Checklist Lite: iPhone Aviation Checklists for Free!

Today we’re proud to announce ForeFlight Checklist Lite v2.0, our first free iPhone app! We know it’s hard to buy apps without trying them first, so this lets you experience how easy it is to walk through a checklist on your iPhone or iPod Touch. Checklist Lite lets you create checklists from two example templates, edit them on your iPhone, and test out our popular features like night-mode and flip-to-view emergency procedures.

We want every pilot to take it for a spin!

See the chart to see what features are available in Checklist Lite versus Checklist Pro:

Feature Checklist Lite Checklist Pro
Create multiple checklists
Tap to check, tap to skip, and status
Flip-to-view emergency procedures
Day mode and night mode
Edit checklists on iPhone or iPod Touch
Edit checklists on the web and sync to your iPhone or iPod Touch
Over two dozen templates for popular aircraft types, derived from official P.O.H. checklists: Cessna, Cirrus, Diamond, Mooney, Piper, and more
Share checklists with a friend and download shared checklists
Backup your checklists to our servers

Download Checklist Lite for free and take it for a spin around the pattern!

If you are ready for time saving features like more templates, web editing, online backup, and sharing, then Checklist Pro is for you.

ForeFlight Checklist Pro 2.0: iPhone Aviation Checklists Take Flight

iPhone Aviation Checklists for Pilots

Today we’re proud to announce ForeFlight Checklist Pro v2.0, Intelligent Checklists for Pilots™.  Checklist Pro 2.0 sets the new standard in iPhone aviation checklists, with a rich web application for editing your checklists online and syncing them to your iPhone or iPod touch.  We worked countless hours to build Checklist Pro to the standard ForeFlight customers expect.

Here’s what’s new:

  • Create checklists on the web and download them to your iPhone or iPod touch at http://checklist.foreflight.com
  • Share checklists with a friend by tapping the ‘Share’ button on the bottom of the main screen
  • Localized in German and Spanish
  • New aircraft templates: Cessna 182RG, Cessna 172R, Cessna 172 G1000, Socata TBM 700-A, Eclipse 500, Piper Arrow PAR-200, Cessna Corvalis 350 and Cessna Corvalis 400 TT
  • New settings for item display preferences, preventing accidental deleting by swiping, reversing the order of the buttons (Check/Skip on right instead of left), and for changing the automatic reset time.  Use the Settings app on the iPhone’s home screen.
  • New pop-up instructions when creating a checklist from scratch
  • Performance improvements and bug fixes
View a video walkthrough of the new web site for editing your checklists online

View a video walkthrough of the new web site for editing your checklists online

Checklist Pro v2.0 is available in the iPhone App Store for $19.99.  Visit our web site to explore features and learn more about the new standard in iPhone aviation checklists.

Newest Checklist templates

We’ve recently added the Cessna 172 G1000 and Socata TBM 700-A to our template collection for ForeFlight Checklist!

new_templatesTo download them:

  1. Launch ForeFlight Checklist
  2. On the main screen, tap the “+” in the top-left corner to add a new checklist
  3. Tap “Select Checklist Template”
  4. Tap the reload icon in the top-right corner. It will take approximately 20 seconds to download. Once it is complete, the new templates will show up in the list under the Cessna section.

New Checklist templates

new_templatesWe just added the Cessna 182RG and Cessna 172R to our template collection for ForeFlight Checklist!

To download them:

1. Launch ForeFlight Checklist
2. On the main screen, tap the “+” in the top-left corner to add a new checklist
3. Tap “Select Checklist Template”
4. Tap the reload icon in the top-right corner.  It will take approximately 20 seconds to download.  Once it is complete, the new templates will show up in the list under the Cessna section.

Night Flights & Sunny Runways: Developing iPhone Aviation Apps

By Adam Houghton, Principal Developer

Mobile applications are powerful because they are so portable. Devoted iPhone and Blackberry owners carry their devices everywhere. I’ve been known to forget my keys and I accidentally drove most of September without a license, but I never leave home without my iPhone. The emergence of location-aware, carry-everywhere mobile devices is ushering in the next great computing platform. The Internet on my desk is occasionally useful; the Internet in my pocket is always useful.

