New app updates focus on hardware connectivity

Another day, another iPad app update. It sure seems that way, right? We’re fortunate as pilots to have access to a portable avionics system like the iPad that continuously receives application updates with new features, capabilities and expanded hardware compatibility. You don’t have to look far to see the alternative–meaning the certified avionics in your panel–where it literally takes years for new software updates to be developed, tested and FAA approved.

Today we’re going to look at what’s new in the popular ForeFlight app, along with 2 other rapidly growing apps in the EFB app market, Aerovie Reports and FltPlan Go.

ForeFlight Mobile
  • Logbook photos–ForeFlight’s recent logbook addition has been a big hit with pilots, and it continues to gain functionality. You can now attach unlimited images—from your Photos app or fresh from your device’s camera—to flight entries, aircraft profiles, certificates, and endorsements. Use photos to capture the view on approach to the runway, keep a visual record of squawks, or take a selfie of you and your passengers. Once in Logbook, images can be cropped and rotated to your liking. As with all your Logbook data, these images are stored securely in the ForeFlight Cloud so you can access them from all of your devices.
  • FAA 8710 Reports–The logbook menu now includes a new Reports section, which includes the option to format your flight time into the standard FAA 8710 form. You can then email or print a PDF version of the report right from the app. This form is required be completed when applying for a new certificate or rating.
  • Logbook Qualifications–Medical and knowledge test certificates with issue and expiration dates can now be added in the Qualifications section, along with new custom type ratings.
  • Garmin GTX 345 Support–Garmin announced the new GTX 345 ADS-B In/Out transponder last month, which features the ability to send ADS-B weather and traffic right to compatible iPad apps. ForeFlight can now connect wirelessly to the transponder and use it as a source for ADS-B traffic and weather.
  • Avidyne Compatibility–ForeFlight can also now communicate directly with the Avidyne IFD540/440 FMS. The Avidyne’s built in WiFi sends GPS position data to ForeFlight and enables flight plan transfer from the GPS to Foreflight.

FF logbook photo

FltPlan Go
  • Procedures on Maps–This feature is available in most of the major EFB apps and is now an option in FltPlan Go. When on the moving map, tap the airport symbol, select View Procedures, and then select the name of the chart you’d like to overlay. A new button will appear on the right side of the screen labeled Plate Options, which allows you to then make changes or remove the chart overlay.
  • METAR view shortcuts–when a METAR on the maps screen, you now have the option to also view runway details or airport information with new shortcut buttons in the dialog box.
  • Dual XGPS 190 support–The attitude indicator in the split-screen flight instruments can now be driven by the AHRS in the Dual XGPS 190 ADS-B receiver.
  • Avidyne Compatibility–FltPlan Go also supports flight plan transfers between the Avidyne IFD540/440 and the app over WiFi.

Fltplan plates

Aerovie Reports
  • Synthetic Vision–This is becoming a must-have feature in EFB apps. Aerovie’s implementation includes the essentials, like vertical tapes for airspeed, altimeter and vertical speed, along with an HSI for navigation. The 3D terrain is color-coded based on relative altitude, and also includes depictions of towers and obstacles. Additionally it can display a “highway in the sky” visual glide path for approaches, runway locations and a digital readout of feet of runway remaining on the current runway based on your present position.
  • Layout updates–The vertical weather profile, checklists and terrain profile buttons were moved to the top right of the maps screen.

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