Tuesday, April 24, 2012
With the iPad so ideally suited to aviation, we examine today’s top apps
Yes, it's true that many aviation apps for the iPad have some kind of built-in weather information. The reason AeroWeather makes it to our list is because it has the clearest and most intuitive display format of all the dedicated weather apps. One glance allows you to look at weather from multiple stations at once. And the decoded TAFs are simply beautiful to look at. So many apps have great functionality but poor graphical presentation. With AeroWeather, much time was spent making the graphical interface just right, and it works flawlessly. Though the "Lite" version is free, the AeroWeather Pro ($3.99, one-time) adds webcam displays from nearby airports, NOTAMs, user-added comments for each station, email and print capability, Twitter and Facebook sharing, and an automatic "Nearby" feature that always shows weather in your area.
Neither sexy nor flashy, ASA's FAR/AIM app for the iPad is the best $9.99 pilots will ever spend. How many times have you been sitting somewhere and had a question about an FAA reg or something to do with airspace or pilot communication? Instead of scouring through eight pages of useless Google hits, pilots can turn directly to the official source right from their iPad. The app includes searchable indexes to Titles 14 and 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 and 49 CFR), and the Airman's Information Manual (AIM). As of February of this year, the app also contains the Pilot/Controller Glossary. Free updates are included; $9.99.
Anywhere Map has been turning heads with their portable navigators for several years now, and I've been awaiting their entry into the iPad market. I'm happy to report the app ($79.99/year) has kept the features that made their portable GPS units so successful. Leading the charge is Control Vision's patented "Cones of Safety" that show which airports are within glide range based on the glide ratio of your aircraft. The app's "Personal Digital Copilot" keeps track of ground obstacles, warning when they pose a threat. It issues reminders for fuel-tank changes, time to descend and other routine tasks. What sets this app apart is its clean look and ease of use—especially its touch screen. Also, they don't charge for georeferenced charts.
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Labels: Aviation Resources, Features, Handheld Avionics, Weather, Weather Flying, Handheld Gadgets, Gadgets