But for a mobile software developer, portability brings a new set of challenges. Traditional desktop applications like Quicken or iPhoto are run on big screens in homes and offices with a user’s undivided attention. iPhone users don’t sit at desks – they’re more likely to launch apps while waiting for a taxi on a rainy street corner. And whether it’s powered by RIM, Apple, or Android, a phone’s screen is highly reflective and usually smaller than a deck of cards.

Case Study: ForeFlight Checklist

At ForeFlight, we develop iPhone aviation apps. Pilots use ForeFlight Mobile, our flagship app, to check the weather report for the day’s flight during breakfast or file a flight plan from the airport terminal. In September, we introduced our second iPhone application: ForeFlight Checklist – Intelligent Aviation Checklists for Pilots.

Before releasing Checklist, we took it on quite a few test runs, constantly redesigning and tweaking the user interface to make it a natural fit in a pilot’s workflow. ForeFlight Checklist 1.0 received a fantastic reception, and as pilots have started using it out in the field, we’ve heard some great suggestions for new features. Two items in particular kept coming up, and illustrate the wide variety of environments and usage scenarios for mobile applications.

Scenario 1: Sunny Runways

The common use case for ForeFlight Checklist is running through a preflight checklist out on the runway. Each aircraft type has a customized list with dozens of items to check, such as verifying the tires are inflated and the fuel vent is unobstructed. Here is a preflight checklist for a Cessna 152 as seen in ForeFlight Checklist 1.0:

Preflight checklist for Cessna 152 in ForeFlight Checklist 1.0

ForeFlight Checklist 1.0: Cessna 152 preflight checklist

You can check an item by tapping it directly, or by tapping the green ‘Check’ button on the bottom. Pilots can consciously skip an item by tapping the yellow ‘Skip’ button. The table automatically scrolls the active item to the center and highlights it with a yellow background (“Fuel shutoff valve”). This, along with clearly defined indicators once a list is complete, keeps you from accidentally missing an item on the list.

After using Checklist out on the runway, a few pilots emailed us with an observation: the selected item was hard to see on a sunny day because the yellow background got drowned out. If you were wearing polarized sunglasses (a common scenario for pilots), it was even harder to see.

The solution for this was easy: change the background of the selected item to provide better contrast. We already had written code to special-case the background color, so we changed the color to blue (the standard iPhone color for indicating selections) and lightened the text color. Here is the same screen in ForeFlight Checklist 1.1, with a better contrasting background on the selected item, “Fuel shutoff valve”:

Cessna 152 preflight  checklist

ForeFlight Checklist 1.1: Cessna 152 preflight checklist

Scenario 2: Night Flight

Another handful of pilots emailed us with feedback on an opposite problem: when using Checklist in the evening, the app’s white background shone super brightly and was hard on the eyes. Even with the iPhone’s brightness setting turned all the way down, it was too bright.

To help out these pilots, we created “night mode“, a new color scheme available in ForeFlight Checklist 1.1. Inspired by the excellent Bloomberg iPhone app, night mode uses a black background with orange, gray, and white text. To ensure it’s easy on the eyes, while writing the code for this feature we actually turned off all the lights in the office and worked in the dark! Here’s a screenshot of the same Cessna 152 preflight checklist under night mode:

Night Mode in ForeFlight Checklist 1.1

Night Mode in ForeFlight Checklist 1.1

To toggle between night mode and the classic look (now called “day mode”), we added a new sun/moon icon on the bottom-right of the main screen:

Day mode vs night mode

Day Mode vs Night Mode in ForeFlight Checklist 1.1

If a checklist item has additional notes, a right arrow indicator is shown (e.g. “Rudder gust lock” and “Control surfaces” in the screenshots above). Tapping the arrow brings up the item detail screen, as shown below. Unfortunately, when creating night mode, this screen presented a challenge. Under day mode, the screen uses the iPhone’s “Grouped Table View” style, with floating white cells on a blue background. (This is familiar to anyone who has used the iPhone’s Contact app.) Unfortunately, this can’t be styled with a black background – it has to be white on blue. Instead, we created a new screen using the iPhone’s “Plain Table View” style, which doesn’t have floating cells and allows for a great deal more customization. (This style is used by Apple’s Mail app and Phone app, and is also the primary table view used elsewhere in Checklist.)

