Astronomy Apps for the Discerning Smartphone User

So you’re taking an astronomy class, or you’re a known astronomy enthusiast.  You’ve probably already had friends and family ask you “Cool, so what’s that up in the sky?”.

If you happen to have a smartphone, there are cheap (often free) mobile astronomy apps that are basically pocket versions of Stellarium, with the bonus feature that they can display a “live” view of the sky that the device is pointing at.

There are tons of programs like this; I just looked for free ones with the “live sky” feature that displays a view of the sky “behind” the device.  Apart from the Android apps Google Sky Map (very basic) and Star Chart (RA/DEC/constellation displays, fly to the planets and moons as long as you don’t mind that they all look like Ganymede), I haven’t actually tried any of these personally.  I don’t know if they actually work, I don’t know what other features they have.

Google Sky Map (Free)
Star Chart (Free as of 9/25/2013)
Stellarium Mobile ($2.00)

Starmap Lite (Free):
Star Chart (Free as of 9/25/2013)
Star Walk ($3.00)
SkySafari ($3.00)

Windows Phone 7/8:
SkyMap Free (Free):
SkyORB (Free):

microsky (Free, but it may not work, and has no “live” mode):

Blackberry X:
no free app
StarTracker ($1.00):
What’s up ($1.00):

Nokia Symbian:
no free app
Astroller ($1.00):
Stellarium Mobile ($2.00):

Let me know if you know of any other good free ones.

Updated 9/25/2013: Apparently for the last seven months I’ve had bad links here.  Fixed.  Also, I added Star Chart to the Android and iOS lists because it’s free now.


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