Peter Price at BBC Click wrote a fluff piece on an (at the time unreleased) astronomy app from the University of Oxford while ignoring a much more popular app from a local developer which has garnered much critical acclaim.
The app, Pocket Universe, has been immensely successful and was possibly the first Augmented Reality (AR) apps in the App Store using the GPS, compass (and most recently) the gyroscope to help align the built-in star map with the area of the sky you are looking at. The app has huge amounts of information in a friendly interface which allows relative novices like me to play with it (during the four days of the year we don’t have thick cloud cover) as well as providing detailed information to the prosumer who may have his telescope ready to capture the imminent arrival of the Perseids (which are currently appearing in night skies from tonight).
I also know the developer involves himself fully in the community both online via Twitter and spends his spare time giving astronomy demos to kids.
Pocket Universe App Store statistics
- Reached #1 in Education in most countries in the App Store
- Has been in the US Education 25 since launch (the top 10 in the UK, and Ireland)
- MacWorld 2009 Education App of the Year
- Reached the Top 30 overall apps in the US / UK
So, how did the BBC miss the most popular astronomy app in the AppStore and give the limelight to a newcomer?