3 Stargazing Apps For Every Smartphone

VZW DisclosureStargazing App

Summer is a time to relax and put the schedule aside. It doesn’t always work that way, though. And at the end of the day your mind goes over the 872 things you did that day and the odometer on the car that seems to spin like you’re looking for the $1.00 space at The Price Is Right showcase. And then night falls. And the quiet settles in and you’re thinking of heading outside to just sit and look at the stars.

Here in Phoenix, being out during the day is the last thing we want to do in the summer. We all do our best to manage it, but it’s just the reality here. Come nightfall though, we’re ready to go. Even though it doesn’t get dark until well after many kids’ bed time, sometimes you just need to stay up late and look up at the sky. With days upon days of cloudless skies and no school the next day, why not see what’s going on up in the dark sky?

Having spent time with professional stargazers and their expensive equipment, it spoils you. But we all can’t run out and buy a $10,000 telescope. What we can do, though, is download a few apps, look up at the stars and see what people have been look at for thousands of years.

1. Star Chart

What’s better than point and go when it comes to looking at stars that look like a bunch of little white dots in the sky? This augmented reality app is a top educational resource and will wow kids and adults alike. You can look at the sky visible to you or anywhere in the world as you turn your phone.

Available FREE on: iOS | Android | WindowsPhone

2. Sky Map

Another “point and look” app, Sky Map has over 11,000 star points and can pinpoint your location using GPS. While this app has the same name on all three mobile platforms, each is made by a different developer. Nonetheless, it’s a top app that works anywhere in the world day or night.

Available FREE on: iOS | Android | WindowsPhone

3. ISS Locator

Have you ever seen the International Space Station zip by? During an astronomy lesson I chaperoned for my daughter’s class we not only got to see the ISS fly by, but it was releasing a cargo pack and we should see that trailing behind as well. No fancy equipment was needed to see these. If you knew what you were looking for. Luckily, there are apps for all mobile platforms that will help you spot it no matter where you are in the world. Depending on where you live you may be able to see the ISS several times a week!

Available FREE on: iOS | Android | WindowsPhone | Web

So, get your phone, download these apps, and head outside after the sun goes down and re-live those times at camp when you’d stare up at the sky and wonder if the man in the moon really existed. Doesn’t matter if you have kids, if you’re a kid at heart, or just love checking out what’s up there in the dark of night these apps will surely make you popular at home or even at those summer evening garden parties.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Verizon Insider team. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Sara

Nomad ChargeKey Review: Portable Charging Just Got Smaller

 

Disclosure: I received a complimentary ChargeKey after attending CES.

No matter where I go, I always carry a portable charger for the many mobile devices I, and my family, carry. I usually have at least two phones on me because I’m always testing out new devices as a Verizon Insider. My daughter doesn’t leave the house without her mobile device, for fear she may be stuck somewhere without reading material. Nomad ChargeKey Review

Heading to a conference, gathering, or event just amps up the need to never run out of power. All the apps running tax the battery. You’ve been there, I know you have. You look down at your phone and the battery is red or you get the pop-up you only have 20% battery life remaining.

So, if you’re like me, you grab the 3-foot cord and plug in to your mobile charger. That’s after you untangle it like you’re doing some kind of Houdini magic. And then you hope not to strangle yourself or trip over the same cord dangling.

That’s why having a ChargeKey from Nomad (retail: $29) is my new go-to “cable”. I use cable in quotes because it’s not really a cable in the traditional sense. About 2.5 inches long, the black, flexible charger has a USB at one end and either a Lightning (for iPhone 5/5c/5s) or mini-USB (most Android devices) at the other depending on which one you purchase. The cable is flexible but sturdy, and easily attaches to a key ring so you can have it with you at all times. For vehicles with USB ports, these are very handy and won’t junk up your car!

ChargeKey-iPhone5

ChargeKey-Micro-USB

I like the compact size because it doesn’t take up much room, especially if I’m only carrying a small charger. It’s sleek, black and easily attached to your keys, which makes it easy to have both an iPhone and micro-USB compatible ChargeKey on you if you’re like me and have both types of devices. It’s definitely much more practical than a several foot charging cable. And much more discreet. Oh, and just an added bonus is all the people you’ll meet who will want to be your new BFF or propose marriage because you’ve just saved the day!

These make great gifts, and for kids who’ll be heading off to college or camp having something that won’t take up much space will be welcomed. And for busy parents who worry little hands will reach up and grab cables off a counter causing the device to tumble to the ground, this will save your sanity!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary product after attending CES. This article was not reviewed or edited by a third-party. All thoughts and opinions are mine. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Sara