March 31, 2011
By Ian J. Twombly
iPad users rave about the tablet’s moving-map capabilities, its use of georeferenced approach plates (putting the airplane symbol on the plate in real time as the approach is flown), and the ability to flight plan. But what’s been missing when comparing the iPad to a more robust, dedicated GPS is XM weather connectivity. No more. Baron Services announced the development of a system that will enable XM weather to be displayed on the iPad.
Baron is calling the system Mobile Link. It’s a piece of hardware that connects to the WxWorx receiver through the antenna. So long as pilots already have that additional equipment, they’ll only need the Mobile Link (and a subscription, of course) that is expected to cost $200.
Although Apple’s iPad is the dominant tablet in aviation, Baron said Mobile Link will work with Android and any other mobile device.
For the weather to be displayed, application developers will also need to update their apps. Baron said Garmin’s Pilot My-Cast, WingX Pro7, ForeFlight Mobile HD, and FlightPrep’s iChart have all been working on an update that will serve the weather.
According to Baron, the XM offerings will initially include radar, satellite, METARs, TAFs, TFRs, winds aloft, and airmets and sigmets.
Availability is expected in the late second quarter of this year.
AOPA Pilot and Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
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