However, Astral Perception (free to Magicians) lets you evaluate people and objects. It is a free "detect magic", and is subtle enough (especially if you've got shades) that you can check people out relatively easily. Want to know if they're normal, magical, cybered, or even human? Assensing is your game.
Astral projection also allows for rapid scouting... somewhat similar to what you can achieve with a drone, but while a drone can ignore magical security but is frequently stymied by more physical security, the astral form can ignore physical security, being stopped by the relatively rarer magical security.
Also, when you reach the higher levels, astral projection allows you to access metaplanes, which are useful for a number of different tricks (like summoning great form spirits).