Every now and again, an iPhone or iPad application comes along on the App Store and just blows your mind. The app will be unique, it will have some seriously cool graphics and it will make you want to show it off to as many people as you possibly can. Solar Walk is undoubtedly one of those applications.
The Solar Walk iPhone & iPad App is fairly self explanatory: it takes you on a guided tour of our solar system, allowing you to zoom between the planets (and Pluto), and take a look at detailed information on any planet that you choose, either on the small screen of your iPhone or the larger screen of the iPad tablet.
In essence, the application is a pretty simple one. You can fly by each planet, check out a few facts and figures, move on and check out the next one. Everything about the application, however, is perfectly tailored for the experience. This isn’t a generic e-book on our solar system, nor is it a bit of plain text on a page.
Instead, you can double tap on any 3D representation of a planet and you will be taken to it, with all the other planets flying past on your screen. Once you’re there, you can explore a little by panning around with your finger, and view some detailed information about the planet by hitting the little “i” button at the top left hand corner of the screen. The planet will take itself off to the side of your screen, or to a position where you can still see it whilst reading the information, and a little information box will occupy the far left hand side of the screen.
Once you’ve checked out the information on each of the planets, you can take yourself back and forwards in time by using the time slider on the right hand side of the screen. By tapping the time scale on the top of the screen and choosing between the year, month, day and time, you can zoom back to the middle ages or try to see what you’ll be having for dinner tomorrow night (tried, doesn’t work, don’t bother).
If I was to have any complaints about the Solar Walk iPhone & iPad App, my major gripe would be the pixelation of a planet when you zoom really close in. If you zoom close in to Earth, it’s a pixelated mess. Considering how attractive the application is when viewing planets from afar, I’d love the Solar Walk team to take a while and clean up the look of the planets close up. It’s less of an issue with other planets, as there isn’t a lot of detail to see, but you notice it closer to home.
At £1.79, Solar Walk is an absolute bargain, and it’s available as a universal application which allows you to buy once and install on both your iPad and iPhone or iPod Touch. You can download it from the App Store now.
Have you bought Solar Walk App for yourself? Let us know what you think about it in the comments!