Garmin released its first app update for 2013, adding a selection of features to make their aviation app more user-friendly. The Garmin Pilot app is one of our favorites for weather and in-flight navigation, and Garmin’s dedication to continuous improvement makes it really stand out. Here are a few of the new features.
Multi-layer map support
You can now overlay multiple layers on top of your route to better analyze the weather during flight planning and while en route. For example, you can combine radar imagery, TFRs and even fuel prices to help with decision making. Another nice combo is displaying radar and winds aloft simultaneously when planning a route. The app even includes the ability to display the winds aloft barbs on the map at various altitudes, from 3,000 to 42,000 feet.
The visual depiction of TFRs has been improved to increase accuracy and ease of use. Active TFRs are displayed in red, while future TFRs appear in yellow. The app also now includes stadium TFRs, which appear in blue.
Garmin Pilot now automatically saves your aircraft, bookmarked flight plans, pilot details and user waypoints to the cloud. This allows for easy access to your information on multiple devices or when transferring the app to a new device.
Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) flight plans
With the SFRA flight planning option, you can now file in and out of Washington, DC with the Garmin app. Simply provide the appropriate information for your SFRA entry or exit gate and select SFRA as your flight plan type.
You’ll find a new Tools button located at the top of the menu bar for easy access to some commonly used items, such as brightness, screen lock and help. In addition there are new tools to set location-based alerts for waypoints along your route. For example, you could have the app remind you to complete checklist items when nearing your destination. There’s also a stopwatch tool available here that allows you to start a count-up timer.
Half off sale
The Garmin Pilot app for iPad and Phone is currently available for a reduced price of $49.99 for a one-year subscription. This includes VFR and IFR charts for the entire US, along with flight planning and weather briefing tools. The app also displays subscription-free weather and traffic from ADS-B when used with Garmin’s GDL 39 wireless weather receiver.
Garmin Pilot Android also updated
The Android version of the app also received several significant updates this week. Like the iPad version, Garmin Pilot for Android now includes the patented navigation panel, which displays visual depictions of groundspeed, GPS altitude, vertical speed and an HSI. A new split-screen option was added, allowing you to view the moving map page simultaneously with SafeTaxi, the instrument panel view, an approach chart or weather widgets. The app also includes the highly-requested track-up feature (hey, Android finally got a feature before iOS!). A simple switch allows you to toggle the map orientation between north up and track up.
The Android Garmin Pilot app is also on sale for $49.99 right now.