I wasn't really sure what I was going to write about this morning. Then I was walking out to my truck to leave for work and I happened to look up at the sky. If you read my post yesterday, you will realize that isn't an uncommon thing for me. In this instance, it led me to think of a great topic for today's post.
I'd love to know what the coolest app is on your smartphone. Let's get this out of the way right now....
NO HIVE RELATED APPS
We are all here, we know how awesome Hive is, no need to bombard my comments with hundreds of single word comments saying "Ecency" or "Leo Mobile". If you have been following me, you know that I am pretty liberal with my upvotes on comments. I'm telling you right now, that won't be the case if you mention a Hive related app. In fact, I might go one step further and actually downvote your comment because clearly you just read my title and not my actual post, or you just don't care.
There, now that we have the "rules" out of the way, I'm going to share with you one of the coolest apps that I have on my phone.
Unfortunately, if you have an iPhone you won't have access to this app. It looks like it is either still in development or since it is Google they may just not give a flying flip about iphone users.
If you are one of the blessed masses to be using an Android phone and you haven't checked out Google SkyMap yet, you definitely need to. I've been using the app for several years now and it never ceases to amaze me just how cool it is.
Before Augmented Reality was a big buzz word or the latest thing, Google was already giving it to us via SkyMap.
Basically, you open the app and after turning on location services and calibrating your phone, you point it up at the sky (or not). It works best at night of course, but it will label pretty much every major star, constellation, planet, and other extra terrestrial object that you might be seeing with your naked eye.
You can see in the photo above that I was looking at the constellation Orion this morning. I used it a couple of weekends ago to pinpoint where the epicenter of the Perseid meteor shower was.
Occasionally, my friend son will ask me to open the app when we are camping so he can see where Uranus is. Elementary age boys right?
I'd almost consider this app a poor mans telescope. I always wanted a telescope when I was a kid and then when I finally got one as an adult, I never really realized how much work they are. Finding the perfect place to setup that doesn't have too much light pollution. Using the coordinate doohickey on the stand to figure out where I needed to be looking.
With SkyMap you can bypass all of that.
If you do have an iPhone, you can try going to Google Sky, but it's really not the same thing.
Another cool thing about the app is the fact that it works no matter what direction you point it. You can point your phone at the ground and it will show you what people on the other side of the world are seeing in the nighttime sky. Want to know where the sun is in the middle of the night? It's pretty easy with SkyMap.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't an app that I use every day, but when I need it or I am curious about what I am seeing in the night sky, there isn't any other app I would want to have available to me. It just works and it is super cool to boot!
I'm not a very artistic person. It always amazed me how people in ancient times could pick out the images they did to name the constellations. This app puts things in perspective a bit more for me. Besides Orion's Belt, the Big Dipper, and Cassiopeia, I couldn't tell you if a clump of stars was a constellation or just some rando cosmic occurrence. With SkyMap, it doesn't matter, it tells me exactly what I am looking at.
I know it probably sounds like I am trying to sell you something. I'm not. The app is free, no charge, no referral link, just download it and enjoy it.
I included the link to the app store download above. If you feel more comfortable (not clicking on random links), just Google it and it should be the first or second thing that pops up.
That's it, that's the coolest app on my phone.
Leave me a comment and let me know what yours is! Just remember to follow the rules!