ForeFlight releases new aviation app for Apple Watch

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3 min read

Apple released the Apple Watch back in 2015 and early critics weren’t exactly sure why people should buy one. Apple initially focused on its fashion appeal and many early adopters quickly snatched them up to wear as a status symbol.

Fast forward eight years later and it has become the most popular smartwatch on the market, offering innovative health, fitness and safety features and a thriving app store with thousands of bite-sized apps for your wrist.

Aviation app developers quickly joined the party and developed a wide range of apps designed specifically for the Apple Watch back in 2015 (read our full Apple Watch review for pilots and aviation app directory here). As many may recall, ForeFlight developed an aviation watch app when the original Appe Watch debuted, but decided to quietly discontinue it a few years later for undisclosed reasons.

There’s good news today though, as ForeFlight has released an all-new Apple Watch app and it’s included for all ForeFlight subscribers in the latest iPhone app update. The app allows you to check local weather and complement your preflight planning with favorite and nearby airport details like runways, NOTAMs, and much more. Here’s a quick look at how to use it, along with a few other features included in the latest ForeFlight 15.7 update.

ForeFlight for Apple Watch

The design of ForeFlight’s watch app is simple but effective. The first thing you’ll see at the top of the screen is local weather based on your current location, including winds, visibility and ceiling. Tap on the weather preview box to view detailed information presented in an easy-to-read graphical view:

Head back to the home screen and you’ll see a summary of METAR reports from the favorite and recent airports on your iPhone, along with nearby airports. Tap one, and you’ll see a graphical summary of the METAR, along with a menu of four options to dive deeper into the airport details:

First, the frequencies view displays all relevant communication freqs and phone numbers for the airport:

Tap the weather option to view all available reports and forecasts for the airport, including the raw and decoded METAR, TAF, MOS, hourly forecast and winds aloft forecast:

The Runways section shows basic runway details, traffic pattern direction and headwind/crosswind components using the current winds, and the NOTAMs screen shows current and future notices:

Finally, you can add a few data points from the app (called complications) to customize your watch’s home screen. Options include the current ceiling, surface winds or a shortcut to open the app:

Like most Apple Watch apps, The ForeFlight watch app is packaged with the ForeFlight iPhone app and should automatically install on your watch after updating to the latest version of ForeFlight on your iPhone.

You’ll find that the app is easy to use and is a great resource for quickly checking the latest weather when on the go or grabbing an airport detail in the air. There are no in-flight or GPS navigation features at this time, but it’s a must-have for pilots with an Apple Watch and ForeFlight.

What else is new

ForeFlight 15.7 also includes some minor feature updates to the primary iPhone and iPad apps:

  • Synthetic Vision was upgraded with an improved presentation of 3D obstacles (including unique objects for buildings, towers and windmills) and displays red or white lights on obstacles that have them when flying at night (requires Pro Plus subscription).

  • The profile view will now show if there are multiple “strikes” with obstacles or terrain along a planned route (requires Pro Plus subscription).

  • New Runway Analysis support for the King Air 350ER, Cessna CJ1+ and Cessna C700
20 replies
  1. Joe Schwendt
    Joe Schwendt says:

    Great update ForeFlight team! The Watch app is really well done and a very welcome addition to the ecosystem. It would be amazing to add lock screen widgets as well.

      • Michael
        Michael says:

        I sure hope not! FF really needs 3 devices so I can use my home iPad in the ecosystem 2 devices is too restrictive. If the watch counts it would impair practical use of the system

        • SoCalPilot
          SoCalPilot says:

          @michael, I believe ForeFlight allows three devices today. Using the Apple Watch app does not go against the allotted three devices. I currently have ForeFlight on my flying iPad Mini 6, my home iPad Pro 12.9, and on my iPhone 14 Pro Max.

          • Jack
            Jack says:

            Under account it’s not showing the watch, so I don’t think it accounts for a device, which makes sense with the majorly limited abilities of their FF watch offering

  2. Walter Romano
    Walter Romano says:

    I keep getting an alert on my iWatch saying to open FF on my iPhone to activate, but when I do FF on the iWatch still will not work.

    • James Rogers
      James Rogers says:

      Walter, be sure to download the latest FF app update on your phone and make sure your watch app OS is updated, too. Once you perform those tasks, your watch should automatically have FF, which you should be able to add as a “complication” on one of your existing watch faces or download a new watch face from the Gallery using the watch app on your phone and then add FF to the new face. The new FF app on your watch will be a great addition to the tools at your disposal when you fly.

  3. Doug H
    Doug H says:

    I wish Foreflight would develop a new app for ANDROID!!!! Who’s going to use their watch for navigation???

  4. Randy W
    Randy W says:

    This will be great! But my very up-to-date iPhone and Apple watch and Foreflight apps don’t have any option for installing/using this app.

  5. Paul
    Paul says:

    Another ‘planning tool’, no thanks.
    We need easier access to important emergency information like nearest airports, weather (ADSB) and sigmet info to pop up, help get our attention.

    Swing and a miss with yet more of the same tools we already have.

    • Jack
      Jack says:

      Indeed, the lack of a nearest with a bearing and range would have been a simple addition, they kinda were sleeping on that one

    • Jack
      Jack says:

      NRST is the app you seek

      Very cut and dry but points to the nearest airport, shows required VSI and range, info on runway and freqs, also it’s all stored local on the watch or phone, like $18 a year

  6. Nick P
    Nick P says:

    So there is no way to pick up IFR clearances or look at flight plans on the watch yet? Hope that is added if not.

  7. John Marcinkevich
    John Marcinkevich says:

    Will his install on a watch that does not have GPS?
    I also do not have any installation capability?

  8. Jack
    Jack says:

    Is this a standalone app for cell enabled apple watches or does it need the iPhone tethered to it to work?

    Be nice if I could see all this data on my watch and leave my iPhone at home (whole reason for the watch)?

    Does it download the airport data of offline use onto the watch?

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