Sometimes you need to do two things at once on your iPad, like look at two charts side by side, or compare your flight plan route against the moving map. The Garmin Pilot app makes it easy to do this, with their powerful split screen feature. While some other apps have split screen, we think Garmin does it best, with great information displays that are not available in any other app.
The split screen feature is very easy to use. First tap the Home button at the top left, and choose Map. From this page, tap Menu at the top right and a drop-down menu will appear–choose Split Screen. This will display six different options for the bottom view (or right side view in landscape orientation):
- Widgets–these are a Garmin exclusive, and are like self-contained information blocks you can customize with information about METARs, airport information, Pilot Reports, airspace and more. Then, you can scroll through these widgets for each point along your route of flight. It’s a great way to keep track of changing information as you fly.
- Panel–this is Garmin’s patented panel page, which shows you simulated panel instruments. While they’re GPS-derived (it’s groundspeed and not airspeed, for example), these are great for situational awareness and a legitimate worst case scenario backup. After choosing Panel, you can pick from four different layouts using the icons at the bottom right of the screen, from data blocks to full instruments.
- Charts–one of the most likely uses of split screen is to view two different charts side by side. For example, you could pull up the approach plate for your destination and watch your airplane fly down the approach chart (if you subscribe to the geo-referenced chart package) and on the moving map. This is also great for following an instrument arrival procedure on the same page as your moving map and weather display.
- Active NavLog–this view can be very helpful on those trips when you get complicated routing from ATC. It displays your full NavLog (just like a Garmin panel-mount GPS), with each leg, bearing, distance and other data. Now you can see how long that re-route will take. The only downside here is that you can’t actually edit your route on this screen, only view it.
- SafeTaxi–Garmin has a vast database of geo-referenced taxiway diagrams for many larger airports, which they call SafeTaxi. This is another great option for split screen, since you can keep track of your big picture on the top screen but follow your airplane along the airport diagram with SafeTaxi.
- Terrain–This view is useful to display during departure and approach and shows terrain and obstacles color-coded red or yellow based on your current altitude. It’ll also display the MSL and AGL height of obstacles, eliminating the need to show this extra clutter on the main map view.
Remember that you can always change your map view (the top half) by choosing different layers, whether it’s sectionals or a world basemap. Also note that the split screen mode works in landscape or portrait orientation.
Here’s a final quick tip on using split screen: to toggle between split screen and full screen moving map, tap the up/down arrow button on the far right of the map view. This will minimize the bottom view, so you get a nice, big moving map screen. To bring the split screen back up (in the most recent configuration), tap the arrow button again. This makes it easy to switch back and forth.