iPad navigation app buyer’s guide


Pilots have plenty of options when it comes to choosing a preflight weather and navigation app for iPad. While most of the apps offer necessities like digital VFR and IFR charts, many also offer a variety of additional features that can turn your iPad into a powerful in-flight navigator. While we’re not here to recommend any app specifically, our advice is to try several of them out and see what works best for you. Most offer either a free trial period or demo mode, so it’s easy to take them on a test flight without any upfront investment. Our main advice is to pay attention to things like ease of use and dependability–two very important qualities in software, especially since you will be relying on these apps for critical data in the airplane.

To get you started, here’s a side-by-side comparison of the major aviation apps. Click on the chart below for a larger view:

App Comparison Guide 011014


    • All of New Zealand uses AirNav Pro. I buy all my aviation extra from Sporty. So why is there no mention on this web site about Ait Nav Pro!

  1. Oh no! what happened to the older posts on this thread? Can the moderator please bring them back? Thank you.

  2. Seems like it’s a little off. I use Jepp Mobile FD. It has a doc viewer and is QICP wx approved. I’m not sure how accurate the other apps are. But it’s a great chart, and thanks for putting it together.

  3. WingX Pro does have a scratch pad. The chart is missing a check mark for that picture under WingX Pro.

  4. Correct me if I am wrong: you CAN get weather on top of your moving map with an internet or cellular connection using ForeFlight. You CANNOT get weather on top of your moving map using WingX unless you get an ADS-B antenna. True? This is a big difference between these packages, I think.

  5. Air Nav Pro is an excellent App for VFR flight planning and in-flight navigation. It works on all iPads and even on iPhones. There is also a version for Android available. The world wide flight data offering is huge and constantly kept actual. I’m flying in Switzerland and across all Europe with this verry reliable planning and navigation tool. I propose to add it on your recommandation list to have a more complete overview of the best iPad Apps for pilots. Myself I am also a Sporty’s customer.

  6. Like Werner said, many pilots outside The US use Airnav Pro. I fly VFR in Brazil and everything in the US, and it became the base for my flight planning needs. Please list Airnav Pro as a valuable cost benefit app for who don’t want to pay monthly fees.

  7. If you fly for serious, as your day job, there is only ForeFlight and Jeppesen to choose.

  8. I just loaded Air Nav Pro and played with it some. Charts have to be purchased after the $50 initial. This is not an easy and user-friendly app, or inexpensive. App has been deleted from my iPad. ForeFlight and Jeppesen are still best avail. No other serious competition.

  9. FltPlan does have fuel prices on its web site and I believe it also provides ADS-B support using the Dual XGPS for weather and traffic.

  10. I am trying to choose the best Ipad ap but for a different use than most. I was a pilot but now I spend most of my travel time in the back of the company Citation. (I am a lucky man) I travel all over the US and the most ask question is where are we? Which ap would give me the best moving map showing present location and can keep up with the speed of our plane? VFR charts are all I need or better yet is a regular road map. I have the DUAL GPS ant so signal is not a problem.

    • Foreflight has a great VFR Charting. It has street and road maps also.
      Wing X is a great app but no as good as Foreflight for your need.

  11. Correct me if I am wrong please. I think Jepp Mobile FD does not have geo referenced Approach plates except for the Airport diagram?
    I wish it did!!

    • Correct. I have just been in communication with Jepp FD [which by the way is a great service] but they agree that they do not yet have Geo-referenced approach charts. They expect it soon with an update.

  12. Could you add memory usage to the chart? Assume say loading all the VFR and IFR charts for the contiguous 48 states, or some other common set of charts. There is a huge difference between various apps on how well they use memory.

  13. I’m flying in Israel and in the Middle East.
    ForeFlight has no maps/other flight data for these areas.
    I use the AirNav Pro – it is excellent for my purposes.

  14. What about Anywhere Map? This has been reported by many homebuilders as an excellent navigational aid, works with iPad or Android, yet I don’t see any mention here…

  15. The comparison chart is biased and inacurate it appears.
    There are check boxes for individual features for one brand but not others, such as Terrain for WingX but no check box for patented Cones of Safty for Anywhere Map, also the chart reads that Anywhere Map is only iPad/iPhone compatable when it’s also available for Android. Maybe this is accidental or maybe not but the comparison is not as complete as it could be by any means I think.

  16. Hi

    I would like to know which one is the best app to use in planning or in flight for the south american region, Ecuador VFR – IFR. I’ve been looking around and apparently none of the above listed apps works in the South American region, except for Airnav Pro.


  17. Which external GPSs works with which app?

    Wish you guys (Sporty’s) could add that “row”.



    • Mike, external GPSs are almost totally universal – the Dual XGPS150A, the Garmin GLO and the Bad Elf all work will all of these apps. No compatibility issues on GPS.

  18. I am a corporate pilot so not isolated to any specific continent I find jeppesen very limiting as I need laptop and an iPad to do planning and view approach charts . . . . . .
    Is there any one app that offers world wide coverage on approach charts or at very least the ability to plan trans-continental flights on the iPad ?

    • Many apps offer the ability to plan international flights – for example, ForeFlight has a worldwide database and some basic maps for the entire world. But when it comes to approach charts, Jeppesen is really the only option.

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