Wonders of the Universe App Launches for iPhone and iPad Mini, Now Includes Photos from Mars Landing

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Bestselling astronomy app updated to support all Apple devices; new content includes NASA images from Curiosity rover and the ability to land on the moon

With these updates, the Wonders app provides an even more astonishing exploration of space and allows users to travel to worlds they could only previously imagine.

Leading publisher Collins today announced that its bestselling astronomy app Wonders of the Universe has been updated to allow users to land on the surface of Mars, the moon, Io and Enceladus, as well as cause the star Betelgeuse to go supernova in spectacular 3D graphics. The update also opens up the stellar app to all Apple devices for the first time, including the iPhone, iPad mini and iPad 1.

The latest version of Wonders includes real photographs from Mars, becoming the first app to incorporate NASA images from the rover Curiosity landing and giving users a 360-degree view of the Red Planet.

Originally launched in March for the third-generation iPad, Wonders of the Universe became an instant bestseller in the App Store because of its rich content and interactive 3D exploration of our solar system, stars and galaxies. The spectacular app combines content from Professor Brian Cox’s popular books with video from his award-winning BBC television series for an amazing journey through the universe.

“With these updates, the Wonders app provides an even more astonishing exploration of space and allows users to travel to worlds they could only previously imagine,” said Alex Gatrell, digital publisher for Collins. “With the Mars rover landing photos and other new 3D locations, the app is bigger and better than ever and looks stunning on any Apple device.”

In addition to new content and support for all Apple devices, the Wonders update also enables users to share screenshots from the app on Twitter and Facebook, email them or save them to their picture library to use as wallpaper. Users can also pick up at same place the next time they open the app.

About Wonders of the Universe
The groundbreaking app combines rich multimedia aspects such as 3D tours of the universe narrated by Cox, BBC video and interactive animation for a complete understanding of the forces that shape our world.

What’s new in version 1.2:

  •     Land on the surface of Mars, the Earth’s moon, Jupiter’s Io moon and Saturn’s Enceladus moon
  •     Cause the supernova explosion of Betelgeuse
  •     New 3D locations: Pluto, Charon and Triangulum
  •     Support for iPhone (3GS and later), including iPhone 5
  •     Support for iPad 1 and iPad mini
  •     Sharing and screenshot capture

Other key app features include:

  •     Seven apps in one, all of which are linked 3D environments: subatomic, atomic, stars, solar system, Milky Way, galaxies and the universe
  •     High-resolution images optimized for retina display screen resolution
  •     Two-and-a-half hours of BBC video from Brian Cox’s award-winning TV series
  •     210 full-color articles that tell the story of the universe and reveal its wonders
  •     Hundreds of detailed, galactic photos
  •     Pinch and scroll capabilities to zoom and grasp the magnitude of the universe and our place within it

The full text from the Collins books “Wonders of the Solar System” and “Wonders of the Universe” is included in the app. A simple, scrollable column of text introduces rich media elements – video, image galleries and interactive graphics – throughout the narrative.

In October, Collins also launched "Atlas by Collins," a new app that features a collection of interactive 3-D globes draped in visual data. Users can explore the seven themed globes to learn about our planet, its people, and the way we live.

The Wonders of the Universe app is available for $5.99 in the App Store.

About Collins
The app is published by Collins, an imprint of HarperCollins with a track record of disseminating words and ideas through beautiful books, now extended to beautiful digital products.

About Brian Cox
Professor Brian Cox OBE is a particle physicist, a Royal Society research fellow and a professor at the University of Manchester, as well as researcher on one of the most ambitious experiments on Earth: the ATLAS experiment on the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. He is best known to the public as a science broadcaster and presenter of the highly popular BBC2 series “Wonders of the Solar System,” “Wonders of the Universe” and “Star Gazing Live.” He was also keyboard player in the UK pop band D:Ream in the 1990s.

Collins, which published official tie-in books for the BBC series “Wonders of the Solar System” and “Wonders of the Universe,” conceived the app and brokered a partnership with the BBC to include two- and-a-half hours of video in the app, extending their conventional publishing relationship. The app is developed by London-based agency the OTHER media.

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Dave Parro
Walker Sands Communications
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