The latest version of ForeFlight Mobile is available for download in iTunes App Store, just in time for your weekend flying!
The update brings a greatly enhanced mapping engine that enables a broad range of new capabilities we will unlock throughout the year. It also brings new map layers and a Grid (or “classic”) menu for iPhone.
More incredible, pilot-pleasing features are coming in the very near future. Stay tuned and plan on visiting the ForeFlight booth (C-92) at Sun ‘n Fun next month!
Read on for the details or jump straight to the 4.9 intro video.
Map orientation preferences are a religious topic – something wars could start over. Both have their place. North up map orientation is great for flight planning and quickly assessing cardinal direction from a waypoint. Track up is great in flight and helpful for letting a pilot quickly determine what direction to turn next. Now, ForeFlight Mobile customers can choose.
We think ForeFlight Mobile’s new track-up feature is the smoothest and most powerful available. Switching between north up and track up modes is fluid and fast. As your track changes, the map turns smoothly to reflect your new course.
In addition to being able to select between track up and north up orientations, you can also choose between two track up modes: track center and track forward. In track center mode, the aircraft is positioned in the center of the screen. In track forward mode, the aircraft is positioned lower on the screen, leaving more of the world ahead in view. Track forward is in the lead as the more popular setting.
Tap the map center (crosshair) button in the upper right hand corner of the Maps view and the map will enter track up mode if enabled or stay oriented north up. A compass needle button will appear in the upper right of the map – tap that to quickly switch between north up and track up.
World Wide Touch Planning
The latest update introduces world-wide touch planning. You can now plan everything from short hops to record-breaking, around the world flight plans that cross the poles and international date line.
With the new map engine, you can now zoom out and see then entire earth in one view. Overlay satellite weather and a weather marker layer – like flight rules or temperature – and see the entire planet’s weather with a flick of your finger. It’s a pretty sight!
Route and Feature Labels
Supporting track up requires properly oriented route and feature labels. The updated mapping engine in ForeFlight mobile enables smooth and elegant rotation of both. A new option is available in map settings that displays waypoint labels (enabled by default) that smoothly rotate when you switch between north up and track up modes, and smoothly rotate as the map turns to match your aircraft’s track. The new map labels also make it easier to see the name of the next waypoint without tapping – a nice enhancement.
Feature labels on the World base map are also more plentiful and styled much more nicely, making it easy to distinguish between thinks like lakes, rivers, and regions.
New Map Layers: Obstacles and User Waypoints
Two new map layers are available in the Maps view: an Obstacle layer and a User Waypoints layer. When the Obstacle layer is selected, obstacles from the FAA’s Digital Obstacle database are displayed. As you zoom in and out, notice that obstacles elegantly appear and disappear – with incredible speed – to automatically de-clutter or clutter, showing you the appropriate amount of detail based on your zoom level. The tallest obstacle in an area is always left displayed on screen.
Also available is a User Waypoints map layer option. Select this map layer and all the user waypoints you have loaded will appear on top of any base map layer you have enabled.
The map engine is also greatly enhanced in this latest update to ForeFlight Mobile. Altus – the map engine technology developed in an incredible partnership with BA3 – is the most powerful mapping engine available for the iOS platform and enables a wide range of new capabilities.
Grid Menu (“Classic Mode”)
Last month’s ForeFlight Mobile update introduced the new Slider menu for iPhone. Slider makes it simple to switch between different views of the app with fewer taps. However, many still prefer the classic “grid” menu. The latest ForeFlight Mobile update introduces a new setting that allows iPhone customers to select their preferred menu style.
Menu style is selected from the Settings page, under the new Menu group. We also enhanced the Grid menu, adding room for one more row of buttons, freshened the icons, and enhanced the color scheme to improve both day and night readability.
As we mentioned in the 4.8 release notes, we have a lot in store for 2013 and look forward to showing you something new and exciting every few weeks. What is coming will make you more productive in and out of the cockpit, improve situational awareness, and bring new capabilities to the iPad. If you own a Stratus, things are about to get very exciting for you!