The app has now been updated, and is one of the first science apps to use the iPhone 4 gyroscope. According to John Kennedy, who wrote the program, using the gyroscope speeds up orienting the phone position, because the internal compass is a bit slow and prone to interference.
The app doesn't need internet access, except for astronomy news and linking to Wikipedia articles. All the star charts and graphics are contained in the app. Pocket Universe supports a night vision mode, which turns the stars and object labels red, keeping bright glare away from sensitive eyes.
The app displays 10,000 stars, but I'd like to see more. I'd also like to see more deep sky objects (nebula, galaxies, star clusters) highlighted, with pictures of those objects visible as you zoom in rather than in a pop up window. Finally, for some inexplicable reason, Uranus and Neptune have been left out of the planet information panel. I knew Pluto didn't make the cut, but as far as I know Uranus and Neptune are still planets. Both planets are visible in the sky charts, but they didn't make the screen where you get detailed information.
I like Pocket Universe. It was first out of the gate to use the compass, and to use augmented reality. At US$2.99 it is hard to beat, but as I've mentioned, I'd like to see even more.
This app works with the iPhone, iPod touch, and the iPad. You'll need an iPhone 4 to take advantage of the gyroscope feature. Check out the gallery for screen grabs.
Apple iPhone 6s