Apps for mobile phones & tablets have been around for a long while. Every year they improve in usability or presentation. There is a good selection of Apps available on Google Play Store or Apple App Store that are very handy to use in Astrophotography. Below is just a small selection to get you started.
Timer+ is an advanced version of the time function on an iPhone. It lets you select up to three different countdowns. It’s handy to keep track of your exposure time during a bulb mode exposure. If I’m stacking, then another selection is below to keep a record of how long my stack is running. Finally, a countdown of how much time I have left until daylight begins to appear.
BBC Weather App
BBC Weather is a simple way to find out the weather forecast for the week. I do not use it as my main app, but rather as a simple guide to what is going to be in store for the forthcoming week. It does not provide any Astrophotography detailed forecasts.
Xasteria is a comprehensive app for Astrophotography that goes into a lot of detail. It shows the current phase, including rising & setting of the moon. Cloud cover is detailed in three-hour intervals with a probably chance of Astrophotography seeing within the fixed time frame. It even gives atmospheric transparency reading for the probability of seeing low contrast nebulae or galaxies. Other factors such as humidity, rain & temperature are also covered.
Available on Apple Store Only.
SkyView Lite App
Free to use, SkyView Lite is a simple to use application to find stars in the sky with the use of a phone’s GPS signal. Simply point into the sky to find the star you are looking for. Ideal for Astrophotography.
Polar Scope Align App
PS Align detects where Polaris’s current orbit is in the sky. This is handy to use for Astrophotography trackers such as the Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer.
Flashlight App is a useful app to use as a back up in case your torch fails. It is bright enough to find your way around in an emergency.
Astrophotography Apps Roundup
There are a lot of apps out there to help you get that perfect photograph in Astrophotography. Apps listed above should give you enough knowledge on an excellent evening shooting the stars. If you would like to suggest an app, then leave a comment.