1. cjvitek's Avatar
    Star Tracker for the iPhone, by Shen Ji Pan
    $2.99, ****

    Pros:
    Smooth use of motion sensors
    Many settings to fine tune your experience

    Cons:
    No additional information included; cant tap for details


    If you live in the right areas, star gazing is a great pastime. With the iPhone, stargazing can be brought to whole new levels by using the built in GPS and motion sensing to get a real time view of the night sky. Star Tracker is an app that does just that, although it does have a few flaws in its design.

    Review:  Star Tracker for the iPhone by Shen Ji Pan-photo-jun-05-3-44-31-pm.png
    Figure 1 - Star Tracker helps you identify what you are looking at in the sky, including constellations.

    Using Star Tracker is simple open it up, select your location (manually or automatically) and then aim it at the night sky. It will automatically use the gyroscope and motion sensors to track your movement, and show you a clear vision of what you are seeing in the night sky. It is very fluid in movement as I rotated around or aimed the phone up and down (iPhone 5S), the app smoothly rotated the view. There is even a compass that you can use to identify how flat (or not) your view is.

    Review:  Star Tracker for the iPhone by Shen Ji Pan-photo-jun-05-3-46-23-pm.png
    Figure 2 - You can decide what is on the screen, including planets, constellations, and deep sky objects.

    There are many settings to fine tune your experience a row of buttons on the right side (when holding the phone vertically) allows you to adjust the use of grids, night vision mode, text (names of the objects), how many stars you can see (to represent level of light pollution), presence of deep sky objects, and more. There is even a cool zoom mode which will automatically start to zoom in on an object if you hold the phone still.

    Review:  Star Tracker for the iPhone by Shen Ji Pan-photo-jun-05-3-46-45-pm.png
    Figure 3 - A configuration bar (which can vanish if you want) allows you to adjust a wide variety of settings (and the phone can move between veritcal and landscape mode).

    The visual field is well desgined, although if you arent aware of some design features, it may be a little confusing. Planets are very large in the field of view, so they are not to scale (otherwise we would be able to see the rings of Saturn with the naked eye). The size is presumably to make it easier to find them. Constellations also appear automatically, in a light grey/blue color, so you can easily see what stars make up the image (or light red in night vision mode). If all the buttons get in the way, you can make them disappear for the clean view of the sky as well.

    Review:  Star Tracker for the iPhone by Shen Ji Pan-photo-jun-05-3-58-02-pm.png
    Figure 4 - Night mode is in red to eliminate and distracting light.

    The search and lookup features are sorted by type of object (solar system, deep sky, constellation, etc.). One great feature about the search is that rather than just move to the object, an arrow appear telling you which way to rotate to find the object. Of course, sometimes you may end up looking straight at the ground, indicating the object you are looking for is visible on the other side of the planet! Another nice feature is that you can send an image of what you are looking at via text, email, to twitter or facebook, or airdrop. Although this feature seems limited, since it is really just a picture of what your iPhone is showing you.

    Review:  Star Tracker for the iPhone by Shen Ji Pan-photo-jun-05-3-45-12-pm.png
    Figure 5 - Search will allow you to find planets, stars, constellations, and deep sky objects - pointing you in the right direction.

    The information provided by the app is limited, however. Beyond the name of an object or constellation, you dont have any information. You cant find out any details by tapping on it, so you are out of luck if you want to know more. I also wish things like satellites and meteor showers were included.

    Another problem I had with the app was that while you could adjust the star field view, it didnt relate that to what you SHOULD be able to see. That is, I cant put in the kind of city or the lighting in the area to have it automatically adjust. It would be nice to be able to have the app tell me what the star field view setting should be, to indicate what I should be able to see.

    All in all, Star Tracker for the iPhone is a nice stargazing companion. It isnt an encyclopedic reference, but merely designed as a tool to aid your stargazing mostly to help you find things rather than learn about them. There are some nice customization features, and the fluidity of the app is very nice. For $2.99, the app is reasonably priced, although I do wish they at least included the option to look up information on Wikipedia about certain sky object. Four out of five stars.

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. Please comment on these reviews. All opinions expressed in this review are precisely that opinions. You may agree or disagree. If you own the app, tell me what your opinion is. If the review prompted you to buy (or not buy) the app, let me know why. If you want more information about the app, go ahead and ask.
    Attached Thumbnails Review:  Star Tracker for the iPhone by Shen Ji Pan-photo-jun-05-3-46-45-pm.png  
    06-05-2014 05:24 PM
  2. taz323's Avatar
    Nice review,thank you.
    06-05-2014 05:35 PM
  3. pr1nce's Avatar
    Another nice review. Thanks
    06-05-2014 05:46 PM
  4. iOS Gravity's Avatar
    Thanks for the review.
    06-05-2014 07:01 PM
  5. Jaguarr40's Avatar
    Welcome to iMore and thank you for the intro of your new app to our members. Good luck to you.


