael. Seems to be worth its weight in gold that app ;). Do you reckon this is the sort of aid the hand set from the Orion SkyQuest IntelliScope gives :icon_salut:.

One more reason to get an IPhone, but I cannot justify paying the monthly charge atm :(

Jason.

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yep.. and for those of us that cant afford a iphone there is the ipod i bought mine s/h for £70 ok its not got gps but put in the lat/long or nearest city in distant suns lite ( free app ) and it works a treat, and i can use wi fi for weather updates etc..

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have starmap and starwalk and I like them both. Starmap has a more comprehensive catalogue of the sky and I like the feature that shows your eyepiece views. Starwalk I find has a much easier time slider which allows me to plan my nights viewing.

Adrian

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That's an excellent overview. I didn't think I would be saying this but it sounds better then SkySafari from Carinasoft. The astrophoto section is a great addition - funny really you only miss something when you know it could be there !!!

Robert

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Just downloaded StarMap Pro for my 3GS :). Looks good at a glance but it'll take a bit of getting used to. I've been using Pocket Universe for the last few months. I'll let you know how I get on with it :)

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