Cosmic Crawler takes you on a guided tour of space, flying you throughout the galaxy to destination hot spots such as Mars and the Sun.
It’s similar to Google Earth in the way it enables you to jump to various locations like stars, planets, comets and constellations. This app holds thousands of elements in its collection, bringing space geeks a wide variety of things to discover.
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Cosmic Crawler, your tour guide to the stars, seamlessly travels through space displaying the distance and time traveled along with providing overlaid text identifying each object. Users can pause the tour or alternatively right-click on the object to view more information on the web. Quick access to space related data is a nice feature to have although ideally, having the information within the user interface would better serve the end-user.
There are several things users can do with objects. An individual object like your favourite planet perhaps can be viewed simultaneously within the split screen feature. Objects can additionally be added to favourites which will save the location of the item within an accessible folder.
Why it’s cool: If you’re fascinated by space, the guided tours are cool, educational and it’s definitely a neat tool for learning, specifically for children. I’m admittedly a bit of a geek and I was one of those kids that truly enjoyed trips to planetariums and science centers so I was easily immersed.
What we don’t like: It’s not as user-friendly as we’d like and in order to master it, the app seems like a bit of a commitment. There are a series of hot keys for controlling the journey but learning its control scheme is a lot to take in. Another thing we didn’t like was the fact that not every item labeled within the app connects to “more information” on the web.
The Bottom Line:
While this app is useful, you’d have to be a serious space enthusiast to enjoy it. On the other hand, those with children studying planets and space, may want to consider grabbing this app for its educational value. Cosmic Crawler is available for $2.99 in the Mac store.
On a side note, after reviewing this app we realized that the developers of Cosmic Crawler were same folks involved in some controversy last month over a Mac app called Lagaru HD. It’s an interesting debate over GPL licenses. And, iCoder’s version of Lagaru HD has been removed from the Mac store as a result of the argument.
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