    EDIT:
    Clarification: Sorry CJ I did not see it was you giving a review to make sure you know I made a mistake. Sorry about that Sir!
    Last edited by Jaguarr40; 06-06-2014 at 09:17 AM.
    06-05-2014 08:10 PM
  6. cjvitek's Avatar
    I have been a member for a while, and posting reviews for a while too.
    Jaguarr40 likes this.
    06-05-2014 11:55 PM
  7. BBFunGuy's Avatar
    This is one of my favourite apps. In terms of usefulness, it is obviously limited, but the product is beyond the quality of 99% of apps available. Other devs should hang their heads in shame, but they are probably trying to find an angle whereby they can release something similar, with self-destructing pictures.
    06-06-2014 05:26 AM
  8. Jaguarr40's Avatar
    I have been a member for a while, and posting reviews for a while too.
    Yes I know CJ and if you look at every other post by me I made a mistake being in a hurry and did not read who it was from. I apologized in my original post and have know you a long time. My bad, Hope you understand Sir?
    06-06-2014 09:19 AM
  9. cjvitek's Avatar
    No problem at all. . I thought it was funny, never was upset or anything. We are good. 👍
    Last edited by cjvitek; 06-06-2014 at 10:18 AM.
    Jaguarr40 likes this.
    06-06-2014 09:47 AM
  10. ctt1wbw's Avatar
    I've had this app for years. It runs flawlessly. I had it on a 3GS, an iPhone 4, 4s, and it runs flawlessly. Truly an awesome app. If you want to showcase an iPhone, this is THE app to do it with.
    06-06-2014 11:10 AM
  11. CJ Allan's Avatar
    I'm also "CJ"... and this IS my first post.

    I'm new here, and I am lost... I was on my way to ask a question about iPad 4, when I saw this great review. so stopped to look.

    Will it work with the iPad 4? If so, I'll get a copy, even though I'm not in a wonderful viewing area.

    On my earlier quest... can you direct me to the right place to ask questions about the iPad 4?

    Thanks much!
    Jaguarr40 and nikkisharif like this.
    06-06-2014 01:46 PM
  12. iOS Gravity's Avatar
    I'm also "CJ"... and this IS my first post.

    I'm new here, and I am lost... I was on my way to ask a question about iPad 4, when I saw this great review. so stopped to look.

    Will it work with the iPad 4? If so, I'll get a copy, even though I'm not in a wonderful viewing area.

    On my earlier quest... can you direct me to the right place to ask questions about the iPad 4?

    Thanks much!
    It's in the iPhone, iPad, iPod and iOS section. Then click on the iPad 4 section. You can make a new thread about your iPad 4 in there.
    06-06-2014 02:06 PM
  13. Jaguarr40's Avatar
    I'm also "CJ"... and this IS my first post.

    I'm new here, and I am lost... I was on my way to ask a question about iPad 4, when I saw this great review. so stopped to look.

    Will it work with the iPad 4? If so, I'll get a copy, even though I'm not in a wonderful viewing area.

    On my earlier quest... can you direct me to the right place to ask questions about the iPad 4?

    Thanks much!
    Welcome to iMore as long as you are here and stop in the Introduction forum and say hello to everyone.
    06-06-2014 02:37 PM
  14. CJ Allan's Avatar
    Thanks to both of you who just replied to me!

    I see my problem, now. I had found the menu item "find your device" with the little black arrow at the end... and I was clicking the little black arrow, expecting it to take me to a list of devices... (...DUH...) and it didn't, of course, move at all... It was waiting for me to type in my device name.

    OK... as soon as I complete this current mission, I'll find the place to introduce myself.

    Thanks to all!
    06-06-2014 04:26 PM
  15. iOS Gravity's Avatar
    Thanks to both of you who just replied to me!

    I see my problem, now. I had found the menu item "find your device" with the little black arrow at the end... and I was clicking the little black arrow, expecting it to take me to a list of devices... (...DUH...) and it didn't, of course, move at all... It was waiting for me to type in my device name.

    OK... as soon as I complete this current mission, I'll find the place to introduce myself.

    Thanks to all!
    No problem. Welcome to iMore!
    06-06-2014 04:34 PM
  16. cjvitek's Avatar
    As far as I know, it will work on the iPad 4 if you run it in the double pixel mode. There is an iPad version of the app as well, which I assume is the same quality, but I did not test it. There is also an "HD" version of this app for the iphone, which I think has enhanced visuals, but I am not sure.
    06-06-2014 05:36 PM
  17. cjvitek's Avatar
    Correction, the version I reviewed was "for the iphone 5S". Not sure about the HD version.
    06-06-2014 05:38 PM
  18. nikkisharif's Avatar
    Great review...Thanks!!
    06-07-2014 01:17 AM
  19. nikkisharif's Avatar
    I'm also "CJ"... and this IS my first post.

    I'm new here, and I am lost... I was on my way to ask a question about iPad 4, when I saw this great review. so stopped to look.

    Will it work with the iPad 4? If so, I'll get a copy, even though I'm not in a wonderful viewing area.

    On my earlier quest... can you direct me to the right place to ask questions about the iPad 4?

    Thanks much!
    Welcome to iMore CJ
    06-07-2014 01:18 AM

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