FltPlan has launched its free, full-feature Android Go app designed as an alternative to the iPad which, until now, has been the primary device available for inflight usage. This makes FltPlan the first company to offer free inflight apps on both Apple and Android tablets.
FltPlan's new redesigned FltPlan Go for Android is the mirror image of its iPad Go app, introduced earlier this year. The company points out that if you are familiar with the iPad Go app pilots can transition easily to the Android Go.
"The beauty of FltPlan is that you can keep and use both, an iPad and an Android," said Ken Wilson, founder and president of FltPlan, the largest flight-planning service in North America. "Other flight planning companies do not offer such redundancy. We are giving people choices. You are not limited by being tied to one device."
The free FltPlan Go app for Android shows graphical flight plan routes and gives registered users offline and in-flight access to NavLogs, approach plates, weather briefings, high resolution/zoomable sectional, victor low charts, and jet high charts. It also offers a variety of basemaps such as satellite, street, shaded relief, and topographic (with an internet connection). Users have the ability to track flights and access tools and calculators such as checklists, weight & balance, runway wind calculation, and temperature conversion.
FltPlan Go for Android features include streamlined interface for easy access to essential flight planning tools, moving maps for the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, and Central America, breadcrumbs on moving maps and approach plates, and geo-referenced approach charts and taxi charts for the U.S. and Canada.
Other features include the ability to download and save flight plans, NavLogs, and weather briefings for offline and in-flight use. In addition, FltPlan Go for Android provides U.S. airport/facilities directory (AFD), Canadian flight supplement (CFS), helicopter routes, TAC charts, SUAs for offline use, detailed FBO and airport information, including up-to-date fuel prices, document storage and multiple binders, annotations, scratchpad function, and downloadable world map. All these features will work online and offline.
Wilson said he believes the Android has been a nonevent when it comes to aviation—until now.
"Manufacturers like Samsung and Google now have tablets that are competitively priced and designed to go up against the Apple iPad. So not only is the quality hardware available, FltPlan is providing software for pilots to use with these devices.
Wilson said he already sees a pent up demand for something other than iPad from many of FltPlan's 145,000 users. "Pilots are looking for the increased flexibility, ability to update, and the lower costs, as much as 43 percent, that Android tablets offer."
Four years ago, FltPlan created the Legacy app to provide pilots with airport information and approach charts. The legacy app continued to add more features and functionality as pilots' in-flight needs grew. FltPlan developers determined however that in order to continue to add more robust capabilities it was better to start over with an improved platform and they developed the FltPlan Go concept.
Just like the Legacy app, FltPlan android Go is integrated with the FltPlan website for one-stop flight planning in one centralized user account.
FltPlan's current Legacy app will remain available for use and the company will continue to support and maintain it.
"The Go app concept is our new platform and that is where we are going to continue to grow," Wilson said. "But people can still use the Legacy app if they want to."
Wilson explained that what makes FltPlan's Go iPad app and Go Android app so intriguing is that they are free. "You can put as many devices as you want on the FltPlan.com program. Whatever device you have in your airplane, you can leave it there. No matter where you are, you know you have access to the same data across all platforms and not have to worry about a subscription for every device you use.
Since the service was born on the web, FltPlan's servers save all flight planning information and user documents. Should a pilot's mobile device become unavailable, the pilot is just one internet connection away from his data.
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