It’s one of the most popular Android apps in aviation, but it has a somewhat colorful past and it’s known by many different names. Most popularly called Avilution, the AviationMaps app gained a loyal following among pilots for its long feature list and easy-to-use design. In most of our surveys, it’s right up there with Garmin Pilot as the top Android app for pilots. In late 2013, it was sold to a group of investors, rebranded as FlightPro and relaunched with a splashy ad campaign.
The good times didn’t last long, as the original team behind Avilution became disappointed with the new owners and pilot satisfaction suffered after some data update problems. The issue ended up in court, and now control of the app has been returned to the original Avilution team.
Now called DroidEFB (a more fitting name, in our opinion), the app is back and asking pilots to take another look. It’s an impressive app overall, with all the EFB features you’d expect: moving map navigation, sectionals, IFR en route charts, approach plates, airport information, weight and balance, flight plan filing, and more. The app also includes some small but very helpful features we like for everyday flying:
- A customizable split screen view is great for viewing an en route chart and an approach plate.
- The Nearest Airports button is always in view at the top of the screen, helpful in an emergency.
- During preflight planning, it’s easy to search for points of interest – not just navaids and airports.
- A handy Flight Pad tool keeps important route information organized, complete with departure, en route and arrival tabs.
- Easy victor airway and SID/STAR routing by long pressing on an airport or navaid.
- Fast and effective writing on charts (called “scribbles”) are great for highlights or reminders.
DroidEFB also supports in-flight weather, using the Baron MobileLink for XM Weather, or the SkyRadar, iLevil and Dual XGPS170 ADS-B receivers.
Assuming the past troubles are history, DroidEFB is a compelling product. It is mature and stable, it’s packed with features and seems to have a devoted team behind it now. Like any app, there’s a bit of a learning curve, but once you know your way around, there’s not much this app can’t do.
DroidEFB is free to download and try for 30 days. After that, a subscription is required: $74.99/year for the standard subscription and $149.99/year for the premium subscription, which adds geo-reference approach plates and taxi diagrams.