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Posted: 15 June 2011

photo Pocket Universe Express: Virtual Sky Astronomy v1.1
Craic Design

Craic Design "Pocket Universe Express: Virtual Sky Astronomy", is a sky charting and astronomy application for the iPhone (and iPod touch). There is a paid and full-featured version of "Pocket Universe" available for $2.99 for both the iPhone and iPad. There is a "Pocket Universe: Virtual Sky Astronomy for iPad" for $3.99.

When "Pocket Universe Express" ("PUE" for short) is launched, it shows you a view of the sky where you point your iPhone (or iPOD touch). It uses GPS (if available) and the compass (if available) to determine your location and where the iPhone is pointed. As you move the iPhone around, the display changes to show a continuously updating view of the sky. As you can see from the screen capture below, the display is very realistic, including clouds. The display only shows in portrait; there is no landscape orientation. But that is not a problem since most people hold the iPhone in portrait mode.


There are just two basic settings. You can not edit the location, at least not with a GPS capable device.


The Information screen (below left) shows a lot of useful app help. Astronomy News (below right) is downloaded to be current. I downloaded it via a 3G connection and the speed of the download was good. I attempted to download via EDGE but EDGE networking was down.

photo photo

While viewing the Virtual Sky display, you can pinch to zoom in and out, as seen below. The realistic display allows you to view details on objects.


"Pocket Universe Express: Virtual Sky Astronomy" is a good app for those who want to know what they are seeing in the sky. It has none of the expanded features available in the paid version of "Pocket Universe", but as a free app, Pocket Universe Express is a simple, effective, and beautiful app.

Go to the ETX site.

Go to the Cassiopeia Observatory site.

Copyright ©2011 Michael L. Weasner /