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©2010 by Richard Nolle

WOW!Tropical Skies Astrology screen shot, approx. half-size on the Droid X NOV 29, 2010 - Tropical Skies Astrology is the first real astrological app I've seen for the Android platform. (With its considerable head start, Apple's iPhone has had quality astrological apps for quite some time now.)

The Android vs. iPhone rivalry reminds me of the Linux vs. Windows thing: the Open Source rebels against the closed system empire. Imagine that: Steve Jobs is now cast in the Bill Gates role! This is not about hardware, it's a culture clash. Each platform has its boosters, who look down their noses at the other camp. I've been messing around with PCs since the early 1980s - and played with a few in the late 1970s - and have seen enough partisanship over operating systems and hardware to know this for sure: find the one that will do what you want, for which the apps (software) are already on the market, and get that platform. Do not buy the sexiest platform, unless it has the goods - or you'll be disappointed for sure.

Bear in mind, I'm referring here not to the "Sun Sign Astrology" stuff that clutters up newspaper comic pages, a whole lot of the Internet and a great many apps for various smart phones. I'm talking about real astrology apps, able to calculate and display real natal horoscopes from birth data (time, date and place) you input.

As you can see from the screen shot here - which is roughly actual size, by the way - the Tropical Skies Astrology app produces a quite readable chart. That's no small feat on a mobile device, but some of the Android smartphones (e.g. the quite impressive Motorola Droid X) have screens large enough and sharp enough to make it possible.

In all candor, since I don't have an Android smart phone - please don't hold it against me, I confess I'm an iPhone guy - I'm relying on the developer's literature and illustrations to describe this app. But if the 4 out of 5 stars ratings users give Tropical Skies Astrology are any indication, I don't see how you can go wrong for $4.95.

I'm assuming that calculations are fast and accurate, as they are on comparable iPhone apps. That said, if tropical zodiac and four house options (Equal, Koch, Placidus and Porphyry) plus world atlas and GPS locating will do the trick for you, then you'll probably want to take a look at this Android app.

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