As readers of our Team AWT Newsletter know, I have had a lifelong love of astronomy. That’s why when I was asked to take a look at Cosmic Watch (US$3.99, universal app) I jumped at the chance. The best way to describe Cosmic Watch is that it’s an interactive 3D astronomical time device — and that’s exactly how developers Celestial Dynamics AG describe it.
Cosmic Watch launches into a realtime world clock with your location pulsing on a realistic globe that you can set spinning with a swipe of your finger. The app graphically shows the relationship between the Earth and Sun in terms of determining local time, with a pointer “above” your location pointing to the current time on a 24-hour clock dial circling the Earth on a direct line between the Earth and Sun.
This is a great way to see how the Earth tilts in relation to the Sun over the seasons. Of course, there’s more to our Solar System than just the Earth and Sun, so there are pointers to all of the planets showing their present positions. All of this is presented against a background of brighter stars, all shown in their correct locations.
With a tap of the middle of five buttons on the left of the globe, the planet names are displayed next to their representative (and not to scale) dot, and the constellations are shown along with their names and the brighter stars that define them. Although I think it has no place in a scientifically-oriented app, Cosmic Watch also has a button showing the location of the planets with respect to the astrological signs.
In today’s AWT News Update, a familiar voice may soon be on Mac, an Apple Watch rival will be trying to bring contactless payment to its product line, and former mobile phone brand giant is resurrected:
- Siri for Mac is leaked in screenshots
- Fitbit buys coin in hopes of adding Apple Pay-like payments to its devices
- Microsoft sells off the Nokia feature phone division, and Foxconn and a Finnish startup hope to revive the Nokia brand.
The text version of this podcast can be found below.
The BookBook for iPad Pro also folds into a hands-free display mode. It protects the Apple tablet between two hardback covers and includes a storage pocket for Apple Pencil.