Garmin is charging full speed ahead with enhancements to their mobile navigation apps in 2014. They’ve already added a sophisticated synthetic vision option to the app earlier this year, and last week at AERO in Germany they announced that Garmin Pilot for iPad will soon offer premium features for those flying in Europe, including weather, navigation data, charts, plates and more.
Garmin is unique in that it is the only app developer that offers full-featured apps for both iOS and Android devices. While the iPad version is usually first to get the latest and greatest new features, the Android version is a serious contender and a very powerful app that is catching up rapidly. Yesterday it gained even more ground as Garmin released version 3.0, which primarily focuses on map upgrades and updates. Here’s a quick look at what’s new in the Android version.
Version 3.0 of Garmin Pilot for Android offers pilots the option to select track-up orientation on static sectionals and enroute charts so information is always upright and displayed in the direction of flight. With traditional static maps, labels appear in a fixed orientation, so when the map is rotated labels may appear sideways or upside down. Garmin’s detailed, interactive maps smoothly turn text and labels such as airspace, obstacle notations and important frequencies so they are always upright and easy to read.
Highly configurable interactive maps now enable pilots to customize the moving map display on Garmin Pilot. Map color, visibility range, label sizes for airports, NAVAIDs and more, may be tailored to pilot preference so important information pertaining to each flight is always in view. Faster map rendering and the ability to zoom in tighter allows pilots to easily view frequency information, chart and obstacle text, ensuring nothing is overlooked throughout each flight.
You can now simply pan over an airport on the moving map page to see the airport diagram, providing pilots with easy access to taxiway and runway information. When taxiing on the airport surface, SafeTaxi geo-references the aircraft’s position on the diagram, adding to situational awareness at unfamiliar airports.
New Map Overlays
In addition to configurable maps and SafeTaxi diagrams within Garmin Pilot, the app update also includes the following new features: range rings, extended runway centerlines, distance measuring tool and night mode options on the moving map display
One of the nice things with all Garmin products, whether it’s certified panel-mount avionics or mobile apps, is that they offer a consistent user experience across the entire product line. Pilots flying with a Garmin G1000 glass cockpit or GTN 750 GPS will be able to jump right in and start using the iPad and Android apps without much of a learning curve.
Both the Android and iOS versions are available as a free download and include a 30-day trial subscription: