Issues with iOS 8.3 update and external GPS receivers

1 min read

iOS 8.3 updateSeveral aviation app developers and external GPS manufacturers are strongly urging pilots to hold off on the recent iOS 8.3 iPad and iPhone software update that was released last week. There is a bug in the update that can prevent position data from being delivered to iOS applications from certain external GPS receivers. This primarily affects some of the early model Bluetooth GPS accessories like the Dual GPS 150 and original Bad Elf Pro.

The newer GPS accessories, like the Bad Elf GPS Pro+ and Bad Elf GPS for Lightning seem to be working fine still. The Stratus ADS-B receiver, which includes an internal GPS, is also working normally with the update. And the internal GPS in iPad models with cellular data remains unaffected as well.

The iOS 8.3 update is for the most part a housekeeping release and doesn’t bring any significant new features for pilots, so for now we’d recommend everyone hold off until Apple sorts out these location services issues, regardless of which GPS you’re using. Bad Elf has reported to us that they are actively working with Apple to get the issue resolved and hopes to see another iOS update from Apple soon.

For more information and updates:

Bad Elf iOS 8.3 Alert

ForeFlight iOS 8.3 Customer Notice

9 replies
  1. Logan
    Logan says:

    Actually, this release does bring a significant new feature for pilots. The internal GPS in Apple devices with cellular function now works in Airplane Mode. This is highly significant for iPhone users, who previously had to keep the device out of Airplane Mode to access GPS data. This also makes for fewer screen taps for cellular iPad users to prep for flight.

  2. Brandon
    Brandon says:

    GPS can be enabled in any version of iOS while in Airplane mode. After turning on Airplane mode, go back into Control Center, or Settings, and enable WiFi. In the past versions of iOS WiFi and GPS were the same setting.

  3. Steve
    Steve says:

    Wish I had know that before I had updated and took a flight on sunday, April 12th. Thought it was just me…no position indications with bad elf pro connected and location services on. I used an iPad2 for the flight. Luckily, I had also planned my route on a paper sectional, along with the aircraft gps…

  4. Greg Ellis
    Greg Ellis says:

    Wing X Pro, if you use it, came out with an easy fix to this issue for their product if you have already updated to the new release and are having an issue.

  5. Greg Allmann
    Greg Allmann says:

    I got the notice from Foreflight about a day after I upgraded. Bad timing. I have the Dual 150. I’m not a programmer or software developer, but can’t they just go back one step until they fix the problem? In essence, post a downgrade.

  6. Joe Potter
    Joe Potter says:

    There is a temporary fix and that is to downgrade from 8.3 back to 8.2. If you Google it you can find a number of articles on how to do it. It’s very simple and appears to work. I did it today and was successful in going back to 8.3. I took the devices (iPad 2 and Dual GPS 150) out for a test drive in my car and the system was tracking my movements. I will test fly it next week.

    Reminder, if you do the downgrade, BACKUP your iPad first. Do NOT skip this step. If there’s a problem, and there was with mine the first time, you run the risk of losing everything on your iPad. idigitaltimes has an easy to follow article.

    Good luck!

  7. Joe Potter
    Joe Potter says:

    Please excuse the typo in the above comment. It should have read, “….and was successful in going back to 8.2.” Sorry.

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