20 Best Stargazing Apps in 2024 — iPhone & Android

Jan 2, 2024
How to Choose a Stargazing App 2021
Image Credit: Vito Technology, Inc.

There are plenty of stargazing apps on the market. When you put “stargazing” into the Google Play and App Store search field, you find dozens of look-alike applications with bluish-purple icons and beautiful constellations on screenshots. But how to choose the one that fits your needs the most? We prepared a guide to help you. At the end of the article, you’ll also find the list of 20 stargazing apps.

Spot a star or a comet

What are you looking for in the night sky tonight? If you want to know where the Big Dipper is or are curious about that reddish dot above your head, get Star Walk 2 or Sky View. Both are super easy to use, user-friendly, have an augmented reality feature, and an intuitive search. Considering the outstanding visuals, Star Walk 2 gives you a better immersive experience. Sky View is a bit plainer, yet it has a convenient search feature: if you hover over an object and hold still for a second, the app shows you its name.

If you’re aiming to find more space objects without paying extra, use Night Sky (available only for iOS). With the help of this app, you can spot most celestial objects for free. For Android, there is Stellarium, where you can spot asteroids, comets, deep-sky objects, satellites, and more for free. Stellarium is also available for iOS, but only its paid version.

Constellation finders

The core functions of all stargazing applications are the same — learn what stars you see in the sky, see them in augmented reality, read more about celestial objects. You got the point. But developers try to make their products unique and add more features. For example, there are astronomical articles and sky quizzes in Night Sky. Star Walk 2 also offers fun and educational astronomical quizzes and the news about upcoming stargazing events with information on how and when to see them. If you want to learn more about astronomy, these apps will become your perfect companions.

Remember that some apps can also send notifications about upcoming stargazing events. This feature is super helpful for people who don’t want to miss a spectacular view but also don’t have enough time to monitor a calendar of astronomy events.

What's the best star app?

To find the best app (and not only for stargazing), see the reviews. They are always helpful — hundreds of people have already done the research and published their opinions. Besides, everyone has their own needs and wants; some people enjoy a stunning picture, others pay more attention to the interface convenience. Simply, some apps are better for Android, and others work smoother on iOS.

Note that the best score doesn’t mean the best option. You should consider the number of reviews as well.

Go to Google Play and search for “stargazing”. The second app on the list will be Star Tracker — it has 4,5 stars based on 48,000 reviews, which is quite good. But the first app on the top — Star Walk 2 — has 4,6 stars based on 340,000 reviews! It means that more users gave Star Walk 2 a better review and picked Star Walk 2 as the most fitting app.

One more important criterion people use to rate something is design. A great design makes a good first impression that attracts users from the first seconds. By the way, here are some of the best app designs according to DesignRush.

Top 20 stargazing apps

In addition, we prepared for you a list of the 20 best apps for the night sky. Many of the provided apps are free to download unless there is a special note. Using our tips, choose the one stargazing app you will enjoy the most!

1. Star Walk 2 Free

Available for both, iOS and Android. A free app that contains in-app purchases. There is also a paid version of the app — Star Walk 2. The content and features are the same, but Star Walk 2 doesn’t contain ads.

2. Star Tracker

Available for iOS and Android. A free app that can be upgraded to a pro version for $2.99.

3. SkyView Lite

Available for iOS and Android. A free app with in-app purchases.

4. Night Sky

Available only for iOS. A free app with optional Night Sky Premium for $4.99/month.

5. Sky Map

Available only for Android. Initially knows as Google Sky Map, now an open-sourced free app.

6. SkySafari

Available for iOS for $2.99 and Android for free.

7. Stellarium Mobile

Stellarium Mobile Free is available for Android for free (with in-app purchases), but there is also Stellarium Mobile PLUS that will cost you $19.99. For iOS users, there is only paid version for $9.99.

8. Nightshift

Available only for Android for free. Offers in-app purchases.

9. Sky Live

Available only for iOS. A free app with in-app purchases.

10. Mobile Observatory Free

Available only for Android. This is a fully free app supported by ads. A paid application without ads will cost you $7.49.

11. Star Walk

Available for iOS and Android. This free app is the first version of Star Walk 2 and contains in-app purchases.

12. Solar Walk 2

The free version available for Android is known as Solar Walk 2 Free; for iOS, there is Solar Walk 2 Ads+.

13. GoSkyWatch Planetarium

Available only for iOS. This is a paid $3.99 app.

14. Starlight

Available for iOS and Android. A free app that contains in-app purchases.

15. Star Finder

Available for iOS and Android. The application is free and offers in-app purchases.

16. Star Map Tracker

Available for iOS and Android. A free app with in-app purchases.

17. NASA

Available for iOS and Android. The NASA app showcases a collection of the latest NASA content for free.

18. Star Chart

Available for iOS and Android. A free app with in-app purchases.

19. Constellation Map

Available for iOS and Android. A free app with in-app purchases.

20. Star Rover

Available for iOS and Android for $1.99.

Sky Tonight (an addition)

Available on App Store, Google Play, and Huawei AppGallery. A free app with a premium access option.

Although there are a lot of stargazing apps on the market, there is always a place for another one. So we created a brand-new astronomy tool with a new approach for observing the night sky — Sky Tonight. Including it in the “best apps” list right away would be too rude — there is still work to do; however, the app is a must-have for those who’re looking for a multifunctional tool for observing the night sky in 2024.

These were our suggestions on stargazing apps in 2024. What is your favorite astronomy app? Let us know on social media.

Sincerely yours, Vito Technology Team.