5 apps to help maximize your total solar eclipse viewing experience

April 1, 2024 | by magnews24.com

Are you ready for the 2024 total solar eclipse?

You may already have your special eclipse glasses or built your pinhole camera to safely view the sun during the total solar eclipse on April 8. You’ve likely looked up the exact time to view eclipse totality thanks to the NASA Eclipse Explorer interactive map, and maybe even set a reminder on your smartphone so you don’t miss the big event.

But, did you know there are smartphone apps that can help maximize your solar eclipse experience?

total solar eclipse
Facebook Amistad National Recreation Area

Whether you want to track the eclipse’s path, watch the eclipse on livestream, have a timer to help you know when it’s safe to take off your eclipse glasses, or even get some photography assistance, there’s a smartphone app for that.

We’ve narrowed down the top five solar eclipse smartphone apps to download for the historic event based on ratings and app functions. Are you ready to download? Let’s take a look at the best solar eclipse smartphone apps.

1. Solar Eclipse Timer

split screen shot of Solar Eclipse Timer App
Apple App Store

Don’t want to spend all of your time during the eclipse with an eye on your watch or smartphone clock? Download the Solar Eclipse Timer for your smartphone. This app uses GPS to pinpoint your location, and then you can set up the timer to call out countdown announcements leading up to and during the eclipse.

From telling you when it’s safe to take off your eclipse glasses to smaller details like reminders to note temperature shifts, animal behavior changes, shadow bands and more, you won’t miss a thing during the eclipse! There is also a special photographer’s mode that can keep the announcements to a minimum to keep video recordings as quiet as possible.

This app costs $1.99 for Android and iOS.

2. Total Solar Eclipse by Exploratorium

Screenshots of Total Solar Eclipse App
Apple App Store

This free downloadable app provides a one-stop shop for people looking to livestream the 2024 total solar eclipse. Created in partnership with NASA, this app has livestreams from multiple locations, an interactive eclipse map, educational programs and solar close-up views during the eclipse. You can even set reminders for future eclipses, so you can plan a trip for a prime viewing experience.

This app is free for Android and iOS.

3. Solar Snap

split screenshot of Solar Snap app
Apple App Store

The Solar Snap app can help amateur photographers capture quality images of the solar eclipse by providing suggestions for the best camera settings. This app must be used with the accompanying filter, which can be purchased online here for $18.99. The filter protects the smartphone camera lens the same way eclipse glasses shields our eyes from damage during the eclipse. The kit comes with two filters, two sets of eclipse glasses, two Velcro sets for the filters and the app.

This app is free on Android and iOS (but requires filter purchase).

4. NASA

Split Screenshot of NASA app
Apple App Store

NASA is all things science and technology, and during the eclipse the government agency’s free app will be a variety of livestreams, photos, podcasts and other broadcasts to provide viewers the best views and news about the total solar eclipse. And, if you want to do research before the big day, this app will provide plenty of resources at your fingertips.

This app is free for Amazon, Android and iOS.

5. One Eclipse

quad screenshot of One Eclipse App
Apple App Store

This comprehensive app has a wealth of features to maximize your eclipse experience, including:

  • A countdown timer
  • An interactive eclipse map
  • An eclipse simulator to give you a customized view anywhere in the world
  • A lunar shadow tracker
  • Audio prompts during critical eclipse moments, with narrations for what is happening
  • A full viewing guide for safely watching the eclipse
  • An online community to share eclipse viewing stories, tips, etc.

The app developers also allow users to donate their eclipse glasses through the app to help other people around the world enjoy future eclipses in their corner of the world.

This app costs 99 cents on iOS.

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