The top 20 apps for pilots – 2021 edition

There are thousands of apps that are useful for pilots, from flight training and weather briefings to calculators and games. With that in mind, compiling a list of the top apps may seem foolish, but once again we're going to try—after all, a brand new iPad pilot needs to start somewhere. This list isn't necessarily our 20 favorite apps, but rather the ones we see in use most often.

Sporty’s E6B app is all new for 2021

Sporty's recently released an all-new version of their popular E6B app for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. The app includes an all-new design optimized for the latest iOS devices and new features like dark mode, iCloud sync, weight and balance and more.

The best flight simulator apps for iPad (if you’re a pilot)

Mention "flight simulator" right now and most pilots will think of the new Microsoft Flight Simulator, but not everyone has a Windows computer that's powerful enough to run MSFS, and sometimes you only have time for a quick sim session. For those reasons—and many more—there is still a thriving market in iPad-based flight simulators. Here are our top two choices.

How to use CloudAhoy’s new ILS debriefing function

The latest CloudAhoy update adds new debriefing tools for instrument pilots to analyze and score the performance of ILS approaches. Here's a look at how it works and to use it after your next flight.

ForeFlight 12.11 adds new weather forecasts, airport hot spots and runway slope

ForeFlight released version 12.11 this week in what will likely be the app's last major update for 2020. This includes new features and improvements in several different sections in the app, including maps, airport diagrams, weather, and the pack/download function.

New flight tracking app released for Apple Watch

If you're like most pilots, you look up to the sky every time you hear a plane flying above and try to guess the type and where it's heading. Now you can use the new PlaneWatcher app for Apple Watch to quickly identify all the details of the flight and see where it's heading.

Garmin Pilot improves display of NOTAMs in latest update

Garmin Pilot's latest update improves the visibility of important flight data by displaying airspace and obstacles NOTAMs graphically on the moving map. The latest version also adds new shortcut controls to the Flight Profile view to quickly configure the weather and airspace layers.

ForeFlight 12.10 adds forecast cloud layer and 3D internet traffic

ForeFlight's 11th major release of 2020 continues the trend from previous updates: sophisticated new weather features for Pro Plus and Performance Plus subscribers, but some helpful tweaks for Basic subscribers too. Here's a look at the latest additions.

Stratus Insight Adds Smart Traffic Filtering

After buying Aerovie in 2019, it took nearly a year for Appareo, maker of the popular Stratus line of ADS-B receivers, to show us what they were working on.  Aerovie had a small but loyal following, and was known for some innovative features.…

Sporty’s 2021 Courses now available in the Pilot Training app

Sporty's Pilot Training app for iPhone/iPad, Android and TV just received a major update, adding new test prep features, a checkride prep section, document annotations, a flight sim guide and much more.

How to use ForeFlight’s new scratchpad templates

Digital scratchpads have become an integral part of the paperless cockpit experience for many pilots, providing space to jot down notes, clearances and other important data needed during a flight. The latest ForeFlight update expands the app's Scratchpad functionality with 3 new templates: takeoff briefing, landing briefing and IFR holding clearance. Here's a quick look at each.
Plane English

Plane English adds IFR scenarios to communications training app

Last year we reviewed Plane English, an interesting app that used voice recognition to help pilots improve their VFR communication skills. We liked the interactive nature of this app, which means that pilots can get graded on simulated transmissions instead of just listening to recordings. Now there's a new option for IFR pilots.