October 10, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
This year’s AOPA Aviation Summit gives apps developers a great place to show off their technology to large groups of people. The five developers below either did presentations or interviews from the show floor. These are not endorsements of any app.
SocialFlight (free on iTunes and Google Play) was created as a way to increase participation in general aviation and expand pilots’ aviation circles. The free smartphone app lets users learn about aviation events in their own back yards. And it allows groups to publicize their aviation events and tap attendees they may have never reached before. SocialFlight got 20,000 users in its first year, with no marketing, and adds up to 250 new users every week.
CloudAhoy is a free iPhone/iPad app that collects your flight data and allows you to see the results of a flight, from takeoff to landing. Users can display flights on different backgrounds, like VFR maps, and view their flight in 2-D or 3-D. The app also color codes flight segments and shows details of landings.
WingX Pro 7 (99 cents in iTunes, with a $99.95 annual subscription and other pricing options) was awarded the best aviation app in 2012 by Aviation Consumer. One big feature touted by the app is data compression, which takes less time to download. Other EFBs can be 20 GB or more, while WingX Pro is 4 GB. This iPhone/iPad app offers features including moving maps and a split screen. It also uses weather data from Baron Services covering Nexrad, echo tops, and surface analysis.
LogTenPro ($79.99 in iTunes, $64.99 during AOPA Aviation Summit) set out to make the best logbook app for Apple products. Users can buy the app once and use it on their iPhone, iPad and Mac. Features include digital signatures, locally stored data, free regular updates, and great customer service. Users can create more than 100 customized reports and easily print them out.
Sporty’s IFR Communications app ($34.99 in iTunes) takes the company’s video programming and puts it into an interactive format for iPhone and iPad users. It uses a scenario-based program to teach pilots working on an instrument rating or in recurrent training how to communicate in the IFR system in several chapters broken down by phases. The app uses 70 minutes of 3-D animation, video, and real-world communications scenarios at airports including Chicago Midway. It also features test questions and allows users who miss a question to go right to the corresponding video.
What are some of your must-have apps? Please send them my way here, especially those on the Android platform. And developers, please feel free to pitch me new apps and app updates. The complete list of apps I’ve reviewed since October 2012 is in AOPA’s online archive.
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AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.