App Review: Sky Guide

by Gianna Creighton

My name is Gianna Creighton and I am affiliated with West Hills High School Journalism. The name of the app I am reviewing is called Sky Guide: View Stars Night or Day. The version of this app is 6.2.3; the developer of this app is Fifth Star Labs LLC-fifthstarlabs.com. The platforms for this app include: on IOS 9.0 or later and can be bought on devices like iPhones, iPads, iPod touch, and Apple Watch. The price for this app is 2.99$. There is no free or lite version available but when looking up sky guide in the App Store I was able to find other free apps that provided the same use as Sky Guide. Sky Guide does offer in-app purchases.

Sky Guide is an app that allows app users to learn about and study the different types of constellations and stars that are in the sky above them. Sky Guide is designed for all ages four and up and can be used by astronomers ranging from beginner to intermediate. People who may be interested in finding a certain star may be drawn to the uses of Sky Guide. When you first buy the app, steps and directions are provided that are easy to read and understand, which make the app easy to use when new to Sky Guide. The app is very easy to navigate because it matches your location with the stars around you, so when you are looking at a comet in the actual sky the comet is appearing on your screen at the same time.

Sky Guide keeps the user interested with its playful sounds that you hear when you click on a star. The hotter the star is the higher the pitch. The larger stars have louder volumes, so based on sound the user could easily figure out which stars are bigger than others.

Sky Guide is fun to use because of the images that are shown with each star constellation. When you rotate the screen and stop at a constellation lines are drawn between the stars and  an image is shown in the background of what the stars are supposed to look like. This feature is especially fun to use. Sky Guide is visually very appealing. The app uses bright colors like purple, pink, yellow, and orange to represent planets. The Milky Way, stars, comets, and satellites brings an exciting tone to the app that invites the user to investigate.

The icon of Sky Guide is probably the most eye catching  I have ever seen. The icon has a dark blue and purple background with a light blue constellation with silver and gold stars connected to the line. It really stands out when scrolling through the app store.

The sounds used in the app include high pitch sounds when you click on a hot star and when you click on larger stars they have louder volumes. The sounds are of high quality, but are non customizable. Also when using the app there is constant soft background music playing which gives a warm feel to the app.

The app does provide for users with disabilities because of the IOS that is needed when you download the app because IOS has distinctive features that helps those that are disabled. This app could have been used during the solar eclipse so you could look at the eclipse on your phone without harming your eyes. Sky Guide can also be used on a super starry night, during a meteor shower, or for a passing comet. This app is of a higher quality than its competitors; Sky Guide has easier navigation of the app, brighter colors, and interactive audio, whereas the other similar apps only have bright colors and lacks the sound and easy navigation. Sky Guide allows you to easily take a picture of a constellation you found and upload it to any social media account. This app has a favorites section where you can store all your favored constellations and then look back on them whenever you want. The app tells the user what stars they are looking at and information on those stars which many users are unable to do without the app.