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Growing attached to apps and services is something we have all done as iOS users — with Sparrow being a particular sore point. Difficulties can arise when developers attempt to improve upon their previous efforts in the name of innovation and improvement; however, as with Skitch, such plans aren’t so easily fulfilled. Therefore, upon hearing my favourite app of 2012 was being redeveloped, I listened with more than a little trepidation. As it turns out the team have released a brand new app filled with mind blowing audio and visuals, once again blowing my mind.

Again based upon Nick Risinger’s stunning cosmological photography, Sky Guide is the new iteration of Sky Survey — the most beautiful app in the App Store, until now. Like Apple, Risinger knows even the best products can be improved and with Sky Guide his team have brought a wealth of new material to give any astronomy enthusiast goosebumps. The idea may remain the same but there’s plenty of features to get excited about whilst scanning the Milky Way. Let’s take a look.

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As the App Store has swelled in size, it has become increasingly difficult to find those sparse gems — apps that can be a real treat to stumble upon. Sky Survey happens to be one of them. I first heard about the app while watching an episode of Horizon on the BBC iPlayer service and, utterly captivated by its premise and development, decided to track it down.

The cornerstone principle of the app is nothing new; in fact, you may have heard of Night Sky as an app that also details the many celestial objects on show above our heads. However, that’s where the similarities end. The end result of Sky Survey is derived largely from one man’s painstaking efforts to capture the Milky Way in unprecedented detail; an effort that has yielded some of the most breathtaking images I have ever seen. Stick around after the break to lose yourself in space. (more…)

Following on from the success of the popular BBC television series of the same name, Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe sees the popular scientist, lecturer, and former pop star present an app which makes use of both his typical style of breaking down complex scientific matters into simple stories and beautiful, immersive graphics which really shine on the last two versions of iPad (the app is not compatible with first gen iPads, unfortunately).

Wonders of the Universe contains over two hundred interactive articles and some two and a half hours of video taken from Cox’s two popular BBC TV series, Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe. With no further ado, let’s take a look at how this promising app stacks up! 

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When it comes to playing games on my iPad, I’m normally looking for one of two things.

  1. Something entertaining and fun that’ll amuse me for a few minutes, perhaps longer if it’s really good!
  2. A game that’s immersive and really gets me involved, something to engage my mind for a longer period of time and provide a good challenge.

Both of these types of games have their strengths and weaknesses, I’m not going to open up Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery if I only have 5 minutes to kill, that’s missing the point entirely, I’d much rather dive headfirst into something that’ll give me a quick fix!

Pod Odyssey is a game that definitely comes under the first definition, but offers a depth of detail and enjoyment that is refreshing in the bloated occasional game category. Most exciting of all, you can easily get your hands on it – we have a competition this week in which we’re giving away 25 copies of the game, check it out and get involved!

Put on your spacesuit and grab your helmet!

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