The newest Android app from the Google team is looking pretty awesome, and if it works like it says it does, then I’m going to be having some fun times this weekend out in the country. Google Sky Map is basically a reality augmentation app that lets you use your Android phone as a sort of virtual lens for checking out constellations, planets, and other stuff out there. It’s made so that you actually point the phone at where you’re looking; it uses GPS and accelerometer data to figure all that stuff out.
Of course, you can also search for visible stars and stellar objects — Sirius, Castor, Pollux, all that. This will make astronomy a lot easier for me; I’ve downloaded stuff like the World Wide Telescope, but actually being out there in a field with Orion floating there above me, that’s where I want to be able to say “hey, what’s that one called?”
You can download it now from the Marketplace. It’s free.
Update: It’s downloaded, and I have to echo the sentiments of one of the in-Marketplace reviewers: “Force close at startup…way to go Google.” Apparently it’s got some issues with Cupcake as well. If I tell it to wait instead of force-closing, I can access the menus and set my location manually but there are no stars. Does this have something to do with the fact that it’s day here? No. That would be ridiculous. Anybody get it to work yet?
Update 2: Just got mine to work, I think it just has some issues. I made a video but then found out Google already did one: