NASA launches Android app, gets good reviews but criticized for being slow

NASA Android App
Credit: NASA/Google

NASA has released its official app for Google Android devices. The free NASA app was released one day before the final shuttle launch last week and has already been downloaded over 10,000 times.

NASA Android App
Credit: NASA/Google

According to Jerry Colen, NASA App project manager at NASA’s Ames Research Center, “The NASA App for iPhone and iPad has been a phenomenal success with over five million downloads so far.  Making a version of the NASA App for Android has been the number one request from users. We are delighted to fulfill this request and put NASA’s amazing content into the hands of millions of Android users around the world.”

The app has a few nice features, including NASA’s latest news and social media content; images and video from various NASA organisations, including live broadcasts from NASA’s online channel; and mission launch information and countdown timers.

It also includes a live tracker which shows the next time Earth satellites, including the International Space Station (ISS) will pass over your location.

NASA Android App missions page

The app has been generally well received by Android users although many, including ourselves, have been complaining that it is slow and buggy on some Android devices.  One commenter on the Android Market said, “NASA I think its time you tell us how you make Space Stations and stuff but can’t make a simple Android app. Pathetic from a company like yours!”

Another wrote, “Some bugs and download problems exist, but I’m hopeful for upcoming fixes! The detail and info included are awesome!”

The Android app joins NASA’s iPhone and iPad apps which were launched last year. The app appears to be a port of the iPhone app but with an Android native interface. You can download the app on the Android Market here.  All NASA’s apps can be downloaded on the NASA smartphone apps page.

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Piers Dillon Scott
Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).