ForeFlight released its first update of the year today, and the company promises this is “one of many that will make this year the best ever for ForeFlight customers!” Version 4.8 doesn’t necessarily add a lot of gee whiz features, but there are a few very helpful enhancements here:
- The iPhone version of the app finally gets some love, with an all-new menu structure. Instead of the “homepage” style menu, there is a new slider bar that pops out from the left side of the screen. This design is appearing in more and more apps, from Facebook to newspaper apps. It makes it much faster to jump around in the app, and makes the overall menu flatter–there’s less opening windows and closing windows. The universal search box is at the top of this slider menu, and nearest and favorites are immediately available.
- Another handy feature is the ability to download charts in the background. Updating your charts can take quite a while if you have a lot of states selected, and previously you had to leave ForeFlight open with the screen on to do this. Now you can close the app while the charts download and you can even turn the screen off. This should save some battery life on your updates.
- Military pilots can now import their own DOD charts and publications with ForeFlight’s Military Flight Bag (MFB) feature. It allows side-loading of these charts using iTunes File Sharing. This probably isn’t a feature that most ForeFlight users will take advantage of, but it shows the wide variety of pilots who are using the iPad.
- While it’s not specifically part of the 4.8 update, ForeFlight has also added the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) to their Documents catalog. This includes Parts 61, 67, 91, 93, 95 and 97. To download these FARs, tap Documents, Catalog and FAA.
As usual, the update includes various other bug fixes and performance enhancements. The update is free for all ForeFlight users, and can be downloaded from the App Store.