Solar Walk Updates Are Notable

| Quick Look Review

The first version of Solar Walk for iOS, from Vito Technology, reviewed here was disappointing. Since then, Vito Technology has made some significant improvements to the application. And now, it’s also available in the Mac App Store as well.

Inner solar system

Inner solar system (v1.6)

Solar Walk v1.4 disappointed me. While it was a dazzling program, I took it to task for putting visual appeal ahead of a sense of the scale of the planets and the solar system. I also complained about how the sound mute button went away as one drilled down as well as the fact that the descriptions of the planets’ internal structure (and the Sun) weren’t keyed to the image.

Outer solar system

Outer solar system (v1.6)

All that’s been fixed. There’s a new mode in which one can see the scale of the solar system without the necessity to show the size of the planets all out of scale. (See the screen shots above.) One can pinch zoom in and out of the solar system to get a feel for the vastness of the solar system without the need to show out-of-scale planets. Clearly now, the splash screen is a just a stylized graphic and isn’t used as a template for later, scientific presentation. Of course, the old mode remains to make it easier to select (touch) a planet to investigate, and I can see using that as a selection mode — so long as it’s not the only method of presentation.

old presentation

Alternate (legacy) presentation still there (for selection by touch)

Other features have been added in v1.6, such as the ability to follow ten of the most interesting artificial satellites and investigate named points of interest on the surfaces of planets. All in all, the fixes plus additions are very good, and I can now recommend Solar Walk v1.6.

Product: Solar Walk 1.6

Company: Viti Technology

List Price: US$2.99

Pros:

Visually dazzling while maintaining sense of proportion and scale of planets and solar system. Detailed info about structure of planets.

Cons:

None noted.

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3 Comments

Monty Lee

No mention of compatibility with the iPod Touch.

John Martellaro

Monty: (and great to hear from you): when we say “iOS” that includes the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad.

Monty Lee

Hi there. I understand, but their website and ITunes does not say that, so I wanted to make sure (been burned on previous products).

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