New ForeFlight Release Cited As A Big Step Forward

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ForeFlight calls its latest 13.3 update “one of our biggest in years,” with multiple new features. Dynamic Winds and Temperatures displays forecast wind speed, direction and temperatures at multiple altitudes and times from all around the world. Color-coded heat maps represent primary forecast values at the selected altitudes and times. Overlaid particle animations show wind direction and speed to more easily interpret large-scale weather patterns. The Time Slider tracks wind forecasts through a 24+ hour range. The Altitude Slider shows wind data from the surface up to 63,000 feet to help assess conditions from wind shear near the surface well up into the stratosphere.

Newly available is an enhanced Weather Layer Legend just above the time slider. It is designed to make the graphical weather layers easier to interpret, and appears with the Radar, Enhanced Satellite, Color IR Satellite, Icing and Turbulence, and Clouds layers, as well as with the new Wind Temps and Speeds layers.

For those who want to be part of the research into new elements, ForeFlight Labs solicits feedback on new features before they can be incorporated into the standard program. These features are disabled by default, and can be enabled one at a time.

ForeFlight 13.3’s Taxi Routes feature improves planning surface navigation with what the company describes as “an interactive and contextually-aware taxi route bubble editor.” Using separate buttons for Clear, Undo and Redo, pilots can quickly add, remove and rearrange route elements while listening to their clearance. The taxi route is displayed on the moving map and/or on the airport diagram.

Also, ForeFlight’s Airport 3D now has togglable Day/Night capability and Runway Lights for a better mental picture of lighting for planning and executing night approaches. The company website offers instructional videos on the new features.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Looks like they bought the ‘Windy’ app. Now I don’t have to go there to see what the winds are doing.
    I like the taxi addition but haven’t tested accuracy yet. If it works this should be open during taxi instructions.
    The addition of a night view is interesting, doubt I’ll ever use the view mode for flight.
    Would have been nice to add how to get that view while in flight at night, as in, freq and clicks to change intensity levels if available. Kind of like the ATIS freq reminder that pops up. I guess no warning would mean lights should be on already, and if not, look at what you should see… 🤔 only time I think I would need the night view.

  2. It’s a fine line between “bloat” and “utility” and the line will move depending on your type of flying and whether there is another pilot in the cockpit with you to look at a lot of these features. As long as this doesn’t encourage more “heads down” when you should be looking to “see and avoid” – I’m all for it. But I fear there will be a lot more “heads down”.

    Yes – you – I’m talking to you in that 172 that went head to head with me last month at the same altitude. I turned right – you just plowed straight on with both your heads demonstrably “down” looking at your toys.

    • I agree. When I switched to using digital charts, my “requirement” was an intuitive, easy-to-use app that displayed the charts and the information in the AFD (I still call it that). Lately, almost all of these apps have integrated so many features that it can sometimes be difficult to figure out how to view just the basics. It would almost be better to spilt these apps into 2 or 3 separate apps that are optimized just for those functions. I use FltPlan.com for my preflight planning because it’s designed for that one purpose, and since I don’t have to filter out functions not related to preflight planning I find it much easier to use.

  3. Foreflight is a great product! The problem I have is that 90% of any of these new features are all in the Performance Plus subscription which is $300/year. Some may say what a great value. I say they are putting a price on safety. One would have thought that Boeing of all companies would have learned that lesson. I have the Pro Plus subscription and have seen very little in terms of new services. They seem to be following the Jeppesen model of charging as much as possible and the ones that got them going are left in the dust. Unless you empty your wallet…

    • My feelings exactly, Joe. I have been a Pro Plus subscriber for many years and I’m starting to feel like the forgotten step-child. I used to get excited when I saw a notice of new features from Foreflight, but not anymore. The new feature description looks neat but then nine times out of ten at the end it says “…included in Performance Plus…” Phooey. It just feels as if Foreflight is leaving the lower level subscriptions behind and trying to “encourage” (That’s putting it nicely.) its subscribers to upgrade for another $100.

      • Couldn’t agree more Frank. There are a lot of others out there that feel the same. My first clue was when I was trying to figure out high altitude take off performance. They advertised a solution, but only if you pay extra for it. That certainly seems like having to pay extra for safety to me. Just like Boeing in the Max debacle. I guess FF is taking lessons…

    • In reality, almost all of the “advanced” features that FF makes you pay extra for to get in-app is available free or cheaper in other apps. Almost all of their weather maps are just pulls from the AWS website; the app just makes it a little easier to get to them in one location. Another feature is the 3D view of the airports, which as far as I can tell is just a pull from Google Maps. Again, it’s available elsewhere for free, but it’s just a little quicker to bring it up in the app.

  4. A bigger step forward would be Android support.

    I love ForeFlight, but I’ve stopped using it in flight due to the dependency on unreliable new Apple hardware. The newest iPad Pro’s are so prone to overheating as to render them unusable (note that the older iPads were fine, but have been forced into obsolescence by Apple).

  5. I had high hopes for Android support when Boeing took over. Put in a personal plea at the Boeing building, Airventure 2019.
    Certainly don’t want to get into an Apple vrs MS or Android battle here.
    But the belief with the developers seems to continue to be… all pilots are Apple users.