By Finch Consulting
Open iTunes to buy and download apps.
The International Space Station. Hubble. The space shuttle. Astronauts, taikonauts, and cosmonauts. They fly overhead more often than you think. All you need to know is when to look.
"Satellite Flybys" turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into an indispensable, field-tested satellite watching tool. It tells you when spacecraft are about to appear (with a countdown clock!), which direction you should face, and even turns down the screen brightness to boost night vision. It also cuts through much confusion. There are thousands of spacecraft in Earth orbit. "Satellite flybys" tells you only about the most interesting and newsworthy objects. Satellite selections are made by Dr. Tony Phillips of spaceweather.com and change when visible objects come and go in the night sky.
(1) A one week look-ahead schedule of flybys
(2) Active flyby alerts. Your phone or iPod will ring and prompt you to launch the app when a series of interesting flybys are coming up in the next few days.
(3) A flyby countdown clock. This really fun feature helps you know *exactly* when to look.
(4) Pictures and detailed information on each tracked object.
(5) Night vision mode. Watch the countdown clock and read more about the satellite flying overhead--without spoiling your night vision.
Note: We would love to link the flybys to the calendar and alerts in the iPhone as some reviewers have suggested. Unfortunately, we can't. It is not allowed in the iPhone programming environment in OS3.
Note: If you upgraded to OS4 and the app quit working, uninstall the app and reinstall it from iTunes.
What's New in Version 2.0.1
Minor fix to push notification service for ipod touch users, and fixed display issue in FAQ page.
I've tried some of the other satellite spotting apps and the problem is that after I spot the obvious flyovers (ISS, Hubble, Shuttle), I really don't know what else to look for and the apps don't help me figure that out. This app has a constantly changing set of satellites that is maintained by an expert. That's a huge plus for a casual sky watcher like me. And there is a photo and description of each currently active satellite so I learn something about what I'm looking at. As an educational tool this is by far the best satellite spotting app available.
The upgrades with version 2+ are icing on the cake. The addition of GPS locating and the News page is great!
Screen Keeps Freezing
I like the application. The application tells my 7 year old son and I where and when to look in the sky and we see the objects most of the time. We have even set the alarm for early morning to view the International Space Station. That is a sight I recommend to everyone. The only problem is the screen keeps freezing when you are scrolling to read an objects description. The only way to continue is to restart the application. Then you scroll again and it freezes again. I wish they wood fix this because it is quite annoying!
Would be 4 stars if it worked correctly!
This app is adequate for what little it does, which is predict flybys of a very limited subset of satellites. It could be a lot better. One obvious thing: the mostly white startup screen is a ghastly glow to a dark adapted observer. Another: location data is sparse and ambiguous. The app tells you to look toward a compass point, but what does that mean? Is that where the satellite rises, or where it's highest? What if it rises in shadow? Finally, I have found its predicted appearance times to often be in error by a minute or two.