Apple Announces Smaller iPad Pro

At their March 21 Keynote presentation, Apple announced the release of a new 9.7 inch iPad Pro, which delivers the enhanced performance and features of its full-sized predecessor in the more space-conscious size of the iPad Air 2. Apple reports that the new screen reduces reflectivity by 40 percent and increases brightness by 25 percent compared to the iPad Air 2, and automatic white balance adjustments allow colors to stay accurate in different levels and kinds of lighting. Combined with iOS 9.3’s Night Shift, which adjusts colors after sunset to ease strain on the eyes, these features will likely make the new iPad Pro’s viewing experience the best for use in the cockpit.

What we’re most excited about with the new iPad Pro is the ability to use it with Apple Pencil, introduced last year alongside the original iPad Pro. Made for the iPad, Pencil brings incredible precision to ForeFlight features like Scratchpads, annotations on plates and documents, and Logbook endorsements. Using the Pencil for these tasks helps you perform them faster and with better legibility over using a finger or a generic stylus.

Using the Pencil allows faster and more legible writing on the iPad Pro

CRAFT Scratchpad completed with an Apple Pencil on the original iPad Pro

The ability to use this helpful tool with a smaller iPad makes owning a Pencil far more practical for pilots than when it required the full-size iPad Pro, which is over-sized for most cockpits. We’re looking forward to hearing your feedback on using the Pencil once the new iPads start shipping at the end of this month.

Annotating plates and documents is also easier with a Pencil

Plate annotations made with an Apple Pencil on the original iPad Pro

ForeFlight is Ready for iPad Pro

Apple shipped the new iPad Pro this week and our dev team is already logging time with it in the cockpit. So far we are impressed with its performance. We also released ForeFlight 7.4 this week which is compatible with the new hardware.

ipads

We designed the 7.4 release to take advantage of the expanded screen real estate and display more information at once, including two more instruments in the Instrument Panel and expanded sections in the Weight & Balance view. Apple’s new A9X chip also provides incredible processing speed and graphics performance, making your flight planning more immersive than ever.

Flight testing with iPad Pro

Flight testing with the iPad Pro!

If you can find room for it in your cockpit, you can view more of a chart at once, and going split-screen with Synthetic Vision still provides the same amount of chart space as an iPad Air. The Pro in landscape orientation is equivalent in screen size to two iPad Airs side-by-side! And despite the large screen, we’ve seen great battery performance out of it so far. We are looking forward to all the new possibilities on this platform.