Our own Mel Martin is a big fan of Vito Technology's Star Walk iPhone app, so when the company's rep stopped by our booth at Macworld this week to show us two apps that they're working on right now, we couldn't refuse.
The first app we saw was called Solar Walk, and while Star Walk will help you find and explore information about the stars, Solar Walk is designed to do the same with planets. The app features a beautiful (and accurate) simulation of the solar system, complete with all of the planets orbiting trails, and an adjustable clock so that you can see where Mars will be in 2029, if you so choose.
The app, which should be out in about a month, we were told, lets you pinch and zoom down on any planet, so that you can even see any moons -- one zoom in to Jupiter, and we could see each of the separate moons placed in their own rings around it. And finally, press play on the clock, and you can see the heavenly bodies zipping around their orbits. If you like Star Walk but want to do a little more planetary exploration, keep an eye out for Solar Walk.
And we were also shown an app called Geo Walk, though it was in a much rougher form, and the Vito rep said it was a little farther out for release -- at least a few months yet. Geo Walk is also an educational app, and features a rotatable model of Earth, with various landmarks and places touchable on it. You can zoom down into any given place while rotating around, and you'll instantly get information about it -- click on the Eiffel Tower, and you'll get a picture, as well as a quick blurb about the structure.
The app was far from done, but we were told that it would eventually be full of information, with layers that you could turn on and off -- look just for landmarks, for example, or just for local food, or just for local history or famous citizens. The design seems to be the same as the other Vito apps -- create an interface that's fun and easy to navigate around, and then fill it with as much information as possible.
Truth be told, the Vito apps were very charming -- the interface is simple, but in each case it was fun to move the model around and explore it, looking for little nuggets of information and insight on patterns. If you have enjoyed using Star Walk, be sure to keep an eye out for their two new apps, both coming soon.