Chris Vanderschuere, made an app, Moon, while studying at Oregon state university got a million plus downloads for the free version. He also has a paid version for $1.99 (as of today). He can’t believe the attention his app got all over the world for his hard work. The app runs on both iphone and ipad. The iphone version of the app, which is free has the app store rank of 64, while the ipad has 333 as of today. in the Education category.
The developer had to study some engineering concepts to make the app show some features accurately. For example to show the current phase of the moon in 3 dimension from the lunar surface image taken by NASA. Must be those astronomical concepts. The time taken to process those images were 5 seconds before, to render a 3 dimensional moon, but he took his time gradually to make it to 1 second. By a lag of just a second you can see the current image of the moon. Not just that, there are useful information about the moon which is found useful by a lot of people. For instance, the brightness of the moon is found useful by a U.S. Air force pilot to calibrate his night vision goggles accordingly. And those who follows a lunar calendar found a great utility in this app.
The other features of this app are to show the lunar phase the moon is currently in, the moonrise and the moonset times, the percentage the moon is illuminated totally by the sun light, distant to the moon in miles, the direction from you the moon is in, on the compass which is called Lunar Azimuth and as well as Lunar altitude, angle above the horizon is shown, shown as – 47.36 degrees .Shows the distance to the moon is 240,175 miles but the Nasa says the distance to moon is 238,855 miles which is lesser than what the app shows.
The app also lets you know information about the moon say in the past or future. For example you can see what the lunar phase is from a year now. As well as you can schedule notifications to notify you, say when a full moon is you will get an alert in notification bar.
Overall it looks simple in one screen but you can see the amount of work it takes to even show the moon’s current picture with just a 1 second lag.
It uses the moon visualization created by Nasa/Goddard here -> http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a004000/a004000/index.html
You can get the app here https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/moon./id409619991?mt=8
Moon app, isn’t available for android but you can find a superb similar app called Phases of the Moon. You can get it here. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.universetoday.moon.phases