Applications Devices

Apps to Watch – Night Sky Pro

Now that Watch OS 2 has been out for a more than a month, there are dozens more (if not hundreds) new and updated Apple Watch apps that can now run natively on the device. The advantage is better performance, as well as giving developers access to some of the sensors on the watch itself such as the microphone and speaker, Digital Crown, Taptic Engine, accelerometer and heart rate sensors.

There have been a slew of new apps in the last month. So which ones are worthy of your time?

Night Sky Pro 3

One of the best features on Apple Watch are the “complications” – that is, the little icons and snippets of information that you can add to your watch faces giving quick access to information such as the weather or your day’s activity rings. Watch OS 2 apps are now able to add their own complications for you to choose from, making the various built-in watch faces (of which there are also some new ones, such as a time-lapse of London) a little more useful.

Typically, we’d mention apps that aim to enhance productivity or help you manage a busy schedule, but let’s not forget that some of the very best Apple Watch apps are entertainment-focused – there are even a few simple games that work pretty well on the device.

Night Sky Pro 2

One of the great apps I’ve discovered recently is Night Sky Pro, which costs £1.99 on the UK app store. Night Sky features a complication that shows the next time the International Space Station flies over wherever you are in the world, and can be added to a watch face in a few taps – just press firmly on the face and then Customise. From there it’s just a simple case of choosing a slot and turning the crown to pick the complication. With a flick of the wrist, it’s that easy to see when the ISS will be flying overhead.

The Digital Crown is used to great effect in Night Sky – by selecting the Sky View option there’s an attractive view of the night sky from your precise location, and turning the crown changes selection between each object. You can also tap on a name to get more information about any particular object.

Night Sky Pro 1

Besides the ISS complication and the wealth of information the app presents, the latest version also has 3D Touch support for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus (though I’ve not had a chance to test that until my iPhone 6s turns up). If you’re looking for a fun little app that adds a novel twist to the Apple Watch, Night Sky Pro is one of the few apps that’s really well suited to the small screen and is a joy to use…

Night Sky Pro is available now on the App Store.

By Roland Banks

Roland Banks has been passionate about mobile technology for the past 20 years. He started his career at British Telecom's research division working on collaborative virtual reality environments, before becoming a video streaming specialist at 3 UK where he helped launch some of the world's first mobile video services. More recently he enjoys writing about his obsession, and developing software that helps mobile operators analyse their subscriber data.

Roland has lived in Asia for the past 5 years, and tries to indulge his other passion for riding motorcycles whenever possible.

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