Hold the Solar System in your hands with Brian Cox's Wonders of the Universe for iPad

Brian Cox's Wonders of the Universe is a gorgeous educational and reference app that takes you on a tour of the universe with Professor Brian Cox -- a particle physicist, Royal Society research fellow, and professor at the University of Manchester. You may also know him as the science broadcaster and presenter of the highly popular BBC2 series Wonders of the Solar System.

When you first launch the app, you're presented with a brief, informative tutorial on how to use the app, then placed in the middle of the universe, out in space. You can pinch and zoom and scroll around to explore different galaxies, planets, stars and nebulas -- all of which is stunning to look at and in motion -- or you can select where you wish to go from the menu at the top of the screen. The included topics are sub atomic, atomic, Solar System, stars, Milky Way, galaxies, and universe.

brian cox wonders of the universe review

When you choose a topic to explore, the chapters will appear in a scrollable menu at the bottom of the screen. As you scroll through the chapters, the screen will zoom into the area of interest. To dive into a chapter, you just drag it up into the middle of the screen. The chapter will not become full width. Instead, it appears as a column in the center of the screen so that you can still see the universe behind it. I really like this -- it gives you the sense of floating out in space while reading.

As you scroll through the chapter, you'll encounter images, infographics, photography, and videos. When you do, the media will automatically resize to full screen so that you can really enjoy it and get engaged. When you're done viewing the media, just simply continue scrolling and the app will size it back down and smoothly continue on with the chapter.

brian cox wonders of the universe

Brian Cox is the presenter in the videos, and I must say, he's awesome. Every video I've watched has made me feel like I'm watching a TV show on the Discovery Channel. They are so well done that it actually makes me want to watch and learn more. As I read through the chapters and watch the videos, I become more thirsty for knowledge of the universe and Solar System.

When you reach the end of a chapter, just continue to scroll, as if pushing the chapter off the screen, and you'll jump right back into space so that you can move on to the next chapter.

I'm not sure if I've ever been able to confidently say that an app was perfect before, but Brian Cox's Wonders of the Universe is. It's perfect.

The Good

  • Gorgeous
  • 200 interactive articles
  • 2.5 hrs worth of video
  • Hundreds of infographics, photographs, and images
  • Over 50 3D models
  • Brian Cox is awesome

The Bad

  • None

The bottom line

Brian Cox's Wonders of the Universe is literally one of the best iPad apps I've ever encountered. It's a phenomenal educational tool that has the perfect mix of video, images, text, and hands-on interaction.

I rarely comment on the price of an app, but this one should be going for at least $10, so the $6.99 promotional price is quite a steal.

$6.99 - Download Now (opens in new tab)

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.

  • Wow. Perfect app for science geeks like us!
  • Too bad it's not available to owners of the original iPad, like me. No gyroscope :( looks amazing though, the app that is
  • Yeah, devastated!
  • 6.99 is bad point definetly
  • Dude, this is a steal for the production value and amount of content offered. Like the writer said, it should be priced higher.
  • $7 for all of this science, work, and knowledge... I think it's still a bargain.
  • I agree. This app is absolutely stunning. It is indeed perfect. I haven't been able to close it since I bought it.
  • Does this app render at native 2048x1536 on the third Gen iPad?
  • Yup, the app is specifically optimized for the new iPad.
  • Prof cox also has a book of the similar name in the iTunes store for 15$; if I buy the app, can anybody tell me what the book would offer beyond the app for the 15 bucks? Or would it be better to buy the book instead of the app?
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