By Nate Adcock on Sat, 08/01/2009
I want to thank everyone for participating in the contest (and especially to ViTO for sponsoring). Our winners appear after the break with instructions for claiming your free copy. If you missed it or didn’t win, go check out the winning Star Walk celestial viewing application (it’s only 5 bucks)--now with digital compass capability. If you did win a copy, we ask that you post a short review in iTunes and on our comment section here. Read on for my mini-review, contest rules and instructions, etc.
To collect your prize, please visit my profile here (which has my e-mail at the end). Send me a quick e-mail with the word "Star Walk" in the subject, and I'll send a code that you can use in the iTunes store to allow you to get the app for free. Sorry to be all cloak and dagger about it, but spam is an ever-present concern here. Thanks again for everyone's participation, and especially to ViTO for sponsoring it. Be sure to check back to our blogs in the future as I'm sure we will be doing more great promotions like this. Don’t forget to post a short review here and in iTunes (you can see mine below as an example), after using the program.
Star Walk mini-review
You can check out the more complete review of SW here. I had version 2.0 already installed on my iPod touch, so I was able to connect to wifi on my home network, and grab the update through the App Store app (free) in less than 2 minutes (about 22MB). Since the 1.0 product, a couple of pretty cool features have been added that I especially like. The wikipedia feature being one that is helpful, since the “i” display can only show so much data about an object. I have a minor gripe that the app closes and has to be re-opened after launching the wikipedia query though. The new compass seems only partially functional on my touch, meaning you can tilt the unit up to view the sky from either N, or S only, as I’m guessing there is no iphone 3GS capabilities. It would be nice if you could somehow calibrate your directions manually to have it approximate the panning motions, maybe based on the internal touch location data and manual calibration settings. I also enjoyed the updated messier database of deep sky objects (in case you want to check out the Crab nebula or the Andromeda galaxy, for instance). Want to feel like terminator, you can try the night viewing mode, which is just kind of a cool red-shift to the normal display color (though not sure it would be superior in low light conditions to the norm).
Whether you post a comment for the contest or not, if you have school-age kids or are an astro-geek yourself, you really have to check out this valuable application. It’s only $4.99 in the app store…
Star Walk Main Functions:
TIME MACHINE (included in the Help Guide): click on the clock icon and date and time will be displayed. Slide your finger on the hours and the sky will start moving accordingly. Touch year, month and time and change depending on what you want to see, the display will adapt accordingly to show you how stars and planets were aligned at that time.
MOON PHASES: select the moon with the touch of your finger, click on -i - symbol to enlarge the image and start the clock to watch moon phases. You can do the same with all other planets and stars.
FINDER: if you can't find the star, planet or constellation you are interested in, click on the magnifier symbol and a list of all of them will appear, select it and the display will locate it for you. Wikipedia links: select one celestial corpse and click on the - i - icon to activate the magnifier and read main information about it. To know more click on the -w - icon at the bottom of the table ad the wikipedia page will open up
SETTINGS: with the bottom right icon you are given different options. You can change the screen with night mode, select brightness, put sounds on or off, find and select location and start you list of favorites.
Also on previous version (1.5) we included
- Pictures of all constellations
- Deep sky objects (Messier)
- Meteor showers
- Wikipedia links
- Real 30 FPS
- Search Function
- Magnitude selection
For those and many more reasons Star Walk has also been selected as the Official Product for IYA2009 (international year of astronomy 2009).
Contest Rules: Winners are chosen at random. You must comment on this post (or related posts), and within the scope of the topic in a relevant manner (spamlike, one-word or off-topic posts will be deleted, of course). I reserve the right to determine what is considered relevant and will make final judgments concerning comments and winners. Inappropriate content will be removed. Contest will end on Friday, 31 July 2009 (11PM EST). Winners are asked to post a short review here in comments and in iTunes after using the software.