Five iPad trends for pilots we tracked in 2019

4 min read

While the aviation world was panicking about the coming ADS-B mandate, companies in the iPad app and accessory business stayed quite busy in 2019. There were major new hardware introductions and noteworthy mergers, and we covered it all at iPad Pilot News with over 120 articles. Here are some trends we tracked, and some of our most popular articles.

Finally—a new iPad Mini!

New iPads

A new iPad Mini was the most exciting new product for many pilots.

After many years of being ignored, the iPad Mini finally got its day in the sun. The smaller size tablet isn’t the hot seller it once was for Apple, but it’s ideal for cockpit use and pilots welcomed the Mini 5 with open arms. 2019 also brought updated 10″ iPad models and an entirely new operating system that finally split the iPad off from the iPhone. As it approaches its 10th birthday, the iPad is growing up.

It’s finally here! Apple releases new iPad Mini

First impressions after flying with the new iPad Mini

Apple announces iOS 13 and iPadOS – what pilots need to know

New iPad Announced Among Apple’s Latest Mobile Lineup

What’s the best iPad for pilots – 2019 buyer’s guide

Acquisitions continue

Boeing ForeFlight

Big news in the world of aviation apps.

In 2017, ForeFlight and Jeppesen partnered on data and software development, then in 2018 Garmin bought to take a run at professional pilots. The consolidation trend continued in 2019, with Garmin integrating Fltplan Go more deeply and Appareo joining the party by buying Aerovie. But the biggest news of the year was in March, when Boeing announced it was buying ForeFlight.

Boeing buys ForeFlight – what comes next?

Appareo buys the Aerovie app and plans iOS app expansion

Garmin Pilot: further integration with and new FBO fees

ForeFlight grows up and down

ForeFlight Dispatch

ForeFlight launched a number of new features in 2019, including Dispatch.

Some pilots worried that Boeing’s acquisition of ForeFlight would slow development, but so far, that hasn’t proven to be the case. The company kept up its blistering pace of software releases, including a major expansion of its Performance Plus subscription level, a new Passenger app, and even an airline app in partnership with Jeppesen.

How to use pre-departure clearances and digital ATIS in ForeFlight

Using ForeFlight’s new 3D view

A look inside the new Jeppesen FlightDeck Pro X app

How to use ForeFlight’s new Passenger app

How to calculate takeoff and landing distance with ForeFlight 11.4

3D Review comes to ForeFlight, plus Map Annotations and Audio Checklists

How to use visual track log reviews and alternate airport planning in ForeFlight 11.5

ForeFlight introduces multi-user tools, enhanced map options at NBAA 2019

Training stays hot

PlaneEnglish app

The PlaneEnglish app helps pilots improve their radio communication skills.

With airlines hiring thousands of pilots every year, flight training is booming in the United States. That means busy flight schools and new airplane purchases from Piper and Cessna, but it also means lots of new training tools for the iPad. This year saw the introduction of a number of helpful apps, from video courses to interactive communication trainers to post-flight review tools.

Sporty’s Pilot Training app adds new 2020 Courses

New Aviation Weather course available in Sporty’s Pilot Training app

Sporty’s Study Buddy apps updated with improved learning features

Sporty’s Pilot Training app adds four new Garmin avionics courses

New app helps with communication training

CloudAhoy version 6 adds new CFI Assistant

Helpful accessories keep appearing

Sentry Mini weighs less than two ounces and costs just $299.

One of our favorite segments to track is the accessory market. Every year, a number of companies find ways to augment the iPad and make it more useful in the cockpit. In 2019, we covered new battery packs, a new ADS-B receiver, new kneeboards, and even a pulse oximeter that can connect to your mobile device. It’s not as exciting as a brand new app, but there is a lot of innovation here.

Sporty’s adds smaller Flight Gear Battery Pack

ForeFlight introduces Sentry Mini ADS-B Receiver

Lightspeed releases new FlightLink headset companion app

Aithre releases new carbon monoxide detector and app

All-in-one backup: combination flashlight and USB battery pack

Aithre Connect app adds oxygen tank monitoring

New audio adapter delivers EFB alerts to any headset

New MyClip Multi kneeboard fits huge variety of tablets

Flying with the Garmin G1000, Connext and your iPad