Here is the detail view under day and night mode for checking the Cessna’s RPM lever:

Detail view in ForeFlight Checklist 1.1

Detail view in ForeFlight Checklist 1.1

Creating night mode took quite a bit of work, but we’re very pleased with the outcome. Everyone on the ForeFlight team now uses it as their primary interface for Checklist – even during the day!

Know the Environment

When creating mobile applications, it is important to know your users. Whether it’s a sunny runway or a foggy afternoon, an iPhone app should feel at home in any environment.

ForeFlight Checklist v1.0.1 Released

The latest version of ForeFlight Checklist is now available in the App Store!  New features include:

  • New flip view for abnormal procedures – just tap the orange icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  • Templates in the checklist library now include abnormal procedures.
  • Shows previously viewed checklist when starting app.  If you are interrupted by a phone call or exit Checklist, you’ll start right where you left off.
  • Added Cessna 172I aircraft template.
  • Improved formatting of checklist and category name on top title bar.

See the new version in action in our video walkthrough!

To upgrade to the newest version simply run the App Store program on your iPhone or iPod touch and chose the “updates” option on the bottom right.  The new version of ForeFlight Checklist will show up for easy updating!

ForeFlight Checklist for Pilots brings easy to use Intelligent Pilot Checklists™ right to your iPhone or iPod touch, built to a level of quality and an attention to detail ForeFlight customers expect.  Create and edit your own customized collection of checklists by starting with one of the pre-defined aircraft type templates or start from scratch.  We built Checklist to make you a more productive pilot and reduce the amount of heads down time required to find the last checklist item you were looking at.

 

ForeFlight Checklist v1.0.1

ForeFlight Checklist v1.0.1

 
 

Announcing ForeFlight Checklist 1.0!

ForeFlight Checklist

It’s been a great month for ForeFlight! Our team is fresh off the release of ForeFlight Mobile v2.0.3, with across the board improvements to our flagship app. We’ve been thrilled by the reaction from the aviation community and the press – ForeFlight Mobile received top honors in this month’s Aviation Consumer, and our logo is featured at the front of every Apple Store worldwide.

And finally… today we’re proud to unveil ForeFlight Checklist, our latest iPhone app. Our team has been hard at work making the perfect electronic checklist, sweating every pixel in the lab and running countless trials on the runway. Easy to use and completely customizable, ForeFlight Checklist is a pilot’s new best friend.

ForeFlight Checklist brings easy to use Intelligent Checklists for Pilots™ right to your iPhone or iPod touch, built with a level of quality and an attention to detail our customers expect. Create and edit your own customized collection of normal procedures checklists by starting with one of the pre-defined aircraft type templates or start from scratch. We built Checklist to make you a more productive pilot and reduce the amount of heads down time required to find the last checklist item you were looking at.  You can see Checklist in action here.

ForeFlight Checklist is available for purchase in the iPhone App Store for $19.99.

A copy of the press release is available here.

“Top Honors” in Aviation Consumer

In this month’s issue of The Aviation Consumer magazine, ForeFlight Mobile 2.0 won “top honors” in their review of cell-phone weather applications. With “intuitive” ease of use and the “best visuals and design” of the reviewed products, ForeFlight Mobile came out shining! While our competitors got dinged for their clunky interfaces and poor product support, ForeFlight Mobile wowed them with “cool features such as lists of nearby airports based on the phone location and direct dial to ASOS.”

We’re glad they liked ForeFlight Mobile’s color-coded TAFs and quick-glance NOTAMs; those are two of favorite features, too!