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Top Android App: Google Sky Map

Top Android App: Google Sky Map
“Google Sky Map turns your Android-powered mobile phone into a window on the night sky.”  The description Google gives in the Android Market is spot on, so I figured I’d put it here for you.

Application: Google Sky Map
Version: 1.3
Size: 409KB

Category: Reference
Price: Free
Overall Score: 4.9/5
User Interface: 5/5
Ease of Use: 5/5
Customizability: 5/5
Originality: 5/5
Indispensability: 4.5/5
To make it short and sweet, Google Sky Map uses your GPS location and the built-in compass to determine where you are and what direction you are looking.  Simply point your phone in a direction to see stars, planets, constellations, messier objects, the moon, etc. in your view.  You will be amazed at how accurate this app truly is.
By touching the screen you can quickly see the different layers (items in the sky) that are turned on by default.  You can toggle which layers you want to see.  You can also switch between automatic mode (which changes the view based on how your phone is positioned) or manual mode (where you can search the sky by moving your finger around on the screen).  Similarly, there is a feature for night mode that uses black and red colors in the app only in order to reduce any glare from the light coming from the screen.
Google Sky Map can help you figure out the name of that certain bright star in the sky.  It can also help you determine where a particular item in the sky is.  For example, if you wanted to find where the star Polaris is, you can do a quick search.  The app will point an arrow to help you home in on the object.  Once it is found, a large locating circle encompasses the object.
One thing I wish this app did was allow you to select an item on the screen to either a) pop up a window describing it in more detail or b) open a Google search with the name in order to get more detail.
Overall, Google Sky Map is one of those apps that is extremely fun to play around with.  It is a great app to share with family and friends because of how useful and exciting it is along with how it displays the power of Android applications and Google.
Scan with Barcode Scanner for direct link to Google Sky Map in the Android Market.

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